Dare Me
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Dare Me

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3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  8,641 ratings  ·  1,542 reviews
Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy's best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they're seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls -- until the young new coach arrives.

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Hardcover, 290 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published May 1st 2012)
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The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenDivergent by Veronica RothGone Girl by Gillian FlynnThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. StedmanPenelope by Rebecca Harrington
Best Books of Summer 2012
12th out of 43 books — 248 voters
The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina FerraroThe Lipstick Laws by Amy HolderYou Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra ManningDare Me by Megan AbbottCold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Lips on the Cover
4th out of 33 books — 39 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
megan abbott knows all the secrets of being a girl, and she keeps on spilling them, book after book."it's fun to be a girl!!" nah, man, it's not. have you ever seen the feet of an actual ballerina? (view spoiler)it's like that - underneath all the pink frills and the careful make-up, there is a horrorshow waiting to be revealed, and it's anything but pretty and elegant.

this book is neither her girl noir nor her coming-of-age style, but some sort of seam where they both meet. the...more
Emily May

“There's something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.”

How can I describe this book? Well, if Bunheads had a manic, intense and obsessive older sister, then this would definitely be it. Dare Me is about teenage girls - and cheerleaders in particular - straddling the line between childhood and the big world of adults but it isn't a tale that conjures up the usual images that high school cheerleading brings with it. This is an intense book about obsession, sexuality and competition. I t...more
Dan Schwent
Beth and Addy have been the top dogs on the cheerleading squad for years. When a new coach comes in and upsets the apple cart, how will Beth react to her role being usurped? And what dark things are waiting in the wings for Coach French?

Wow. I've said it before but Megan Abbott makes the politics of teenage girls look as brutal as the Game of Thrones.

Dare Me is a look behind the curtain at what makes teenage girls tick, specifically the ones motivated to be cheerleaders. Eating disorders, cattin...more
kari
Sad,ugly characters doing sad,ugly things to one another. This is supposed to be what is in the heart and mind of the all-American girl? I'm not buying that.
This is how Addy sees herself: p. 258 "You see these glitters and sparkledust and magicks? It's war paint, it's feathers and claws, it's blood sacrifice."
Who the heck is she at war with? Herself? Who are any of them at war with? Why are any of them so angry? If I am expected to care, then explain to me why they are this way. Otherwise don't...more
Kemper
Previously I’d read two Megan Abott books, The Song is You and Queenpin. Both were razor sharp noirs set in the past with cynical hustlers smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey and basically behaving like the type of people who belong in a black and white movie. This book is about cheerleaders in a modern high school.

It’s not as different as you’d like to think.

Addy has long been the best friend and lieutenant to Beth, the captain of their cheerleading squad. Beth is smart but self centered wi...more
Delee
There's something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.

The thought of getting older is something that scares the bejesus out of me every day I look in the mirror and see a new gray hair or small wrinkle, but there is noooooo amount of money in the world that would make me want to be a teenage girl in today's society. Girls have found all sorts of new ways to be vicious to one another, high schools have become war zones, and the pressure to be thin, beautiful, and perfect, has surpassed a...more
Trudi

I've read gobs of creepy books and watched heaps of horror movies, but nothing can run a spike of scare through me quite like a gaggle of teen girls. You knew these things already, didn't you? Or at least suspected -- the vicious, petty jealousies, the unchecked hormones, the cutting intelligence harnessed to manipulate and intimidate, the capricious cruelty, the fathomless insecurities, the abiding self-loathing ... need I go on?

Teen girls are a tribe unto themselves, with their own language,...more
Kelly
I can't even go far enough in this book to find out the premise. I do not even care. This is god awful. This is the worst kind of writing (edit: FINE. THE WORST KIND to me. I suppose you're allowed to like it). So many analogies that don't actually even MEAN ANYTHING. You can't just... say things... and call it writing.

