Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dare Me

Dare Me was not what I expected. There's a danger in filling up your library reserves list with books and then forgetting about them until they come in weeks or months later. When this came in, I looked at the cover and glanced at the jacket flap. It's a book about cheerleaders and has pretty lips on the cover - it's YA, right? I knew it had a dark side - the cover talks about how there's a suicide and the cheerleaders are investigated. I assumed this was going to be a book about bullying - the cheerleaders bully someone into committing suicide, how much blame should they take for it? But I was wrong.

As I started reading, I was struck by the writing. It was literary fiction and clearly not YA. I flipped to the spine - yep, not YA. I readjusted my expectations, but it was an odd transition for me. It's hard to go into a book expecting one thing and get something so different. A literary fiction adult book about high school cheerleaders? You kind of need preparation for that.

The book itself is well written, although Abbott tends toward purple prose in places, mixing it with contemporary slang and pop song references that causes a jarring feeling and just didn't quite work for me. It distracted me from the novel. It was engrossing and I finished it in a day, so clearly the writing and story were strong enough to keep me interested. However, I thought the cheer coach was completely unbelievable and that made it hard for me to accept the story and not argue with all along the way. In the end, I didn't care for it, although I can see how others would. Have you ever gone into a book expecting one thing and getting something completely different? How did it affect your experience?


  1. This looks like a YA book too, with the cover! I think it sounds interesting though, and I wouldn't have the same experience as you as I'm now pre-warned :P

  2. I actually had heard back and forth about it being YA, although it doesn't seem to be noted on the book or in half of the places I look!

    I really enjoyed reading the book but felt that it lacked even a smidgen of positive role model or healthy eating, or something! I think Abbott could have snuck something small and the book still would have worked.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on my site, too! I just reviewed the book as well.

    1. Interesting - maybe that's why I was confused! I was suprised as well that there she didn't really deal with the eating disorders. I think she could have addressed that more as well. I will check out your review!