Title: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 388 Pages
Published July 2013
Add it on Goodreads!
Summary: 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...
Without spoiling anything for you, I'm going to talk about the ending of this book first. Which is basically your cue to go add this book to your TBR list and get on it. Also, Dangerous Boys comes out this month, which I'm so excited for!
Okay. So about the ending of this book. In some ways, it was the ending I was expecting, in other ways, it was not. At all. From the first few chapters I felt that I was able to develop who really killed Elise, as the story is told from Anna's perspective and you as a reader know she is innocent, but the surrounding characters (most importantly, the judge) do not. So those last few chapters definitely had me on the edge of my seat, and let me just say, I have a statement and a question:
Question: What the heck is Mel's problem with Anna?
Statement: That verdict was not what I was expecting. At all.
As for the character of Elise, Haas earns major brownie points for conjuring a character like her up. She reminds me a lot of Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska, which is my absolute favorite book of all time, so right away I latched onto Elise's character and loved hearing about her from Anna's perspective.
Holy crud, I'm really trying to write this review with no spoilers and it's so difficult because there's so much that I want to talk about without ruining the book for you asdfghjlk. But alas, I will try.
Tate is a DINGUS and I didn't like him from the very start. There was something very sketchy about that boy, and then all of a sudden charges are dropped against him but NOT ANNA? Lying sack of dingus.
I went into this thinking that this story was going to be something along the lines of Pretty Little Liars, which in some ways it was, but in many more ways it wasn't. Anna was being relentlessly tormented by lawyers and inmates and the media--everyone assumed she was guilty without even giving her a chance. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but Haas tied an important theme into this story--the way that everyone in this world seems so quick to jump onto the bandwagon and not give it a second thought without knowing all of the facts.
And this Clara Rose news anchor lady women Satan spawn thing--what the heck was her problem?!? She spent countless episodes of her show bashing Anna and accusing her, but then she's all sugary and sweet in person, especially in the end. What's your problem, lady?
All in all, Dangerous Girls was a gripping and super-interesting story that I sped through because I couldn't drag my eyes away from the page. I suffered from "One More Chapter" syndrome with this one, which is a good thing, I promise. Haas is a great author, and even though this is the first book of hers that I've read under this alias, this isn't the first book of hers that I've grown to love. Great job!