Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Published July 16th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Summary: Paradise quickly gets gruesome in this thrilling page-turner with a plot that’s ripped from the headlines and a twist that defies the imagination.
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…
Review: Dangerous Girls is fantastic. I don’t know how to put it into words except read it, read it, read it, you need to read it.
Dangerous Girls is one of my new favourite books. It is exactly what a murder mystery should be. Admittedly, I haven’t read many mystery books (the last being Prep School Confidential which I also loved) but I can say that this is a mystery book done right.
The plot of the book really sold me – I haven’t read any books that revolved around trials so this was a change I really appreciated. I haven’t read any of Abby McDonald’s (her real name, Abigail Haas is her pseudonym) books so I can’t vouch for her writing but if it is anything like Dangerous Girls, you bet I’m sold. I enjoyed the two different accounts of what happened at spring break and at the trial and alternating chapters.
Between the alternating accounts, the pacing was great. I appreciated that there wasn’t a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter, but simply accusations versus reality. It was done simply and intertwined so easily.
The plot as a whole is leading towards a mature group of the YA group. There is a lot of vices involved, as it usually does with spring break. The book reminded me a lot of the movie Spring Break, only much better and less… pretentious. There’s a lot of relatable characters and many story lines that reflect our current society, all while remaining true to being a mystery.
I’m sure we’ve all met an Elise at some point in our lives, that wild party girl that will stop at nothing. Timid and always cautious (aka the wet blanket – you always have one of those in your group of friends) Mel, the second head bitch in charge Anna and the boys that roll with the group.
The book is realistic, which I think is why I loved the book a lot. It’s thought provoking and has a lot of ‘what would you do if you were in their shoes?’ situations. It gives you a real insight of a friendship between girls, a real account of what happens when crazy nights gets out of control.
I’m not familiar with the judicial system in America, let alone Aruba so I can’t vouch for the realism of that particular area. It did, however, add a lot of depth to the story. I found myself guessing who killed Elise and each time it gets more frustrating because you can’t help but root for Anna’s not guilty verdict.
The ending was mind blowing. I didn’t at all see that coming and I honestly thought I had it all figured out. I went back the last couple of chapters, read and re-read thinking I must have missed something but no. It was such a fantastic twist that will keep you thinking: how did I not see that coming?
I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a fast-paced mystery or a good book – you will not be disappointed!