DARE ME by Megan Abbott
52 books in 2013 challenge: book #34; Finished June 23
Really great mystery about girls on the high school cheerleading squad and their new coach, about friendships/frienemies, murder, adultery — the real type and the girl-friendship betrayal.
"There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls."
Coach said that once, one fall afternoon long ago, sharp leaves whorling at our feet.
But she said it not like someone’s mom or a teacher or the principal or worst of all like a guidance counselor. She said it like she knew, and understood.
Megan Abbott really gets teenage girls and there’s something so nostalgic and painful about the world she shows me as as a 25-year old and so many things I think teenage me would have really related to.
You see, these glitters and sparkle dusts and magicks? It’s war paint, it’s feathers and claws, its’ blood sacrifice.
The characters are realistic teenage girls — empowered by their own bodies strength and sexuality while at the same time crippled by insecurity and the need to assert themselves while maintaining a Girl Code balance. The relationships are interesting and felt like relationships I had at that age.
This is the first book by Megan Abbott I’ve read and I thought it was well written. The copy on the back of the book claimed it to be “a FIGHT CLUB among cheerleaders.” I would argue it closer to A Separate Peace, if A Separate Peace included texting, tampons, ana/mia references, YouTube. Maybe that’s a ridiculous comparison but that was the feeling I got from it — sure, they got beat up and bruised from cheerleading but all the real fighting was quiet, mostly not spoken but texted instead, and the jealousy, and a far off feeling of recollection.