Monday, January 14, 2013
Dare Me by Megan Abbott did not seem like the kind of book I would normally pick up. High school cheerleaders running wild until they get a new coach just doesn't pull me in. Normally. At least that's what I told myself when I picked this one up from the library.
Beth is the top girl while Addy, our narrator, is her loyal second in command. When their new coach comes in and whips the girls into a race for perfection, Addy is torn between pleasing the coach and staying on Beth's good side. After a local suicide, the team is confronted by the cops and Addy has to quickly decided who she stands with.
I was not on a sports team in high school, so the world Abbot paints is not super familiar to me. I was a wayward youth who would jump up from deep slumber at the sound of a text message much like these young ladies. What I noticed most was how much the book made me feel like an angsty high school girl again. Not exactly how I want to feel but I was enthralled with the book. Dare Me hardly left my hands once I started.
Abbott really impressed me. She conjures up images of the cheerleaders working themselves into a rabid frenzy before a game,whooping like banshees, shrieking veelas tearing apart a locker room flinging their bodies into the air before the crowd.
What I loved most about Dare Me is that for a novel about teen girls, all of the male characters (of which there are few) are pushed to the very edges of the story. As for parents, they are even further out, left to stray notes and small, unimportant memories.This book is all about the relationships between Addy, Beth, and Coach Colette French (are you kidding me with that name?).
I'm really glad I picked this book up. I tend to get stuck in older fiction and it is great to read something new this engaging. First book of the year!