The high school cheerleading squad has a new coach: Colette French, perfect in every way, a cool and commanding presence. When a suicide hits close to home, and the police investigation involves Coach and her squad, the girls are left wondering where their loyalties truly lie, and how far is too far to go for those in power.
... Megan Abbott has put her spirit fingers to the task of writing the Great American Cheerleader Novel, and — stop scowling — it’s spectacular ... Dare Me... is subversive stuff. It’s 'Heathers' meets 'Fight Club' good. Abbott pulls it all off with a fresh, nervy voice, and a plot brimming with the jealousy and betrayal you’d expect from a bunch of teenage girls ... Abbott is unsentimental in her descriptions ... Abbott evokes cheerleading in all its sweaty, starving glory.
Dare Me is billed by its publisher as a 'Fight Club' for girls, but calling them 'girls' might be underestimating the binge-drinking, lunch-vomiting, social-climbing queen bees in this dark high school thriller ... what’s exciting about Dare Me is how it makes that traditionally masculine genre feel distinctly female. It feels groundbreaking when Abbott takes noir conventions — loss of innocence, paranoia, the manipulative sexuality of newly independent women — and suggests that they’re rooted in high school, deep in the hearts of all-American girls.
... a mesmerising piece of prose combining deep characterisation and insight with a truly nerve-shredding crime plot ... Throughout it all, there is something wonderfully tactile and visceral about Abbott's prose; her language sometimes poetic, sometimes brutal, always pitch-perfect. The development of relationships in the book is convincing, and Abbott's characters seem to jump from the page fully formed into the reader's mind ... As Dare Me progresses, it develops into one of the most deftly plotted noir crime novels I've read in a long time. The requisite twists and turns subtly embedded within her characters' motivations, rather than springing out of nowhere, are the sign of a truly accomplished plotter ... All in all, this is exemplary writing.