Title: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 1th 2013
Rating: 5 stars!
Wouldn't we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?Oh. My. God. This book, guys, this book. After I saw Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) raving over this, I knew I had to buy this... And boy, am I glad I did! After that ending, I had a complete breakdown, let me tell you!'
Dangerous Girls tells its story in an unique way: the narrative flips from 'before' to 'after' to 'the trial' to... you get the idea. We see little pieces of the story in one big build-up to the final verdict... and a little piece after it. Haas handled this style masterfully: I was never confused what had happened when, and although the scenes are generally short, they provide plenty of information. It also is really pleasing to read when you have a hard time focussing on a book or are in a hurry but want to read for a bit. I was afraid it would be too short and jumpy for me, but I found myself really enjoying the style and marvelling at Haas' talent!
The characters are those characters you love to hate... I disliked every single one of them, except Elise (more on that later) and Anna (half of the time). I thought the dynamics in this group of friends resembled reality quite well. And Mel! I totally recognized one of my former 'friends' in her. (Although I must say that we get along fine now that we're no longer in the same circles!) Her clingy behaviour was EXACTLY like how it was then... So props, Haas, for making it realistic! And then there's Elise... Everyone I know who has read Dangerous Girls hated her, and I'm quite sure that everyone who is going to read it will hate her as well. Of course, I am the odd one out! I really liked her character, even though she was a complete and utter bitch. She's that stereotyped slutty girlfriend, but there was something different about her, so I didn't mind at all (maybe it was that she was dead, haha). She was... fascinating, really. I really liked her!
This book also does something unique with its romance: instead of seeing a girl fall in love, we see her falling out of love. Although the story is mostly focused on Elise's murder and Anna's trial, we got to see quite a bit of the romance between Tate and Anna. Throughout the novel, Anna's feelings for Tate seem to ebb away, and it's done in a believable way. Although I disliked Tate from the start, I could feel myself falling out of love with him right along with Anna. Does that make sense? Probably not.
Another thing handled really well: the way you suspect everyone. Like, literally everyone. At first, I was like: Yeah, it's totally them. No wait, it's them. No wait! It's THEM, I'm sure. And then the ending happened. THE FREAKING ENDING. Oh my God, it was totally awesome! I actually had a little breakdown (I kept yelling on the internet in all caps and saying "Oh my God. Oh my God."!). Hehe. Yeah, that ending is so confusing and you just want to laugh like a maniac and maybe cry and keep saying "Oh my God". Trust me. Just read this and you'll know what I'm talking about!
In all, this was a wonderfully crafted novel with characters you're going to love to hate, a reverse romance, the feeling that everyone's guilty, and THAT ENDING. Read this, I swear you won't regret it!