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Dare Me

Cover of Dare Me

Dare Me

A Novel

The high school cheerleading squad has a new coach: Colette French, perfect in every way, a cool and commanding presence who instantly wins the girls' approval and allegiance. The girls find themselves drawn into Coach's life, opening up to her and eagerly vying for her attention. But when a suspicious suicide hits close to home, and the police investigation involves Coach and her squad, the girls are left wondering where their loyalties truly lie—and how far is too far to go for those in power. When it's all over, someone will emerge on top, and the others will have fallen. Megan Abbott brings all of the raw passions of girlhood to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of what it means to be a leader, and what it means to truly fly.

The high school cheerleading squad has a new coach: Colette French, perfect in every way, a cool and commanding presence who instantly wins the girls' approval and allegiance. The girls find themselves drawn into Coach's life, opening up to her and eagerly vying for her attention. But when a suspicious suicide hits close to home, and the police investigation involves Coach and her squad, the girls are left wondering where their loyalties truly lie—and how far is too far to go for those in power. When it's all over, someone will emerge on top, and the others will have fallen. Megan Abbott brings all of the raw passions of girlhood to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of what it means to be a leader, and what it means to truly fly.

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About the Author-
  • Megan Abbott is an Edgar Award-winning author of several novels. She received her PhD in English and American literature from New York University and has taught literature, writing, and film studies at New York University, the New School, and the State University of New York at Oswego. She lives in New York City.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 7, 2012
    Edgar Award-winner Abbott dives into a gut-churning tale of revenge, power, desire, and friendship in the insular world of high school cheerleading, in her latest (after The End of Everything). Addy Hanlon, 16, has always been second lieutenant, “fidus Achates,” to her best friend Beth, who’s pep squad captain. But when a new coach flippantly removes Beth from power and takes Abby as her confidante, Beth turns vengeful. The new coach transforms the squad, changing it from a costumed clique to a competitive team and earning the cheerleaders’ adulation, but the squad’s development has a darker side: eating disorders, rivalries, cruelty, and the blurring of lines between student and adult. The coach has a darker side, too, and Abby is drawn into her secrets, including a troubled marriage. A shocking turn sends everyone spiraling wildly—and traps Abby in the middle. Abbott’s writing in her sixth novel is deliciously slick and dark, matching her characters’ threatening circumstances, and the plot is tight and intense, building a world in which even the perky flip of a cheerleader’s skirt holds menace. “There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls,” one character says. Indeed. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House.

  • AudioFile Magazine DARE ME provides a shocking glimpse at the dark side of American girls and the culture of high school cheering. Narrator Khristine Hvam compellingly portrays Addy, the main character and ÒlieutenantÓ to Beth, a popular girl who dominates everyone she encounters. Vocal distinction is also given to the bevy of cheerleaders and to the only major adult figure in the girls' circle, Coach Collette French. A suicide--or was it murder--touches the girls as the story recounts the drastic lengths to which they go to maintain their social status. The picture is anything but uplifting. Nonetheless, this portrait of American teen culture, with its cell phones, instant photos, texting, and intense focus on being slim, should attract many young female listeners. S.G.B. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
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Dare Me
Dare Me
A Novel
Megan Abbott
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