Author: Abigail Haas
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Release Date: August 1, 2013
Source: Simon&Schuster Australia. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Book Depository
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.Review by Nara
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...
Recently, there seems to have been a sudden influx of amazing young adult titles. I mean, just look at all my recent reviews- they all seem to be four or five stars. Dangerous Girls is definitely one of the books included in this influx. Suspenseful and completely riveting, it is certainly a title to look out for (by "look out for" I mean go to the bookstore and buy it. Now.)
One thing that I do have to say is that I predicted the big twist. I think I read too much young adult or something; it's so rare for books to completely surprise me these days. There are also two smaller twists in the middle and towards the end, which I also managed to predict. You'd think that I'd be completely disappointed with a book in which I could foresee practically all the events. WRONG. Despite the predictability, Dangerous Girls was still incredibly compelling. I was kept reading because I wanted to find out whether I was right about my speculations. And in mystery novels, it feels kind of good when you're right because it's like HA! I TOTALLY SAW THAT COMING. Or, you know, you were able to pick up on the clues that the author includes or whatever. And in retrospect, there actually are quite a few clues throughout the book which hint at who the culprit is.
Anna. Anna, Anna, Anna. She is such a complex character. While she has some definite flaws, there's something about her that makes her an interestingly likeable character. I mean, you definitely have some sympathy for the poor girl- being accused of murdering her best friend, basically abandoned by her friends in a foreign country, locked up in a jail full of felons- but it's more than just that. Because the book is told from her point of view, you can see the roiling emotions, the heartbreak, the betrayal that Anna feels. And it really is written quite well.
Another thing I quite liked about the book was that it wasn't completely derailed by the romance. I mean, sure, I like some romance in my books, but in this particular novel, I would've hated to see it overshadow the mystery. There was a bit of a hint of it here and there, but I loved how Haas didn't make it the focus- that would've been frustrating, because, the whole book, all you really want to know is what the hell is going on- not whether Anna has to choose between two guys in a superficial love triangle.
And HOT DAMN those last two chapters were EPIC. Sure, I knew the gist of what was coming, but the actual execution was freaking legendary. The last line in the second to last chapter- WOW. The book deserves 5 stars and an incredible just based on that one line.