Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Review: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Release date: August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: No
Source: Purchased
Rating: THIS BOOK IS CRAZY. I blazed right through it. ENJOYABLE it is not, but awesome it is. It's so well done and also
!!!!!?????!!!!  ⊙︿⊙  ヘ(。□°)ヘ ヽ(゚Д゚)ノ


Paradise quickly gets gruesome in this thrilling page-turner with a plot that’s ripped from the headlines and a twist that defies the imagination.

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off on 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 harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined...

The cover: I refuse to even SHOW you the American cover, because it's wretched, and choose only to focus on the UK edition, which is luckily the one I have. Okay. Fine. Here's the American version. It's cheesy and stupid. Let's move on.


The UK version actually looks dangerous. It's sharp and dynamic and utterly frightening, just like the book.

The story: I did not realize this book was written under a pseudonym. Abigail Haas is the pen name of Abby McDonald, who wrote a book I enjoyed, Getting Over Garett Delaney. GOGD is light, heartfelt, and funny. Dangerous Girls is brutal, ugly, and full of mind-fuckery. I can't believe they exist even on the same planet, let alone that they came from the same person's brain. So bravo to Haas/McDonald. Nothing about Dangerous Girls feels forced or amateur or anything other than brilliantly done. This is a crazy, ripped-from-the-headlines ride that will make you never want to go on vacation or make friends or talk to people again. And it will make you do this:

It will make you do this a lot.

Anna, a girl from an elite private school in Boston, goes to Aruba with her friends for spring break. What should be a week of partying and boozing turns into a nightmare when her best friend Elise is brutally murdered. And things become even worse when Anna becomes the target of the prosecution. Soon she's imprisoned in a foreign country and is on trial for her life--all while she scrambles to find out who's lying, and who's a murderer.



This book is powerful. It seizes on to your brain and doesn't let go, even as it horrifies you through tense trial scenes, horrific flashbacks, and painful memories. The plot jumps around in time to better give you a full picture of the circumstances, and you don't breathe once while it does it, either. I felt sick the whole time I was reading this, but in a good way. In the way I was meant to. It's so awful and ugly and... well, dangerous. The writing is brilliant and authentic. Some chapters have the format of a deposition, some of a television report, but most are from Anna's point of view, which is both painful and wonderful. Because Anna is very engaging, and her circumstances are so very terrible, and there's a horrible development every minute as truth perception become totally twisted.

Yeah. This book hurts. Despite the misleading American cover, this is not a breezy beachy read. This is a read littered with broken glass. This is a book about how love can be the ugliest of human emotions, about twisted relationships and violence and TOTAL MIND-FUCKERY and twists and turns and an ending that actually made me gasp "NO!" in a very public place. Seriously, if I'd been in a bar, I would have taken a shot right at the end. THE END DESERVED A SHOT OF HARD LIQUOR. OR SEVEN.

This book is also enormously frustrating, because you root for Anna SO HARD, and the trial is SO UNFAIR. Everybody else in this book is a terrible person. Well, except for one or two, but I'll say nothing about it. Believe me when I say you want to be as unspoiled for this book as possible, so you will also feel like doing shots upon finishing it. Get that tequila ready, boys and girls of legal drinking age. (Just because the minors in this book are corrupt doesn't mean YOU should be.) I became so emotionally attached to Anna and Elise, even though you learn so many gritty things about them. This book is NOT for weaklings. It's not for the faint of heart, or those who can't stomach awful things or descriptions of hardcore partiers. It will leave a foul taste in your mouth, but by god, is it worth it.

The trial is intense and scandalous, but so are the relationships behind it. We spend a lot of flashback time getting to know Anna, Elise, Anna's boyfriend Tate, and Anna's parents. This never drags down the pacing, though; the tension remains bowstring-tight throughout the whole novel. I think I probably turned blue at certain points because I, like a true YA heroine, forgot to breathe so often. Truth in this book is such a nebulous thing, and so is innocence and guilt and my sanity. I'm pretty sure I don't have a brain right now. Like, my head is just a casket full of jell-o.

Oh, and I'm officially NEVER going to Aruba. Or having friends. Or dating. Or drinking. *hides empty shot glasses*


  1. This review has sold me on this book. *moves it up my TBR list*

  2. Wow, sounds sooo good. Awesome review. I cant' wait to get my mind majorly messed with. Also, I totally wouldn't have looked at the book based on the US cover, agree that UK one is much better.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  3. I can't stop laughing at your GIFs. They're perfect! I cheered at the Luck of the Irish one. ;-)

    I knew from reading the synopsis that this was NOT my type of book, and your review confirmed it, which is what good reviews should do! Seriously, loved your review. But now could you sneak over here and spoil it all for me so I can know what happened?

  4. Yes!

    Oh my gosh I have been dying for this book. My tastes in books are so eclectic and this one absolutely sounds like one I would like. It also sounds like the kind of book I'll put a baseball bat next to my bed for.

    Awesome review. You've made me SO excited for this book.

  5. THIS BOOK! I still have all the feels, even if they are freaking creepy feels for this book. Heck, I even get kinda freaked out and uncomfy just reading your review, which means that you rocked this thing! Seriously though, this book was insane and crazy and strange and full of mind fuckery and I loved every single minute of it!

  6. I already started on this book but your review has made me even more excited for the ending! Every page I flip is agony as I see Anna going through the trial because well DUH, it's obviously not her who killed Elise. But unfortunately, the characters in the book don't know that and it's so unbelievably frustrating!

  7. THIS




    I CAN'T.

    (+1 for your use of a DCOM gif.)


  8. Hahaha this review cracked me up! You are so right on ALL counts (except that I totally love the cheesy US cover.) This book was a total mind-fuck, seriously. AND THE ENDING OMG I CANT EVEN. That ending was incredible. GAH.

    Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews

  9. Well, that much squee cannot go ignored. It's on my TBR list now. Thanks!

  10. Okay, okay Gillian. Going to add it to my TBR now. Your review (and maaaaaybe those gifs) convinced me. Any book you describe as THAT powerful? Well, it has to be good.

  11. Ohhh you're the second review I've read in the past few days that have said this book was a complete mind fuck! I really can't wait to read it, plus your review has me totally excited to check it out. It sounds like the Amanda Knox case which was originally what intrigued me about the plot (I went to UW when the Amanda Knox thing first started and followed the story, plus had friends who knew her!) I need to check this book out!!

  12. lol, I love your review :D Not heard of this book before, because I can't seem to like the US or the UK cover (A) but ohh. It kind of sounds just like my kind of book. Must check it out :D Glad you enjoyed it :)

  13. Your review basically makes me want to pounce on this one right away for the sheer intensity that wafts off my screen! It sounds like Haas has definitely written something that would take me on a roller coaster ride if I read it, and I LOVE THAT. I adore the fact that the story seems effed up and crazy and has that "dangerous" edge. Your review definitely has me psyched to check this one out!

  14. This review makes me happy :) xo Abigail Haas


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