"wishbone arms?" What do you mean by that? What is that? So, what? They're... all bowed out? They're skinny? They're dried out like after it comes out of a turkey and sits for a w...more
Moira Russell
"Noir cheerleaders?" I thought. "Sure, I love Abbott, but no, really, not for me." (The first time I heard about Buffy ever I said "Vampires in high school, are you shitting me? Why would I want to watch that?") But I was powering my way through The End of Everything, slack-jawed, eye-peeled and all agog, and at the back there was a reader's guide (horrible and useless), an author's interview (you're.....glad that Older Lizzie still feels the charm of that family? Uhh. Did you read your own book...more
Mara
Having been a busy bee at work, I am oh so behind on reviews, and Megan Abbott's Dare Me has so much great commentary out there in the ether that I can't help but feel I have little to add.

I'll lean on a bit of propositional logic to keep things brief, beginning with common misconceptions that I (if only subconsciously) have fallen prey to before:

Book A is about teenage girls Book A is for teenage girls

Use of twisted teenager trope Creative, layered, mind-bending

Megan Abbott makes the abov...more
James Thane
I know absolutely nothing about teenage girls--something that, sadly, was also true back when I was a teenage boy. Megan Abbott, on the other hand, either has a very good memory or has done prodigious research into the subject. Actually, I suspect that it's a combination of both, and the result is her excellent new novel, Dare Me.

The book is a meditation on the nature of friendship, love, competition, betrayal and young girls coming of age, set in the world of cheerleading. In it, Abbott expose...more
Brandon
Addy and Beth rule their cheerleading squad with an iron fist. Practices are rare, performances are uninspired and the effort is just not there. However, when a new coach arrives and challenges Beth’s captaincy by threatening to whip the girls into a well coordinated unit, some members are less than impressed. Can the new Coach succeed in her vision or will there be consequences for her intrusion?

After hearing several people sing the praises of Megan Abbott, I thought it was about time that I ga...more
Tfitoby
“People will always try to scare you into things. Scare you away from things. Scare you into not wanting things you can't help wanting. You can't be afraid."

What sordid, twisted lives we all lead, lives full of wonder and deception, passion and fear, especially when told through the eyes of a teenage girl it seems. Megan Abbott's second novel from the perspective of teen girls (very different from being a young adult or chicklit novel mind you) outshines even the magical End of Everything in par...more
Robert
Sep 24, 2013 Robert rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robert by: Kemper
Let’s be clear from the get go. If you want a more traditional review with a book summary, plot synopsis, and a character family tree, and then possibly a discussion on what the author was trying to accomplish in DARE ME and whether or not she actually achieved her goals, then you’ll probably just want to slide it on back and move on to the next review. Because I’m about as non-traditional as they come. Instead, I like discussing how a book made me feel, or didn’t feel, discussing writing insigh...more
Josh
All that glitters and sparkles; candy-made for thirsting eyes - It's all smoke and mirrors - plumage full of sweet smelling delights, serving as a hideaway for the stingers that lay in wait. 'Dare Me' is home to those stingers. Full of pretty faces with indecent thoughts. These characters of cheer spread terror. While their eyes and sickly sweet mouths promise honey, the bee sting sharpens its point laying in wait for the perfect moment to penetrate normalcy and brandish a bloody streak across t...more
Noreen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael
Cheerleader noir?

Is it possible to take the gritty world of noir novels and combine that the perceived fluffy world of cheerleaders?

It is, if you're Megan Abbott.

Addy has always been head cheerleader Beth Cassidy's second in command and best friend. But all the changes when a new cheer coach shows up--one who demands more of the girls than just shaking pom-poms and inciting the crowd at athletic contests. The new coach wants to take this team to the next level and it doesn't matter how many stai...more
Kwoomac
I've always said you couldn't pay me enough to be a teenager again. This book is all the reasons why. These cheerleaders are so caught up in their little world. For some reason, they think everyone is envious of them and that just made me sad. The thing about being a teen is the whole self-centeredness of it all. You really do think you are the center of the world, everything revolves around you, and everything is a Big Deal. At one point, Addy looks down on Tacey's sister, who is on the debate...more
Missy Cahill
Wow. This was just really, really bad. I knew 10 pages in, that this book, definately wasn't for me, but I hate not finishing a book, no matter how godawful it is {example: 50 Shades of shite Grey}.

