Dangerous Girls

Zoe N. | June 6, 2014 | Review

Dangerous Girls

Dangerous Girls

by Abigail Haas

Genre: YA Mystery, YA Thriller
Published: July 16th, 2013
by Simon and Schuster

five-stars

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Summary:

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 hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...

Review:

Wouldn’t we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?

How is it possible to review something so brilliant yet so twisted and mind-blowing? Frankly, it’s a near impossible feat, but Dangerous Girls is so amazing that I at least have to try to express its brilliance.

It’s spring break of senior year, and that undoubtedly calls for celebration. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, along with a few other friends, are ready for the time of their lives as they hop on a plane headed for Aruba. But not long into the trip, suddenly Elise is found murdered. And Anna is the prime suspect.

Dealing with prejudice, false accusations, and no one to rely on as her friends – one by one – leave her, Anna is forced to stand her own ground in a foreign country and prove to everyone that she is innocent.

One moment. One picture. One glimpse – that’s all it takes to make someone think they know the truth.

Dangerous Girls is set in multiple timeframes – the day of the murder, present-day as Anna awaits her trial, and in the past as we get the story of Anna and Elise’s friendship. Usually, this wouldn’t work for me as I find whenever books are written in multiple timeframes that the writing tends to become a bit sloppy, but Abigal Haas impressed me by writing in this style and and still managing to keep her writing crisp and fresh.

The characters in Dangerous Girls have the potential to really annoy you – each and every one of them – in some capacity. Even so, Haas has a way of developing her characters – likeable or not – that you can’t deny. She masterfully crafts each character and their motivations, personalities, and different ways of thinking and viewing the world.

All in all, this was absolutely wonderful. The twists and turns were fascinating, and I had to constantly wrap my mind around the constant realizations and discoveries. And, of course, the ending was absolutely fabulous and mind-boggling.

“I win.”

five-stars

84 comments

  1. This is actually a 4.5 Star read for me, it got me so angry, had me bawling and fucking manipulated me until the end! I hated most of the characters, even Anna! I’m so glad this you also enjoyed this Zoe, I feel like this book doesn’t get as much attention as it should! Awesome, awesome review <3

    1. I KNOW! THE MANIPULATION WAS JUST TORTURE, RIGHT? The characters were definitely unlikeable, but it wasn’t for no reason, which was nice. πŸ˜€

      It definitely has been really underrated, no? I wonder why…

      Thank you! <3

    1. YEAH! Glad you liked it too Lauren! Isn’t it just amazing? Definitely worth the read, and, I agree, perfect for the summer!

  2. Oh man, I’ve seen so many wonderful reviews for this book, and you’ve just reiterated the fact that I need to pick this one up asap! I haven’t read a good mystery in a while, and I want to know what all the fuss is with Anna and her story manipulating all the readers. πŸ˜› They sound so realistic, although it sucks that the secondary characters aren’t as well developed. But it doesn’t bother me much when the books is exceptional. Wonderful review Zoe, I can’t wait to grab a copy of this!

    1. You’re going to love this one Joy!
      Hehe…you’ll see! [spoiler]What? You think I’m going to give you the answer?! ;)[/spoiler]
      Even if the secondary characters were a little underdeveloped, the characterization as a whole was still wonderful, so that wasn’t a problem.
      Thanks Joy! Hope you enjoy it! <3

  3. Yay, I am so glad you ended up picking this up after my review, because I feel like it’s a seriously underrated book that is so excellent! I agree, the girls friendship was highly suspicious and so strange, yet there was this urgency while reading the book that had you turning the pages frantically. So glad you enjoyed it Zoe, great review!

    1. Thank you for recommending this to me Jeann! I love mysteries / thrillers, but I feel the decent ones in YA are far and few between, so this was a pleasant surprise! Anna and Elise definitely had an…interesting friendship; I think I’ll leave it at that.

      Thank you Jeann! <3

  4. I remember how much I enjoyed reading this book! It reminded me of all those Dateline Real Life Mysteries I love watching. I’m not joking, I didn’t even catch it when there was the big reveal. I just totally skipped over it and was so confused when I reached the end so I had to go back and read it. But it was definitely very shocking! I mean, that plot-twist/method is used in a lot of books and films but Haas had me totally invested in this novel, suspecting everyone at one point or another and when we found out, it was just WOW.

    1. It’s such a wonderful book, right?

      And yes! God…that ending! I went back and reread it over and over, thinking, “Wait…it never explains who kills Elise!” I was so, so confused! I actually had to ask a fellow blogger to explain it to me, and once I understood it it was just…WOW.

