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Dare Me

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  27,121 ratings  ·  3,782 reviews
"Tense, dark, and beautifully written" (Gillian Flynn), this novel of friendship and betrayal from an Edgar Award-winning author is a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.

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
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published May 10th 2012)
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Kelli Broussard I read it in 2 days! Couldn't stop! It's like an adolescent Gone Girl! Amazing book!…moreI read it in 2 days! Couldn't stop! It's like an adolescent Gone Girl! Amazing book!(less)
Janet Actually it's a USA (tv) series, that is now available on Netflix. I did watch it and I haven't read the book because I think the series has been opti…moreActually it's a USA (tv) series, that is now available on Netflix. I did watch it and I haven't read the book because I think the series has been optioned for a 2nd season and I'm not sure what was/wasn't included in season 1 and may bleed into season 2.(less)

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Average rating 3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,121 ratings  ·  3,782 reviews

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Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
i have watched the first two episodes of this show and i am displeased so far. if anyone wants to talk about it, i'm game.


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 waiti
Emily May
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013

“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.
Aug 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: total-crap
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
Jan 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
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
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dare Me by Megan Abbott is a 2012 Picador Books publication.

After reading “You Will Know Me”, I knew I wanted to read more Megan Abbott, and I had even picked this book to be the next in line- It just took me a few years to finally get around to it.

Much has changed since this book was published in 2012. I know it was only eight years ago, but while the ‘mean girls’ trend was successful, and still pops up in various forms of entertainment, its shock value had been greatly reduced.

Still, this
Era ➴
Jan 18, 2021 rated it did not like it
Trigger Warnings: suicide, bulimia, anorexia, alcohol.

I’ve been wanting to address this one for a while.

[disclaimer: I DNF'd the book after Chapter Nine and have only seen a few clips of the TV show on YouTube. So my review is only based on the little bits that I have seen/read/heard.]

I really wanted to like this one. I found out about this because I wanted to watch the TV show (the actual TV show, not clips on the Internet) and learned that it was based on a book. So I decided to read the book
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
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
Elle (ellexamines)
“There's something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.”

This is... a weird book. And it's definitely going to be polarizing. But holy shit, for me, this book was fantastic . It's not necessarily a book you'll enjoy, but oh my god, does it stay with you - this book along with Abigail Haas' Dangerous Girls got me interested in the suspense genre. It has been over a year now since I read this book and it
Dannii Elle
First Read: November 2016, Rating: 5/5 stars
Second Read: April 2020, Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Raw, gritty and completely unforgiving. Abbott exposes the teenage girl populace in a harsh and exposing light in this unputdownable dark contemporary!

Best friends Beth Cassidy and Addy Hanlon are the Queen Bee and Lieutenant of their high-school. Their status as cheerleaders means no more to them than to ensure that all eyes are turned their way as they parade the hallways in packs of short skirts and flippi
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
3.75 Stars* (rounded up)

Yowza! This is Mean Girls at its Very Best and when its Wicked, it's Totally Wicked. And when it's Trashy, it's Totally Trashy. And in those MOMENTS? It is HIGHLY ENTERTAINING.

Dare Me by Megan Abbot is High School Cheerleaders' version of Mean Girls with a little mystery thrown in. It's entertaining and campy and it almost makes me want to be back in High School. To be teased mercilessly. Not.. And I swear the book didn't inspire me to want to go out and buy pom poms eith
Joe Valdez
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-crime
The only generic element in Megan Abbott's vibrant 2012 thriller Dare Me is the title, which promises a standard teen soap opera. The characters are anything but, capable of running intricate risk assessment models on their behavior in order to navigate the politics of a high school cheer squad. Likewise, Abbott, whose fiction was foreign to me when I began this book, demonstrates remarkable discipline, skill and emotional intelligence in building a challenging maze. Despite opportunities for th ...more
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book focused on cheerleading which reminds me of the cheerleading movie called Bring It On. At first the story is fast paced and then there were weird vibes with Addy and her thoughts/conversations on/with Beth, Sarge, Coach, and Casey. This story seems to be about friendship but somehow the relationship is tumultuous. I do like the puzzles Addy was to solve: the lies and the sprinkles of information from Matt.

