Dare Me - Megan Abbott
Megan Abbott wrote this book in such a way the there can be no mistake, this was written by a woman - someone who has had first hand experience in the angst of the teenage girl. She captures the nuances and complex emotions of female relationships perfectly, displaying the typical 'pack' mentality that happens in high school where the fragility and force of hierarchy is so, so real. Seeming to have had almost first hand experience about the cheerleading world in general, the book captivates you with its strong characters, who at different levels are all competing in some way or the other. The book is narrated by Addy Hanlon, lieutenant of the girl hierarchy that is led by Beth Cassidy, captain of the squad and girl-bully of note. That is, until Coach Colette French moves in and breaks the vice hold that Beth has on the squad, and on Addy. This was a fantastic read, and kept me guessing alot. I did though, find the heavy American slang and ever present high school lingo a bit distracting, making me re-read some paragraphs to make sure I got the gist of what was said. A psychological thriller that involves bullying, sexual confusion and expose into the secrets and lies of girl-world, as Coach said, 'there's something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls'