Book Talk: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Book Talk: Dangerous Girls by Abigail HaasDangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse- July 2013
Genres: Contemporary YA, YA Mystery
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Other Books From Author: She's written many books under the name Abby McDonald such as-- Sophomore Switch, The Anti-Prom and Getting Over Garrett Delaney.

 
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book synopsis Anna and her group of friends are having the time of their lives on Spring Break in Aruba partying and living at the beach. When her best friend is brutally murdered in the house they are staying at, Anna finds herself quickly being at the center of a murder trial in a foreign country by a prosecutor who seems to have it out for her immediately and friends and a boyfriend who have basically all but abandoned her. Everyone — the media, friends, — seems to think she did it. She knows the truth and learns more as the trial progresses and everything hinders on the verdict that determines whether she is imprisoned or free and whether Elise’s killer gets away.

 

good books to readYou would have thought somebody put a gun to my head and said, “READ THIS BOOK AS FAST AS YOU CAN OR ALL YOUR BOOKS DIE” with how quickly I devoured this one. I started it and finished it in 3 1/2 hours flat with one break to eat. BEGRUDGINGLY. How can one eat when they need to keep reading such a page turner!!? Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas was the kind of page turner that will give you paper cuts from frantically turning the pages to satiate your need to know WHO KILLED ELISE AND HOW WAS ANNA GOING TO PROVE HER INNOCENCE.

So let’s talk about why I was cursing my brain and hands for not working together to read this even faster. And I’m going to try to be suuuuper vague because I think it’s best to go into this knowing the barest of essentials which I’ll give to you.

1. The premise: Okay, so the story is right off the bat going to remind you of the Amanda Knox story. I mean, I feel like I was eyes glued to that case and watching all the coverage and speculating on what happened. It also is going to remind you of the Natalee Holloway story that happened when I was a freshman in college and which prompted my mom to freak out and she made me PROMISE I would not go spring breaking. So Dangerous Girls is this mishmash of the two of them with some parallels but with its own tragedy to tell. The group of friends are in Aruba on Spring break and the narrators best friend is found brutally murdered. An investigation is done and she’s being accused, along with her boyfriend, and she finds herself in an Aruba jail being held until the trial. It’s just the kind of premise grabs you from the beginning because of the prominence of these cases and does not let you go until the very last page as you watch this story unfold where a girl’s best friend has been murdered and she’s prime suspect number one.

2. The suspense/mystery: Ah the way this story was told was just so perfect. All the tension and the suspense was palpable and the author just knew how to make you decide you couldn’t stop reading for even one minute. The world ceased to exist to me because I was so planted in the story. We flip back and forth from the past to the present and it’s one of those seamless transitions where you are eager to learn about the back story in the girls’ friendship, their trip to Aruba and the present day where Anna is facing the trial and trying to prove her innocence. Anna’s account of everything was engrossing. I constantly was changing my mind of who I thought it was and it was really easy to have a couple of scenarios in my head for the couple people who were my prime suspects. I kept flip flopping my theories and my distrust and I LOVED IT. If you don’t at all want to know my reaction to the end, skip the next two sentences. I kind of had an inkling of who the true killer was but I had shoved that theory aside so I was SHOCKED at the end but not shocked when it was revealed. There were some THINGS that made me think it but I was like still like WHAT THE WHAT THE WHAAAAT with the reveal and then that final paragraph.

3. The interesting commentary about media coverage & also the legal process in these situations: I know if this was a real case I would have been one of those glued to the tv watching it unfold. Analyzing the characters every move. I mean, in the book we see just how easy it was for the case to happen and then the media frenzy to unleash their campaign against her and paint her as a cold blooded killer before the trial even begun. They analyzed her background, her demeanor, took pictures of her that made her look like she wasn’t affected by this, etc. They took all these things and spun this story. It was interesting to watch this fictional thing to happen but KNOW this is so how it really is. It becomes a soap opera. Everyone has an opinion and an angle and every little thing is scrutinized and taken out of context. It was fascinating to see how media really plays into these stories. I’ve watched it happen and been one of those glued to the coverage. I also found the way the legal process plays out in a foreign country to be fascinating. I know that was one of those things about the Amanda Knox case that fascinated me but I was really so interested by this in Dangerous Girls.

book reviews

If you like books that you are going to devour from page 1 because of the twisty suspense and mystery, get yourself a copy. This book surprised me! Shocked the pants RIGHT OFF ME. (Don’t worry, I put them back on. OR DID I?) You’ll constantly be guessing who did it and pointing the finger at everyone. I loved the premise and the way the story was told — it was this constant mounting anxiety while I was reading where it all was just so, so palpable  — every betrayal and accusation and feeling of hope for Anna and GAH EVERYTHING. It was a nail biter FO SHO and kept me guessing and completely kicked my brain’s ass at times.