This book started with a prologue told in the first person point of view followi
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Previously I’d read two Megan Abbott 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 w
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Dare Me is fun, y’all. A great escape. Indulgent. I am planning to watch the series now because I finished this juicy book last night. It’s been called a cross between Heathers and Fight Club, and I can definitely see why. I was entertained, distracted from the world around me, and a bit wicked for enjoying this one so much?!

I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelread
James Thane
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Missy Cahill
Aug 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
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

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,
Debbie "DJ"
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, psychology
I'm having a heck of a time trying to review this one! Megan Abbott's writing is brilliant, and she can get into the psyche of teenage girls like nothing I've ever read. While her writing is as amazing as ever here, the plot didn't thrill me. This story goes into the world of high school cheerleading, and holy shit was I ever surprised! This is not the cheerleading I know, where girls ruffle pom-poms and smile. No, this involves dare devil stunts where injuries can be fatal.

Abbott writes:
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my second Megan Abbott, and it won't be my last. There's something about her razor-sharp writing that is so damn compelling and interesting that goes well beyond the subject matter.

I'll be honest. I don't care too much about cheerleaders and cheerleading, but when you mix a near Machiavellian cruelty to the scene, with all the world-weariness of 14 year old girls, and write the living fuck out of it, it becomes mesmerizing.

A lot of people say that Abbott writes Noir, and it is definitel
I wrote this review while playing Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)." There are reasons why that's appropriate, but that might delve into spoilerific territory, so I digress.

Forewarning: this will be a long review, possibly one breaking the character limit. That might be surprising considering I'm giving this (close to) 5-stars. In the aftermath of reading this, I will definitely be reading more of Megan Abbott's work. No question.

Short version of this review: I freaking loved th
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

"Cheer taught me to trust my girls to catch me when I fall. It showed me how to be a leader."

I read Dare Me nearly five years ago and had a mediocre reaction to it. Then the previews for the television series started appearing and I realized that I remembered hardly anything aside from (a) cheerleaders that were (b) Megan Abbott’s signature mean girl type of teen. Old Lady Brain. So debilitating : ( I set the DVR up to record the s
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
"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
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 writing

Julie Ehlers
The Good: This book was exactly what I was expecting: a noirish thriller, dark and somewhat edgy, full of mean girls, and advancing the notion that the experiences we have in high school are some of the most dramatic and significant of our lives (which for some of us, I guess, they are). Entertaining, propulsive, and well written on its own terms (that last bit sounds like a backhanded compliment, but for this book it isn't—if you read it you'll see what I mean). Will this book change your life? ...more
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I like each and every expression by the writer.
I have enjoyed it.
The keen reader who like flawless
writings as visionary, Should read it.
It's a Young Adult fiction, which comprises suspense in climax as the story leads.
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
4.0 stars
While not perfect, I have such warm feelings towards this novel. The story itself is incredibly compelling, pulling me in from the very first chapter. I did not expect to enjoy a book about high school cheerleaders so much. This novel is classified as a young adult, but personally I felt it is targeted at an older audience, despite the high school setting. The characters and story are purposely sensationalized and over the top. Megan Abbott's writing is raw and visceral, at times remin
3.5 brutal stars.

According to sports injury research, cheerleading is more dangerous than any other sport, with the rate of such injuries doubling between 1990 and 2002. For members of the Cheer Squad, captained by Beth Cassidy, there is less chance of being hurt by doing cheer stunts than by getting between Beth and Colette French, the new cheer coach. Beth rules the roost and she will do whatever it takes to anchor her position at the top of this pyramid.

The story is told from the viewpoint of
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Megan Abbott is the Edgar®-winning author of the novels Die a Little, Queenpin, The Song Is You, Bury Me Deep, The End of Everything, Dare Me, The Fever, You Will Know Me and Give Me Your Hand.

Abbott is co-showrunner, writer and executive producer of DARE ME, the TV show adapated from her novel. She was also a staff writer on HBO's THE DEUCE. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, th

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