      I haven’t read any books using the same method, so this was shocking for me! I agree…there were times when I literally felt everyone was a suspect!

  5. Ooooh, from the blurb itself, I think it would be good. But reading your review makes me crave books like these <3 Its been a long time since I read something like this, I can't wait to check it out and read it myself πŸ˜€

    1. I agree! The amount of good mysteries in YA are few and far between, so it was awesome reading this one! I hope you enjoy it as well Jules! <3

  6. Amir & Faye were talking about this and mentioning what a mind-fuck it was, so I’m so curious and scared to read it! All the different time frames might irk me, but it’s great that Haas still kept you interested despite that. I’ll probably read this when school starts because when there isn’t school, I have too much time at night to think about this book and probably won’t get enough sleep! Awesome review, Zoe! <3

    1. To say it is completely mind-boggling would be a complete understatement…LOL! Haha…that’s a good plan Aimee! Definitely begin reading it when you have a lot of open time because you won’t be able to tear away from the pages!

      Thank you! <3

  7. I agreeee so damn much. The writing here was top-notch and definitely one of the best I’ve ever read when it came to YA Mystery and Thriller. It was also actually Jeann’s review that prompted me to read this! Haha. I loved how everything was presented in this story – the past, the present, the trials… and how it kept my second-guessing. The ending was really mind-fuckingly awesome, and I think I stared into space for a good 5 minutes upon finishing. <3 <3 I loved this book and will definitely be on the lookout for other books by this author!

    1. I know! YA thrillers and mysteries of this quality are few and far between, so reading this was wonderful! Definitely one of the best! LOL..haha! Twins! πŸ˜‰

      I agree! Usually that style doesn’t work for me because it becomes messy and confusing, but Haas did it perfectly!

      And god! That ending! I went back and reread it over and over, thinking, β€œWait…it never explains who kills Elise!” I was so, so confused! [spoiler]I didn’t look between the lines during the “I win“… silly me![/spoiler] I actually had to ask Jeann to explain it to me, and once I understood it it was just…WOW.

      Definitely going to read other books by her as well!

  8. Great review, Zoe! Additing this to my to-read shelf! I love when there is beautiful friendship. πŸ˜€ And what an interesting cover!

    1. Thanks Lola! Yeah for beautiful friendships, right? <3 (We don't get nearly enough of those in YA!) The cover is beautiful and really interesting, right? πŸ˜€

  9. Oh! Oh! I LOVED The Westing Game….gosh it’s been years since I read that. But you’ve sold me. πŸ˜‰ Maybe I can request it… I LIKE books that mess with my head, but I usually get really confused. I might have to come bug you for answers once I read it, eh?

    1. I KNOW! Such a great book, right? Gah…Turtle…

      Ah-hem…anyway…getting back on topic…Definitely give it a try! You can always tweet / email / PM me if you have a question! πŸ˜‰

  10. Ooo I really like books like these too, especially if they are well done and this sounds awesome!
    Wonderful review. I think I need to mark this one down as to read for sure.

    1. Books that mess with your head are the best, right? πŸ˜€ This is definitely a great one! Glad it sounds intriguing! <3

  11. This is my first time hearing about this book. A few plot twists are great but I don’t like when a book messes with your mind to the point that you don’t even know what’s happening. While it’s not something I’d pick up, I’m happy to hear how much you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! If you’re not into that kind of thing, this probably isn’t for you. But thank you for taking the time to comment! πŸ˜€

  12. So glad you loved this one! I totally loved Dangerous Girls πŸ™‚ I’m personally very into law so the actual court scenes in this one intrigued me. I loved the mystery, unreliable narrator and OMFG THAT ENDING THOUGH.That ending was one I didn’t see coming at all and definitely had to read it 3093824 times to make sure that I actually read it right lol. The friendship between Elise and Anna was also obviously toxic, but I couldn’t help but be fascinated and horrified by it.

    This one is so underrated and I wish more people read it, Dangerous Girls totally left a haunting effect on me.

    Great review girl! (:

    1. ISN’T IT AWESOME? And since you’re into the law, this was probably REALLY interesting for you! LOL…I know! That ending! Goodness! So, so so well-done! It’s definitely underrated, and, like you said, that’s a shame because it’s so well-done. πŸ™‚

      Thank you!

  13. EVERYONE IS READING THIS and I need to jump on this bandwagon soon because this book sounds RIGHT up my alley!

    I am SO SO SO glad to see you enjoyed this, Zoe!

