Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DARE ME by Megan Abbott a mother/daughter review + giveaway

by Megan Abbott

Reviewed by Laura Kay (mother)

Addy Hanlon and her best friend Beth Cassidy rule their cheer squad; Beth as captain and Addy her lieutenant. The squad doesn’t just look up to them—their afraid of them. But when Colette French walks into the gym and takes over as cheer coach everything gets flipped around. Coach French has every intention of taking her girls to regionals and she needs to get them ready. First things first she dethrones the cheer captain.

Beth seems to lose interest in cheer and begins running more wild than usual. Addy is preoccupied running after Coach. The girls are getting stronger and better at cheer. The coach starts having them over for late night drinking parties. Coach French begins turning her attention to Addy. She begins entrusting her talking to her like she was an adult girlfriend instead of a girl on her cheer squad.

Addy's new bff seems to be Coach French. But we haven't seen the last of Beth. She's been watching and waiting in the wings. Coach French thought she could take away her captain's position on the squad? Beth wants Coach to pay for what she's done.

As the girls prepare for the game of their high school cheer career, there is a suicide. Addy finds herself right in the middle of it all. Entangled in a web of lies.

Dare Me is filled with sex, lies, alcohol, eating disorders and brimming with teenage angst, but that’s just the first few chapters!

I have to admit it took me a few pages to connect with first person, Addy. I’ve read a number of books with a teenage protagonist, but the authenticity of Addy’s voice was dead on—I felt like this is how my teenage daughter or her friends would think! Not only did Abbott nail it with the voice, but with Addy’s perspective. Addy seems obsessed with her new coach, she wants to replace coach with her best friend Beth.

And Coach! Coach French is an odd one. She seems to be someone who peeked in high school and isn’t ready for the grown-up world. The more I read it seemed like her dethroning of Beth had less to do with the squad and was more about replacing herself in Beth’s position. She didn't seem coach like, more like one of the girls.

With each page I delved deeper into the dark world of high school. Parents turning a blind eye to what is going on with their kids and the kids being in such a rush to grow up.

Suddenly, the story takes on a dark twist. I actually stopped counting how many times I put the book down in my lap and said, “holy—“ yeah, it’s that good! I really figured I knew where it was headed, I was wrong. Then I thought something else, yeah wrong again. I no longer knew who or what to believe! I just knew I couldn’t stop reading until everything was revealed.

I thought it was an awesome book! Amazing! Loved it! Fresh, different and authentic! I recommend grabbing a glass of wine and get ready for a long night of reading!

By Megan Abbott

Reviewed by Alyssa Kay (daughter)

“Dare Me” follows a young high school cheerleader named Addy Hanlon. Addy has always been lieutenant to her best friend of forever, Beth. When the new school year starts, they also get a new cheer coach. This new coach planned on molding theses stereotypical cheerleaders into real athletes. Coach battles with Beth for power and respect throughout the story. Addy continuously ignores Beth’s warnings and remarks about Coach and finds herself becoming Coach’s close friend. This new alliance causes trouble for all involved. As the year progresses, Beth appears to lose interest in cheer and more interested in setting up Coach’s downfall. However, this downfall ends in a way no one could have expected, not even Beth.

Alyssa Kay (yes, I blacked out her school)
At the beginning of the story, it felt like I was reading a soap opera. Everything was very dramatic and radical. Having been a cheerleader, I found it a little unbelievable how quickly their cheer team turned from blah to oh-la-la. This story took a while for me to really get into it, but about halfway through I could hardly put it down. It seemed whenever the story was going one way, Abbott turned left. All in all, I really liked the book. I would definitely recommend the book to anyone with a taste for drama and/or mystery.

Megan Abbott Website
We have one ARC copy to giveaway to someone with a US address! The winner will need to respond to our email within 48 hours! Good-luck!


  1. Only intramurals. I wasn't a jock at all.

  2. I love the mother/daughter review!

  3. I was on the track team for a little while - but hated it! lol

    I enjoyed your mother/daughter review. :)

  4. I definitely want to read this one. I love how dramatic it sounds! I played tennis in high school, lots of fun!

    stephaniet117 at yahoo dot com

  5. I tried out for softball but quit!

  6. Megan Abbott's books have been on my To-Read list for several years, so this looks like it might be a good place to start. Thanks for this great pair of reviews.

  7. I played softball in high school but it was through the community not school.

  8. No team sports in HS, I was a non-conformist and didn't want to be in any cliques in school, it was a horrid HS. I did ballet instead.

  9. I played varsity soccer all through highschool. Thanks for the giveaway! lukesmommy85@gmail.com