dangerous girls by abigail haas, abby mcdonald
published: july 16th 2013
genres & keywords: young adult, mystery, dark, thriller
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 hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.
As she awaits the judge’s decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine…
.::RATING: 3.5 STARS::.
Wouldn’t we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?
Yes, we probably would.
Because anything can be artfully spun. You’re crying? Well, it’s obviously fake. It’s clearly unbelievably dramatic and too scripted.
You look grief-stricken? Oh, that’s the guilt eating away at you.
You’re trying to keep it together? Stay strong so you can be useful? Sociopath.
Would it had made a difference if I had cried? I’ve had long enough to think about it, but even now, I can’t know for sure. If I’d fallen apart, and wept, and screamed. If I’d curled up, shaking, into a ball in the corner of the station and refused to speak. Would they have believed me then? Or would they have just found another way to spin it: that my grief was remorse, for the terrible thing I’d done. that my outbursts were too fevered, too public, too much for show. an act to cover my tracks.
My first thought was: is Anna a reliable narrator? Can I trust her to tell me the truth? Because this is told in first person point-of-view, switching between past and present, all we had to go on were her thoughts and memories. Could that be trusted? Every first-person POV has a bias, but how biased was hers?
I put myself in her shoes and felt utterly frustrated. What would it be like, to know you were innocent, to feel that you were innocent, and have no one believe you. Your friends, family, society, everyone thinks your guilty. Once something like murder comes into the picture, everything gets analyzed. What did you mean by this two years ago? When you did that four months ago? Anybody can look guilty if you look hard enough.
I think that’s what frightened me the most, out of everything. That no matter what you say and what you do, people can still chose no to believe you.
Talk about Nightmare Fuel.
You see it now. It’s obvious. You’re probably wondering how I could have been so blind.
But I was.
I was so suspicious of everyone. I would go back in forth between all the characters, convinced they were guilty. I suspected everyone and everything; I was such a paranoid mess. It’s just that, all of a sudden, things become very real. In high school as teenagers, we make a big deal about petty bullshit: who betrayed who, who said said something bad about someone else, et cetera. But when there’s a dead body in the mix, it’s no longer a game. Things aren’t merely petty anymore.
I look for reasons, and answers, for hints and warning signs. I take our final moments on the island apart and spread them flat, like a prosecutor hunting for the glint of gold in the murky dust of the riverbed. Sometimes I think I see something: a glance, a worried note in her voice. A hug that lingers too long, the buzz of a text message she doesn’t check. But the vision blurs; details mix. Memory and imagination are only a knife edge apart, and I wonder if I’m making it all up; slipping false memories in among the real ones, just to have something to hold on to. Fool’s gold.
Once the truth was revealed, I felt like I had an epiphany. It was like everything shifted a little bit. You know when you look at some common object that’s been in some spot for 5ever and one day it was slightly adjusted and you’re just left staring at it like, what’s different? What changed? It looks the same but… it also doesn’t. You know that feeling? Well, that is exactly what I felt.
It took a while for me to really get hooked on Dangerous Girls. For about 45% of the book, I was moderately interested and it was something I could abandon at a moments notice. I think it took a bit for the author to really get comfortable, but once it happened the writing loosened up, the story took over, and that’s when you get snared.
You’re thrown into the fray right from the beginning, with no introduction, so most of the beginning was laying the groundwork. Feeding you the foundation so that later, when all the twists and turns come (and trust me, they will), you can jump to your own conclusions. Being kept in the dark both worked to the author’s advantage and disadvantage, personally speaking.
All in all, if you’re looking for something fucked up and incredibly addictive then… *slides you book*