Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Don’t let this cover fool you. This book is 50 shades of CRAY.

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Author: Abigail Haas
Series: standalone
Read: January 25th
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 16th, 2013
Genre: mystery, thriller, contemporary
Rating: ★★

 In short: How do you summarise a book that BLEW YOU AWAY? This book is madness. Possibly the best YA portrayal of friendship and complicated teen dynamics I’ve ever read. And the writing! And everything! And- !!!

GoodreadsIt’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…

So I’ve been on a thriller kick lately, binge-reading Tana French and Gillian Flynn (both of whom you should 1000% check out if you’re into creepy adult mystery—very creepy when it comes to Flynn). In fact, I’d say the genre of February is thriller. Even though I technically read these late Jan. But that’s besides the point. What I’m getting at is that this book didn’t feel inferior in any way to the best adult suspense I’ve ever read. It’s gripping, shocking, jaw-dropping, everything I’d ever want from a mystery.

Anna and her gang of friends—boyfriend Tate, BFF Elise, Chelsea, AK, Max, Melanie and Lamar—are ready to take Aruba by storm. It’s spring break, in months they’ll all be in college, but the future is put on hold while they party. Until Elise is found dead in their swanky beach house, and their lives are turned upside-down. Suddenly they’re swept up in the investigation, still nursing wounds from Elise’s sudden, gruesome death. And then Anna finds herself the main suspect in her best friend’s murder.

Wouldn’t we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?

Let me start with the writing—this book isn’t written, it’s crafted. Every bit of information, every flashback, every reaction is carefully moulded and fitted into its slot, all to stop your heart at the big reveal. It’s a jigsaw puzzle of clues laid out before you piece by piece, and the jaw-dropping end yanks you back to see the finished work, the big picture that was there all along. To me, that’s what really matters in a suspense novel. the slow build-up and then the reveal. One could say this one is as painstakingly planned as…cold-blooded murder.

Throughout the book, you’re rooting for Anna. It’s almost like living the trial with her, being bullied by prosecutors, lied to by your friends, called names and accused of unspeakable things. She’s absolutely the perfect character to tell this story. And though at first glance she’s one out of a loud, reckless friend/quiet friend duo, I never felt the urge to jeer at her and Elise. Their dynamic was insane, that inexplicable sisterhood that grows so far beyond just friendship. As someone who’s that tight with her best friends, I appreciate that very much. YA could do with less lone wolves.

“How much do you love me?”

Seriously, Dangerous Girls is no-holds-barred. You will suspect every single person in this damn book. And you will love the ending, even if (and this is unlikely, I think) you guess it. It’s just that much of a holy-bagels conclusion. This right here is the best YA thriller I’ve read, and you need to read it too. Right. Now. Preferably while listening to M.I.A and Natalia Kills and Neon Jungle very, very loudly.

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