I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Dangerous Girls

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Dangerous Girls
by Abigail Haas
YA Mystery
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...


I rated this book three stars - not because it's a poorly written or executed book, but because my personal enjoyment of it was marred by the ending.  And a bit by my frustrations with the characters.  But really this is a great, suspenseful read and it's only because I personally did not enjoy the journey I was taken on with the story, that I felt like I couldn't give this a higher rating.  This is a wonderful book in every objective sense.

The story takes an absorbing look at teenage friendships and experiences, as well as the horrible mania that can surround media publicity craziness.  It's really disheartening to know that people can make such blanket judgements based on biased media coverage.  What's also disheartening is the power of money over justice, and while it is true, this book can be so discouraging in that respect as we see people getting away with so much.

There are some moments of lightness as the author flashes back to tell Anna's backstory and that way of telling the story was so well done.  The whole book moves back and forth between what is happening in the present, and what happened in the past to get us to this point.  There's a real sense of joy in Anna and Elise's friendship which is dampened by knowing what has happened to Elise, but it's also wonderful to see such a strong and unique friendship grow between these girls.

But the real draw of this book is the mystery, which is very perplexing. There are so many threads that run through this, and so many possibilities that it's impossible to figure out until you get to the end.  And it is quite a twist.  I think because I was so disheartened by this book for the most part, I found it difficult to truly enjoy it.  It's really a personal issue, because this is a very well constructed mystery with some important and interesting commentary on our society.

For people who have read the book, I wanted to talk a bit about what I really found so disappointing about the story.  Really, I'm going to talk about the twist, so don't read this if you haven't read the book!  I feel like the twist was a bit of a cop-out since I was expecting something jaw-dropping, but I've seen this twist done before.  And almost expected it a bit before it was revealed.  It's disappointing to me that after all the time invested in believing Anna is innocent, she's not, and that there's still more injustice in the story.  And it seems extra unfair that Dekker, who is so awful throughout, was actually right.  I really don't like reading about blatant injustices that are not righted by the end, so for that reason really, I felt so dissatisfied with this book.

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