    Fantastic review!!!!

    p.s. are you planning on reading Dangerous Boys??
    p.p.s. I AM RE-READING THE WESTING GAME THIS MONTH (I thought I should mention this since you love it as well! :D)

    1. YES RASHIKA! I know how much you love The Westing Game, and this is definitely like that!

      Thank you!

      And yes! I definitely am! πŸ˜€

      *High-fives* I just reread it with my mom because she loves mysteries as well, and it’s SO MUCH better the second time around because you get to pick up clues you missed the first time you read it. πŸ™‚

  14. I’ve heard great things about this book, and I’ve already got in on my wishlist–I love books that mess with your head too. I’ve not read much in the YA thriller and mystery department, but I’ve got higher hopes for it than a lot of the contemporaries I’ve seen lately. Great review, Zoe πŸ˜‰

    1. If you love books that mess with your head, this is definitely up your alley! I agree…it’s hard to find books that are extraordinarily good in the genre, but this is definitely one of them! Thank you Jessica! <3

  15. I absolutely loved this one. I did a buddy read with another UK blogger as we both got it super cheap at The Works. I literally got it in a 3 for Β£5 deal and had seen no reviews and didn’t know what to expect. We both stayed up till gone 3am to finish it and that end was intense. I am glad I wasn’t the only one who saw a connection to the Knox/Kercher case and I liked that aspect of it. I loved how Haas managed to make everyone seem like a suspect, which goes with the main theme of the novel about how even the smallest detail could make someone look guilty if you spin it right. I was really impressed with the writing and the character development in this. I just got approved for her new thriller, Dangerous Boys (not a sequel) and I am so excited to get to it, hope it’s as good as the first. Great review, as always πŸ™‚

    1. At first I felt like I was the only one to see the connection between the Knox case, so I’m glad you did too! πŸ˜€

      I agree! She definitely has a talent for making everyone seem guilty at one point or another, and that made the mystery so much more intriguing. I literally suspected just about everyone at one point or another!

      YOU LUCKY DUCK! YOU GOT APPROVED FOR DANGEROUS BOYS? Hope you enjoy it just as much as you did this one! <3

      Thank you!

  16. Hmmm… I do love a good unreliable narrator. I just may give this a chance, even though it doesn’t seem like something I’d’ve been attracted to read on my own.

    1. Unreliable narrators are always fascinating. YEAH! Glad you’re willing to give it a try even if it’s out of your comfort zone a bit! πŸ˜€

  17. It’s a new one for me I confess but I just LOVE the cover. It’s nice to discover a book like that and I’m curious about the twists! Great review.

  18. A beautiful review. I can hardly wait to read this book because you made it sound so thrilling to read. I hope at the end of the book I will be able to know the unsuspected twists and turns, how thrilling can that be. Thanks

  19. Oh gosh. I have to agree with you, Jeann’s review definitely made me want to run and read it. The last quote you shared also really intrigued me. I was thinking a lot of the Amanda Knox case, since I saw the Lifetime movie on TV, so I think this book would definitely appease my “mystery” mood right now. Great review!

    1. I KNOW! Her review was just full of awesomeness, right? πŸ˜‰
      It is definitely something like the Amanda Knox case, and it seems a lot of bloggers have thought the same thing. [spoiler]From a physiological standpoint, this was definitely morbid, yet fascinating, because we get to go inside a murderer’s mind, and see how they think, which I found scary, yet intriguing.[/spoiler]
      Let me know if you end up giving it a try! πŸ˜€

  20. I’m a bit hesitant with this one, after having read (or tried to read) another book based loosely on the Amanda Knox story, called Cartwheel, but this one sounds like a much easier read, even if it does mess with your head. It really sounds like a well executed read that will leave you frantic. Awesome review as always Zoe, loved it!

    1. It’s definitely an easy read, even if the ending is confusing. It leaves you with a sense of “WTF?!” (in a good way – I promise!). Definitely worth it! Thank you Kelly! <3

  21. Wonderful review, Zoe! You reminded me that I really really want to read this one, I read some brilly reviews last summer for it, and I too, like books and movies that mess with my head. If you like books that are mind boggling if you haven’t read Gone Girl do it!

    1. YEAH! Glad to hear it Heidi! πŸ˜€ If you’re into books that mess with your head like I am, this is definitely one of them.