Yes the author throws in some typical high school speech {see beyotch etc.} to show the readers that she's down with the lingo, but the majority of the dialogue between the characters was ridiculous. People do not speak like that. "The suns down and the moons pretty," she says, her voice hushed. "It's...more
Florinda
Occasionally I feel like no matter how closely I'm reading a book, I'm missing something. It may be due to something in the writing style that's eluding me or an important element in the story that I don't quite understand for some reason, but regardless of what causes it, I feel as if I'm somehow a few steps behind. Sometimes I'll get to the end and still feel like I haven't caught up; it feels like waking up from a dream that I was trying to understand while dreaming it, and it's frustrating....more
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
Teenage girls scare the hell out of me.

That being said I'm so glad that I was a dork in high school. I don't think I want to be grouped in with these girls.
Megan Abbott does have a way of taking you into the dark side of those teenage years.

These aren't sweet little girls. This is not a young adult book. These girls plot, drink and have sex. You do know they do this in real life to don't you?
Leah
Loved. So. Much.

Full review to come, maybe. Need to digest.

Also, this book is a perfect example of why you can't trust ratings. Most of my friends loved this, and it was just the sort of dark fucked-up pretentiously lyrical (har har) timebomb I adore.
Bonnie
Thank you to Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a copy of this book.
Expected publication: July 31st 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books

'The drone in my ear, it's like the tornado drill in elementary school, the hand-cranked siren that rang mercilessly, all of us hunched over on ourselves, facing the basement walls, heads tucked into our chests. Beth and me wedged tight, jeaned legs pressed against each other. The sound of our own breathing. Before we all stopped believi...more
Simon
So many Goodreaders who are truly good readers love this book that I feel I may be missing something. But frankly, I found it ridiculous.

When books have first person narrators, there is always an issue about how the language the author uses fits, or does not fit, the narrator. When the narrator is a dog, or a baby, there is necessarily a huge mismatch. When the narrator is a sixteen-year old, there need be no great mismatch, though certainly we would not much enjoy reading a book that was writte...more
Nicky
This is the second book of Abbott's I read this summer. I picked this one up based on it's many reviews in magazines and newspapers - I didn't realize it was the same author of "End of Everything" until I had the physical copy in my hands.

To me, her style is unique, but wearing. The voice of Addy is the exact same to me as the voice of the main character in 'End of Everything'. Both are obsessed with their childhood besties and seem to spend a lot of time throwing out colorful, creative lines r...more
Rchinella blondie
Okay.. What to say.. Well, first off, I must admit, that this book grabbed and held my attention all the way through. I was eager to find out what happened. But it also wasnt at all what I thought it would be. The description of the book basically was going to take you on a journey through the dark and deceptive higher archy of teenage cheerleaders. and how their coach introduces them to the darker and more exotic world of what women become. which in essence was true. the story is from the persp...more
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christy
I've seen this described as cheerleader noir and there's certainly an element of that, but more than the darkness of noir this is the darkness of war. Dare Me is a war novel. It is about entering something chaotic and uncontrollable and bigger than you, fighting it with your comrades (and fighting with your comrades), and the consequences of your actions during that war, both the losses (of friendship, of a sense of self, of control) and the gains (of a sense of a togetherness, of strength).

Abb...more
Algernon

Ages fourteen to eighteen, a girl needs something to kill all that time, that endless itchy waiting, every hour, every day for something - anything - to begin.
'There's something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls'


This a great quote that captures the essence of the story and should help a new reader decide if the subject is of interest or not.

I don't think Dare Me is a bad book, but I really struggled with it. It is well written, tense, passionate, yet I was tempted more than once t...more
Jenn (One of Many, We are Legion)
Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I kept meaning to review this book but kept forgetting, that's how quickly it fell off my radar after I finally, midway through, decided to skip to the end.

Intensely disliked this book. The basic premise surrounds a couple of "mean girl" types and the way in which their relationships and dynamic change after they get a new cheerleading coach. Oh, there is also a whodunit mystery revolving around the death of an Army Sergeant recruiter dude. The resoluti...more
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Megan Abbott is the Edgar® award-winning author of the novels The End of Everything Queenpin, The Song Is You, Die a Little, Bury Me Deep and her latest, Dare Me (July 2012).

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, Detroit Noir, Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year, Storyglossia, Queens Noir and The Spee...more
More about Megan Abbott...
The End of Everything The Fever Queenpin Die a Little Bury Me Deep

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“There's something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.” 67 likes
“If it hadn't been what it was, it would've been beautiful.” 15 likes
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