Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
Summary:Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?
Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…
Our lives are made up of choices. Big ones, small ones, strung together by the thin air of good intentions; a line of dominoes, ready to fall. They blur into an endless stream, leading seamlessly to the next question, the next decision – yes, no, no, yes. The line of dominoes falling one by one. Click, click, click, they tumble faster until you can only see the two that really mattered:
The beginning, and this, the end.
Oliver, and Ethan, and I.
This was absolutely wonderful, but I think I prefer Dangerous Girls over this – probably out of more personal reasons than anything else.
This being said, Dangerous Boys still definitely gives Dangerous Girls a run for its money in so many aspects; and I still believe that Abigail Haas is one of the best YA mystery authors I’ve encountered in quite a long time.
Dangerous Boys follows Chloe and two brothers – Ethan and Oliver. One afternoon, the three of them enter an abandoned building. Hours later, a fire takes over the estate, and only Chloe and one of the brothers come out of the estate alive. The question is: which brother survived and what happened inside the estate? Was the fire a horrible accident? Or was it something more?
Abigail Haas really impressed me – yet again – with her mystery writing ability. She was able to place clues and red herrings in exactly the right spots. Just when you think you figured it all out, another clue gets dropped, and your theory is dispersed. She makes you flip page after page without allowing you to take a break. And when the final reveal came?
What I love about Haas’ books is that they aren’t mysteries or thrillers. They’re psychological thrillers, and darn good ones at that. Abigail Haas really dips into the minds of her characters and is able to see how they think and react. This allows her to create complex psychology that has me constantly baffled. From the depression of Chloe’s mom to the way View Spoiler »Oliver is able to manipulate Chloe « Hide Spoiler, Haas really shows us how one little spark can lead to a whole set of problems; and it’s fascinating.
As a protagonist, Chloe was absolutely relatable and fascinating. She’s definitely realistically flawed, and you can’t help but empathize for her. She’s been waiting to leave the small suburban town she lives in for as long as she can remember, but when her depressed mother has an emotional breakdown at work and gets fired, her dreams of going to college are thrown out the window. You can really see how – psychologically – this truly crushes her, and you can truly feel for her.
The side characters were wonderful as well. From Ethan’s sweet do-good attitude to Oliver and his dangerous and slightly cocky personality View Spoiler » « Hide Spoiler to Chloe’s mom and the story of her depression, each side character felt real to me and served the story well.
All in all, if you read and liked Dangerous Girls, Abigail Haas will not disappoint with Dangerous Boys. Haas is definitely on my auto-buy list now, and I’d highly recommend her books to mystery fans.