Title: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
Release Date: 07/16/2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Thriller
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Description: 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 harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined…
Thoughts: I have a real issue with people who don’t follow rules. My desk at work faces a one-way street and every time I see people driving the wrong way down that one way street (which is several times a day, it’s a quiet street) I get so angry. I don’t know why this bothers me so much, I think it boils down to the fact that I’m a big fan of mutual respect and working hard to get what you want and cheating or somehow bypassing the rules goes against both of those things, in my book.
I thought of this a lot during Dangerous Girls. The story is told from Anna’s, the accused killer, perspective. Anna is definitely a somewhat troubled girl, her mother died of cancer and Anna views it as her mother giving up on her and not loving her enough. Anna’s father seems too caught up in his own quickly growing business to really care what Anna is up to. Anna and Elise (the victim) get together and both seem to mutually corrupt each other with drinking, drugs, and boys.
How does the rule breaking fit into this? It was really difficult for me to read about this poor girl who’s trapped in his foreign prison and accused of this terrible crime by incompetent police. I was actually less consumed with finding out who the killer was and more worried about justice being done for Anna.
I would say by the first 100 pages I had maybe three or four top suspects. Three-quarters of the way through I had narrowed that down to two top suspects. One of them was right. And it was the one I was hoping wasn’t right. Clearly I’m not going to say anything else about this because there’s pretty much no point in reading the book if I ruin it for you, but I will say that as much as I didn’t want to be right, I did really like and appreciate what the author did. I wonder how many other people correctly guessed the killer? I was expecting something really shocking, and I think it is shocking, but since I thought that’s what it could be all along I think it lost some of its shock value for me.
I enjoyed this book, it made me very stressed, but I did really like it. I am not a fan of these sensationalized trials. When I first heard about the book I guess I heard Aruba and thought it was based on the Natalie Halloway case, but as I started reading it was clear this was more of an Amanda Knox situation. I pretty much know nothing about either of those cases. I don’t watch cable news, I don’t really watch any news (NPR all the way!), so I’m not really exposed to these types of cases so I can’t really vouch for this being true to life or not.
Bottom Line: Don’t let my truncated review fool you, I think the less you know about this book going in the better. I enjoyed it, it’s a pretty crazy ride, and I would recommend it, but it’s not making my all time favorite lists and I was somewhat bothered that I was able to guess who the killer was.