Book Review | Dangerous Girls
*I received a copy of this book for review, but was not compensated financially in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based solely on my experiences while reading this book.*
Title: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
About the Book:
Paradise quickly gets gruesome in this thrilling page-turner with a plot that’s ripped from the headlines and a twist that defies the imagination.
It’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 harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.
Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined…
I finished reading Dangerous Girls last night and today, I’m still thinking about it. I think because the ending shocked me so much. I really did not see that coming. Most of the time I can predict how it will play out, but Dangerous Girls kept me guessing the entire way through until the very end.
The chapters are fairly short and the book jumps from present to past. However, I found it flowed very well and was perfectly paced. The author did a great job at captivating my attention and making me want to read just one more chapter to see what happens.
Anna, the main character, and her friends head down to Aruba for a Spring Break vacation. After a night of partying, no one hears from Elise, Anna’s best friend, despite numerous texts. They assume she had a late night and is sleeping off a hangover. When they realize something isn’t right when Elise isn’t responding to the texts, they climb into her room via a first floor balcony and make a grisly discovery.
All the teens are questioned by police. Anna and Tate (Anna’s boyfriend) find themselves under police scrutiny as suspects in Elise’s murder. Anna is held in jail indefinitely, but Tate is able to go to his family vacation home thanks to his parent’s money.
I was beyond frustrated with the investigator on the case, Judge Dekker. He was bent on proving that Anna murdered her best friend despite evidence that said otherwise. It was like Anna was talking to a brick wall. No one would listen to her side. The police, her friends and the American media all presumed her guilty. I really felt bad for her and the situation she was in. She’s stuck in a foreign jail with limited support and being publicly vilified by the media. It reminded me of the saying, “Screaming to be heard”. No one was listening (or caring).
I liked the flashbacks in the book where I could learn more about the relationship between Anna and Elise. It was a very close friendship and perhaps a bit of an obsession with each other. It’s definitely not a typical friendship that I could even relate to having as a teenage girl.
The book also reminded me that anything taken out of context can be contorted to make a person look bad. Innocent photos can be made to be something they aren’t. I’m sure we all have things in our past we aren’t proud of. Imagine having all those moments on public display. This was Anna’s reality and I felt empathetic for her. It would be a horrific situation to have to try and defend things that happened that were innocent at the time and are now being used against you to serve another person’s agenda.
The end, simply put, shocked me. Whatever you do, don’t read spoilers for this book. Don’t peek ahead. You need to experience from page one to end not knowing what will happen. This is author, Abigail Haas, first young adult thriller. I hope she does more! If you love a good mystery, pick up a copy of Dangerous Girls and be prepared to be swept away in secrets and lies.