Summary (from Goodreads):
“Since both girls were small, Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and right-hand lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls – until the young new coach arrives.
Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl” – both with the team and with Addy herself.
And then a suspicious suicide hits close to home, and the police investigation focuses on Coach and her squad. As Addy begins to suspect what really happened, the line between right and wrong grows blurrier, and she must decide where her loyalties truly lie-and how far is too far to go for someone you love.
The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as “total authority and an almost desperate intensity,” provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.”
This book has been called Lord of the Flies for teenage girls. (I think I read that in Entertainment Weekly or possibly in People, both of which reviewed Dare Me recently. At any rate, I didn’t come up with it myself. Please don’t sue me.)
This is a very interesting book and it’s been well-received (currently on Goodreads, it has a 4 star average), but for some reason, I just couldn’t connect with it. It’s got a great premise and it’s similar to a lot of books that I love (pretty much every book that has a teacher that overly connects with their students) AND it was blurbed by authors I love.
Part of it, I think, is that I didn’t understand exactly why the students (especially Addy) were so in love with Coach French.
Even so, there is definitely something to be said for a book that’s interesting enough that I will keep reading it even though I don’t like any of the characters.
This is definitely one of those books that you’ll need to read for yourself.