Archive

BOOK REVIEW: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

BOOK REVIEW: Dangerous Boys by Abigail HaasDangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

 

Dangerous boys , dangerous boys who won’t share their toys…..Yeah, okay, that was weird but…yeah. Anyway. It felt right! Lol. I think that kind of sums it up, though, wouldn’t you agree?? After reading Dangerous Girls a week or two ago, I’ve been enraptured in the simplicity of it’s severity-the idea that something that is supposed to be fun, a break from reality, turned into something that would change one group of friends’ lives forever.

A heartbeat, a split-second’s whim, that’s all it takes to change your life forever.

No, I wasn’t shocked by the end-I even guessed it. But the point is that the execution hadn’t escaped my attention. More and more I started to long for a creeptastic end like in DG, but didn’t quite know where to turn. So, the next obvious step was to find out if boys can be as scary as girls in Haas’s other novel…but what I didn’t know was that I was going to become so wrapped up in this story that I wasn’t going to like what happened to my beloved boy(s)-for there was no happy ending that included all three of them-none that could possibly satisfy my need for safety and a wonderful life for my favorite brother. None for the flourishing relationship between a small town boy and a girl who longed to get away….and none for the wild card with a thing for baby brother’s girlfriend that entered an already peaceful scene and blew it all to bits.

Two bodies, two sets of clear blue eyes.
One survivor. One way out of this.
History is told by those who win.


 photo giphy 25_zpsfyttaclp.gif

I’ll admit I assumed that most of the story would mirror that of Dangerous Girls. In all actuality, it was nothing the same. I actually got everything I wanted that I didn’t get in DG with this story-it was real time and it was all in progression and in order of events…I LOVED THAT!!! I love that we got to see the crazy seep out of every pore and that we watch the inevitable demise of each individual-what lead up to it, who made it out of the house alive, why they made it out of the house alive, and how everything began to go downhill at a rapid pace. I was guessing after every page, after every chapter, spinning so many different scenarios and begging it to land where I wanted it to, pulling my hair out, all the while forgetting that even if what I wanted to happen happened….how could anything ever be okay?? And where could it possibly go after that?

You can never really know someone.

****

We’re all strangers, in the end.

So many emotions, so much squealing, hoping, praying, making deals with an invisible book God just so things might turn out even a little bit okay, I was a mess from page one. Once I take a stance, I am hard headed and I don’t budge on what I feel, so no one could reason with me or pull me down from the ledge once I’d made my decision on how this just had to go. In that regard, it was so much different than DG, because I built up this deep-rooted connection to the main character, but also for the boy who stole my heart. There was still a really cool format, but it worked much better for me this time and for this story-A ‘before, now, and after.’ And it was so simple. I loved switching back and forth and seeing where it was all heading…even as I saw us all careening toward the edge of a cliff with no breaks on the car. But I was all in. That’s the point, isn’t it?? I was in that car, sitting right beside Chloe and Ethan and Oliver-all of us in a terror filled journey where crazy takes a back seat to cold-blooded logic.

It’s me, it’s all on me.
So I choose.

***

Blood in the hospital, blood at the house. Blood soaked through my T-shirt, sticky on my hands.

Sinister with an end that chills you to the bone, I guarantee you’ll get at least a little satisfaction, no matter what side you rest on. The journey these characters take is something I can get behind. And while I did love this story a little more than DG, I find myself giving it the same rating-why? Why is that? Well, it’s simple-The story may have ripped it’s claws deep into my stomach, but it still ripped so deep that I was emotionally damaged and disturbed, and I can’t say every moment of this fucked up novel satisfied me. And I guess I’m horrible because I just didn’t like the way things were spelled or written, sometimes…it felt a bit, hmm, rushed? So, yeah. It wasn’t as clean cut and precise, writing wise, to me, and it chilled me deeply more than once-both in good and bad ways. And, while the end was thrilling and deeply disturbing (and I totally didn’t guess where the end was going even though I had most of it right), it didn’t give me the same malicious contentment her other work did. And I don’t ever compare-ever-but in this case, there were similarities (and tons of differences) that I couldn’t help comparing-like a badass ending.

‘What did I do to deserve you?’

***

We assume the sun will rise every morning just because it has done every other day, but what happens when you wake up to darkness?

Anyway-some of you will love this, and some of you would probably like the other story by this author better. One is real time (ish), and the other centers around the conviction of a best friend who is in the wrong place at the wrong time on a vacation from hell. In all reality, they are both so fucked up I guarantee you won’t walk away the same person. You’ll wonder what kind of people hide beneath their ‘perfect’ or ‘pretty’ or ‘well-read’ personalities and smiles-you’ll question what kind of world you live in that this fictional story could even exist. But, I’ll be the first to tell you-this is real. This happens. People are fucked up…and all you can do is be yourself. After all, that’s what we are trained to do-Be the perfect kid. The perfect student. The perfect boy/girl. Look out for yourself and try to take care of those around you…but it all circles right back around to you, doesn’t it? All for one….and one for all.


 photo falling-dominoes_943_zpsuddum0t2.gif


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. 

 

BOOK REVIEW – Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

BOOK REVIEW – Dangerous Boys by Abigail HaasDangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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…

DISPATCH : Nine one one, what’s your emergency?