      And I’m pulling Gone Girl up on Goodreads, and am definitely going to give it a try! Thanks for the rec! πŸ˜€

  22. I saw Jeann talking about this one too a few weeks back and added it to my TBR to read because of it since it sounded majorly intriguing but now i findit it’s loosely based on Amanda Knox? *moves book up on TBR pile* Is it wrong to be intrigued by that? LOL
    Lily

    1. It is definitely intriguing! πŸ˜€
      And yes, it is loosely based on the Amanda Knox case. (A girl’s best friend is murdered, and she’s the prime suspect). Haha…no! LOL – I was intrigued by that too, because that case (is it still open?!? God!) fascinates me as well.

  23. Maybe this will get me off my slump? I also saw Jeann’s review of the book. I also like books that mess with my head. I’d hope this one messes with me, too, and make me finish it! Fantastic review, Zoe!

    1. I sure hope it does Dre! <3 If you like books that mess with your mind, then definitely give this a try and see where it goes from there! Thank you!

  24. Haha! I love when a book hits you like that when it’s all done. All the twists and turns are wonderful but when a book is able to make your mind boggle at the end like that it really cinches a really great book.

    I agree it sounded very similar to the Amanda Knox case when I read the summary. It makes everything more suspenseful… knowing that it’s a possibility.

    I like that Anna was such a complex character. I loved how you described her in your spoiler. I love that she has such a great bond with Elise. I wonder how she was pinned with the murder…? Dangerous Girls sounds really good even with the characters annoying you sometimes. I really hope everything worked out for Anna!

    Loved this review! Definitely will be adding this to my tbr list.

    1. ABSOLUTELY! Such a great feeling, right? πŸ˜‰

      Exactly! Not only more realistic, but creepier as well, right – knowing that something like that could really happen? It’s a scary feeling, but it makes the book so much better!

      Anna is definitely a complex character. Her bond with Elise was definitely…unique and well-done I’ll say. She was pinned with murder because [spoiler]all of the other people on the trip with them were going sightseeing, but Tate (Anna’s boyfriend) and Anna decided to stay home. The murder happened during the timespan that everyone else was gone, so they were the only two suspects in the house at the time of the murder; thus, they pleaded guilty. Tate’s lawyer was able to pay to get Tate off trial, so he was found innocent even before the trial process even started[/spoiler].

      Thank you! YEAH! Let me know what you think when / if you finish it, okay? πŸ˜€

  25. YESYESYES! I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOUR REVIEW! I actually didn’t understand the ending either…but after reading some spoilers in which readers posted their thoughts, I think I do now :/ ACTUALLY, can I message you about this? I’ve wanted to talk to someone about the ending for so long!!!

    Apparently, Dangerous Boys which is coming out later this month is even better πŸ™‚ (At least according to a few reviews I skimmed through on GR!)

    Fantastic review, Zoe<3 I'm so glad you liked it as much as I did!

    1. YEAH! Glad you agree Shirley!!! πŸ˜€ And absolutely – of course you can message me! I’d love to talk about it with you! πŸ˜€

      IT IS? HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!?! Thank you for telling me! <3

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it as well! πŸ˜€

  26. I love books that explore different timeframes. Some people find it jarring, but I find it just adds to the mystery and it’s nice to be able to piece together what happened from all the different clues that different time periods offer πŸ˜€

    I’m glad this was such a success for you, Zoe!

  27. ERMAHGERD THIS BOOK. It’s been a year since I’ve read it but I still cannot get over the ending. LIKE KILL ME NOW WHAAAT

    Lovely review! <33

  28. Wow, you sound like you really enjoyed this book! It sounds amazing, and…and…and…just. WOW, your review makes me want to read it right away! Argh. I love love love mind boggling books and cannot wait to sink my hands into this one! Beautiful review, Zoe! You’ve got yourself a new follower πŸ™‚

    1. It’s really well done Maddy! πŸ˜€ If you’ve into books that mess with your mind, this is definitely something you’ll enjoy!

      Aww….thank you Maddy! You’re too sweet! <3

  29. I love your reviews, Zoe! You always manage to convince me xD I love a book that messes with your head and has an such an air of originality. Plus your teasing about the ending is KILLING ME. If I ever read it, I expect you to explain it to me too πŸ˜‰ Perfect gifs, too!

    1. Thanks Alise! πŸ˜€
      If you love books that mess with your head like I do, this is something you should definitely check out! πŸ˜€
      Thank you! I hope if you end up reading it you enjoy it as much as I did!

  30. Aaa you really made me want to read this right now! I’ve seen this around at GR, but never really thought about trying it because the cover looks kinda euh for me. But okay, you soo totally got me at the manipulation and the ending thing.
    Definitely adding it to TBR!

    Great review, Zoe!

