Book Review: Dare Me by Megan Abbott

“There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.” (p.5) In Megan Abbott’s new novel there certainly is. Beth has always been the queen bee, the cheer captain, the Top Girl, with Addy as her best friend and lieutenant. But when the squad gets a young new coach, a real coach, things begin to change. Now Coach French is the person the cheerleaders admire, strive to be like. Beth and Addy begin to get involved in Coach’s grownup world but when the police begin to investigate a questionable suicide, Addy must decide where her loyalties lie. But who will be the first to flinch, Coach or Beth?

The intriguing prologue hooks the reader and keeps the pages turning in search of the truth. The ambition and manipulative talents of the novel’s teen girls is unsettling. Equally troubling is their all-encompassing world of cheer: “God, it must be terrible not to be on cheer. How would you know what to do?” (p.130) Fans of psychological suspense will enjoy this tense and claustrophobic tale.