Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
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...
Welcome to Zoe Made Me Read It, your soon to be favorite part of this blog. Because let’s be real- there’s nothing like making your friends read the books you love. Even when they give them 2.5 stars on Goodreads. I’m looking at you, Zoe.
My name is Katie, and my game is to review the books that Zoe makes me read. Hahaha. The title makes so much sense now, doesn’t it? I’m basically a genius.
Zoe recently recommended me Dangerous Girls, fangirling like there was no tomorrow. “But Katie, it’s almost as good as Percy Jackson! Almost.” That’s a direct quote from Zoe herself. Or vaguely direct. I don’t know. It’s hard when you don’t have a great memory LIKE ZOE’S. Sorry Zoe. Love you. But I knew that if it was up there in Zoe’s book heaven where the Percy Jackson books are gods, then it was interesting enough for me to try.
At a first glance, Dangerous Girls is a stereotype wasteland. Elise, the bad girl. Tate, the picture perfect jock boyfriend. Chelsea, the pot-smoking artist, and her pot-smoking twin brother Max (runs in the family apparently). Mel, the good girl who doesn’t know what the heck she’s doing with her crazy friends. And our main character, poor poor Anna. The only girl who isn’t rich enough, and therefore is a scapegoat for all the nefarious deeds done in Aruba. Stuck on an island, accused of murdering her best friend. What, you say. How are all of these people even possibly in the same book? Isn’t it a stereotypical mess?
Well, I don’t know how she did it, but somehow Abigail Haas managed to make it all work. I know. I know. I was overwhelmed too. Haas’ writing makes the story somehow believable in an unbelievable type of way (if you know what I mean). I know that Zoe said it was something like the Amanda Knox trial. And that’s exactly what it was. It was like those true stories you see on the news but they can’t possibly be real because they’re so far-fetched. Yet they are. That’s Dangerous Girls. It’s the tabloid section of the Internet in a book, telling the accused’s story. People Magazine sometimes does segments like that. Their side of the story.
Anna was our main character. Through our many flashbacks to before the murder and the days leading up to it, we were able to get Anna’s point of view on everything, but not in a straightforward way. The retelling of the murder was just like Anna – twisted and confusing. Anna is this character who you can just tell is damaged, inside and out. Anna is possibly the worst and the best narrator you could have. Her retelling is constantly shifting, the story told in pieces and fragments that make it that much harder to figure out. But the story fits Anna, this lonely girl stuck on a island, manipulating everyone’s feelings, including yours (you can try to pretend she doesn’t affect you, but she does. SHE DOES).
And let’s talk about Elise. She’s a rebel in every way, someone who lived how she wanted to and didn’t care what anyone else thought. She and Anna were inseparable. Best friends. But their friendship was tainted by their lives. Their world was such that the innocence of friendship was twisted into something that wasn’t anything worth having at all. They were toxic together, but alone apart. And when Elise was killed, Anna was alone. Anna is so dependent on Elise, her best friend, and without her Anna is such a lonely character. Without Elise, Anna was a piece, not a whole. They needed each other to keep each other up, but with each other turned against everything. It was such an interesting dynamic throughout the book as you realized that this was no ordinary friendship. It shrouded every word with a hint of unsteadiness, a touch of doubt placed in your mind as you realized that there were so many layers to Anna and Elise. Their friendship (compared to the rather lackluster and slightly underdeveloped friend group) was the only well developed relationship in the story.
This mystery was one of the best I’ve read. Full of suspense and intrigue at every turn. Haas writes an amazing story that compels you to read on. Honestly, it completely makes up for the weird cover. Kidding. Kidding. The cover isn’t that bad.
5/5. This was undeniably a good book. I loved it. Whatever, Zoe. You win this time. So you made me read it. But I loved it. So… I win.