    Neysa @ Papier Revue

    1. Yeah! My goal is complete than…haha! πŸ˜‰
      I’m not a huge fan of the cover either!
      Glad to hear it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Let me know what you think if / when you finish it, okay? πŸ˜€

  31. To be honest, this book never really caught my attention before because I’m not a fan of the cover at ALL. But I suppose this is one of the times when I really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, huh? πŸ˜› I love stories that mess with my mind as well, and any book that leaves you feeling that that? WANT. And yay for twists and turns! I haven’t read many good YA mystery/thrillers (most of them turn out to be absolutely boring, like The Body in the Woods by April Henry, which I’m reading now), so I’m definitely open to reading more in this genre. And Dangerous Girls sounds fabulous. I’m sooo intrigued by this ending you mentioned.

    The only thing I’m concerned about is that I may find the characters too annoying, despite being developed well. If that’s the case, then I doubt I’d be able to enjoy the story properly! :S All the same, great review, Zoe! Adding this one to be TBR shelf for sure. πŸ˜€

    1. *whispers* I’m not a huge fan of the cover either, so you’re not alone!*

      If you love books that mess with your head, this is definitely something you should pick up! πŸ˜€ I agree…it’s hard to find a really good YA mystery/thriller because most of them end up being so…meh, you know? This definitely doesn’t fall into that trap though!

      To be honest, I think the characters are supposed to be unlikeable. It doesn’t really impact your enjoyment of the story if that’s what you’re worried about! πŸ˜€

      Thank you Megan! Glad to hear it! <3

    1. Hehe! πŸ˜‰ Definitely a good sign, right? πŸ˜€
      Yeah, I have a feeling that this wouldn’t be your cup of tea, but thanks for bearing through my review! <3

  32. I though I’d commented on this but maybe not since I don’t see it >,< Anyways, I read this one not too long ago either an I really enjoyed it. It was such a fun mind-boggly read and I loooved how it ended. Though I had guessed who'd done it, I though it was brilliant the author actually went in that direction. Great review, hun! Glad you liked it too! πŸ™‚

    1. Hmm…that’s odd. I’ll check in spam for you Giselle. Sorry about that! 😐

      It is such a mind-boggling read, right? AND YES! THAT ENDING! I know a few people who guessed it too; but I’m actually amazed that guessing the ending didn’t decrease your enjoyment too much. πŸ™‚ It was definitely a gutsy direction to take on Haas’ part, but I think she accomplished what she set out for. πŸ™‚

      Thank you! πŸ˜€

    1. It’s one of my favorites! πŸ˜€

      I’m totally with you Sophia. If a mystery – or simply any book in general – is predictable, it really makes everything much less intriguing, you know? (Especially in mysteries as it makes the revealing of the culprit much less intriguing!) I found this one really unpredictable and full of twists though!

      Yeah! Glad to hear you’re intrigued! Thank you! πŸ˜€

  33. I am definitely going to have to read this one! I’ve seen the name floating around a lot lately, but your review has kind of pushed me to add it to my TBR once and for all. I LOVE that the ending was crazy, that definitely means it is something I will want to read!

    1. YEAH! πŸ˜€ I’m glad you’re intrigued Shannon! πŸ˜€ Crazy endings are always the best, right? πŸ˜‰

  34. I can’t WAIT to read this. I am finally going to pick it up soon, and after all the amazing things that I’ve heard, I’m really excited about it. I love a book that is clever and can mess with your mind and shock you. I’m already very curious about what happens in the ending. Glad you were impressed with this, Zoe. Brilliant review! πŸ™‚

    1. Sam – I have a feeling you’re going to love it knowing your reading tastes! πŸ˜€ Can’t wait to hear what you think! πŸ˜€ Thank you! <3

  35. OMG THAT ENDING. I just finished this book a few days ago, and I THINK I understand what just happened, but I’m still trying to iron out what I believe. I agree wholeheartedly about the suspense – I read this book in one day, and at times my anxiety about what Anna’s verdict would be made me feel nauseous. Swirling around with that anxiety was LOTS of anger – Haas did a great job of depicting the media and her prosecutor and how they condemned her with little evidence. It’s terrifying to think that really COULD happen – “innocent until proven guilty” is sometimes more ideal than real, and with a little bad luck, I could be in Anna’s shoes. D:

    1. I KNOW! OMG! If you want to discuss it, let me know! I’d love to! I totally agree about the anxiety. I felt so scared for Anna and the judge’s verdict!

      “It’s terrifying to think that really COULD happen – β€œinnocent until proven guilty” is sometimes more ideal than real, and with a little bad luck, I could be in Anna’s shoes. D:” <--- Absolutely!

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