 

 

short book reviewdangerous-girls-abigail-haas

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? What did you think of it? Did you guess?? (If you talk spoilers please label them but I’m DYING to talk about it bc HOLY CRAP!)


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I finished this while I was brushing my teeth and drooled toothpaste all over myself with shock.

  2. This seems like a great book! If I’m honest though, I’d probably spend the duration of it calling Elsie ‘Elsa’ and Anna ‘Ah-na’… I blame Frozen- you should watch it if you haven’t because it’s SOOOOOO good! Anyway, I’m getting a little sidetracked here..! Haha! I love the whole premise of this and I think the bit that I would really enjoy would be the inclusion of media coverage and the legal process- I think I’d just find it so interesting! This book is definitely going on my goodreads TBR! Thanks for the great review!

    • Hahaha I haven’t seen frozen yet but I have heard sooo much about it! I hope you get to this one! You will have to let me know what you thibk!

  3. I didn’t guess, and I actually spent several days afterwards trying to come to terms with that ending. At first I felt like it wasn’t earned by the rest of the book, but I chatted it out with some people and finally accepted its brilliance :D

    • It was one of those things where I kept thinking about it all night like whaaaaat. Am I okay with this?! I’m curious to hear your thoughts on why you originally didn’t think the ending wasn’t earned! I like hearing other observations!

  4. I read this one in one sitting too. I couldn’t put it down. So good! (I guessed, btw!) I mean, that was the ending I was hoping for. How many kinds of twisted does that make me?!

  5. Haha, just reading your first paragraph and I’m already nodding along! Pretty much once you start this book it seems impossible to stop! That ending! I still guessed it, but even so, it STILL felt like a punch in the gut. Mostly just not even what was revealed but HOW it went down.

    • Yes!!! Like sometimes I will guess and it makes me feel meh toward the book but this still, like you said, was a punch in the gut. The reveal was omggggg. I made audible noises.

  6. I think I’ve found my next read! This sounds like such an awesome book, and definitely a story I’d be ALL over if it were real.

  7. Ahhh! Jamie!! So glad you liked this one!! I thought it was super underrated when it came out! So glad it was a page turner for you too. Not a lot of books can do that! I’ve been telling everyone who likes thrillers to get it. Reminds me to grab a finished copy myself :)

    • It’s so underrated!! I was really surprised how quickly I flew through it. It really does take a special book to do that. Time passed and I was like whoaaaa I got really far.

  8. SO glad you wrote this review, Jamie. I’m a big fan of Abigail Haas’ other books that she writes under her real name, Abby McDonald (Jamie, I think you’d love Sophomore Switch!), but I wasn’t sure if I should read this one because it sounded too dark and scary for me. Now that I know that it’s a crazy page-turner, I probably won’t get too scared because I’ll be too busy ripping through the pages. Putting it on hold at the library. Thanks!

  9. I absolutely LOVED this book too! Did you see that she’s writing DANGEROUS BOYS that’s coming out this summer??

  10. Great review, Jamie! I’m getting married in 72 days and it’s SO hard to focus on books right now with all the wedding planning. I’m sure you can relate! It seems like this book will be able to hold my attention!

    • Oh my goodness yes I so know what you mean!! I could not focus on anything esp at that point in time. This will definitely hold your attention!!

  11. I just read this too! Man, what a trip. It took some severe reflection and discussion before I could deal with that ending, lol.

  12. I’m convinced. :) Great review!

  13. Oh man, this sounds amazing! Awesome review, I am going to add it to my TBR now!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  14. Christina R. says:

    This sounds like such a perfect thriller – and I love how it’s got a wonderful location that turns into a place she just wants to leave.

    The media commentary is so timely too :)

    Lovely review :)

  15. I’ve been putting off reading Dangerous Girls for nearly a year now, even with the stellar recommendations I’ve been getting for it! It seriously sounds like a page-turner, and one that I’ll have to read in one sitting. I promised Racquel (The Book Barbies) I would read it soon, and I am encouraged by your review!

  16. this book blew my mind and no doubt made me feel all sorts of emotions. the ending caught me a little off guard, i wish it wasn’t over!

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