CALLER : Please, I… I think – I think I have to review this and –

DISPATCH : OK, we’ll send help. Just calm down, and tell me where you are.

CALLER : I don’t fucking know! I mean, yes, it was unputdownable and gritty as hell but in a good way, you know? All these emotions we fought every once in a while, discarding them because bad, bad, bad us to think such things, see? Abigail Haas magnifies them, showing her special talent for unraveling all the layers of pretending. Take these characters. I hated them. Each and every one of them at some point. But God, do I love them still! Because –

DISPATCH : Where are you, honey? What happened?

CALLER : Ugh. I was talking there so – what was I saying – oh, yes. Despite all theirs flaws and the moments I wanted to 1)slap them, 2)shake them, 3)make a face at them, 4)call the cops, and fucking run – the truth is, they are the kind of characters I want to see more often in my books. I crave for them. Why? Because I’m a psychopath? Come on, don’t be silly. No – In my opinion, what makes them so captivating is their unpredictability and above that, their complexity, because even if I can’t relate to any of them, yet I can find shattered fragments of myself in every one of them. Don’t lie : that’s probably the same for you.

DISPATCH : I’m sending an ambulance now. Tell me what happened, where is he hurt?

(Silence)

“From the moment you’re born, people start folding you into neat pieces and tucking you inside a box of their own design. (…)
That box becomes so cozy and warm, you never really notice that you’re bent double, fighting for room to breathe.”

DISPATCH : Honey? Are you there? Talk to me.

CALLER : (whisper) I can’t say anything. Look – I know many readers prefered Dangerous Girls and although I can understand why, it remains that these two books are different on so many levels that I can’t bring myself to compare them. Are you looking for a mindfuck? In that case, you may be disappointed, as some clues appear to be easy to grasp. Do you want to wander into the human mind, in the inner darkness everyone hides? You’ve got your book, then.

► Pick your choice.

“Stop pretending. Stop hiding. Stop being the girl they all said you should be.
Imagine that freedom. God, can’t you feel it?
What harm could it do?”

BR with my fantastic partner in crime, Chelsea

BOOK REVIEW: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

BOOK REVIEW: Dangerous Girls by Abigail HaasDangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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...

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

Yikes. So. I kind of hated this book. But….I really liked it, too. I needed something drastic, a shock to my system. I am on a major book high after I finished the Jasper Dent series. It’s not often that books put me so out of commission that everything afterwards becomes a heaping pile of poo, in my eyes. So, yeah, I had to read something dark, something so sinister that I couldn’t possibly start fantasizing about my lovely, flawed Jazz. But, when I signed on here, I knew I might not wholly enjoy the experience. That I might find characters that were so beyond flawed that it borders on a depressing line that I wasn’t ready to cross (I do so love a good flawed character these days, but woo buddy these were some fucked up characters). That I may be disturbed by the events leading up to the crime. I was 100% right.

I’m not guna lie. I knew who did it. I knew who the killer was. I can’t talk about why or how or what prompted the murder-you have to read it for yourself. It’s not easy to guess who it is and you’ll likely be floundering up until the final moment on whodunnit.

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

The story is constructed in such a manner that you’re never bored. You never find yourself wanting to put it down. Each new page unravels another part of this intricately woven story and you start to speculate, to wonder, to explore any and all options. It fluctuates between present day (her trial), ‘before’ (the vacation where it all happened), and the past (high school where she, Elise, Tate, and the other girls all met). We get to see all aspects of the story in every perspective possible, but it doesn’t quite give you the full answer. I won’t lie and say I think this is a fantastic, wonderfully put together novel. I mean, it is! But, I can’t say I loved the format. I also can’t say I hated it. *Note: Please realize I have this under my ‘blur rating’ shelf* I think I just thought….well, I thought there’d be more from the vacation? Maybe that it would show the story leading up to the murder, all in one consecutive piece? But it didn’t. And now I understand why it didn’t, but it doesn’t change the fact that I thought this was a ‘real time’ story. Which is likely my own fault and hang up lol.

Would it have made a difference if I had cried?

Sporadically changing between the trial, when she met her friends, and during the vacay, we begin to see hard truths and ugly betrayals unfold. I think this is where my heart began to hurt. I am such a cliche person, in the fact that, unless it’s a Courntey Summers novel, I don’t much like ‘dark’ books. I mean, I love harsher stories now, whereas I didn’t before. But I need that silver lining, you know?? I am the epitome of the HEA dream. I crave it. I need it….but then again, I really don’t-not always. I just need characters to root for, that I care for, that I can obsess over. And, while I did root for our main character’s freedom and innocence, there wasn’t really anyone else to care about. I snarled at the screen when something would go wrong with her trial, when someone would alter the events that clearly they were glossing over, but, in the end, only having one character to ‘late’ (I didn’t love/like her but I also didn’t hate her….it was a mix) didn’t really do it for me as a whole.

I stare in the mirror, and remind myself: I’m here, I exist.
I’ll be okay.

My rating stems from three things-

The writing. It was great, compelling, kept me on the edge of my seat and flowed without ever being blunt or shortened for effect. I liked that…That sounds specific, but when writing flows, it flows. I don’t know that many stories constructed as such could be considered as ‘fluid’ as this one.

The end. I simply loved it. Want to see my absolute favorite quote/moment/revelation? It’s essentially a spoiler, so look at your own risk. If you’ve read it, you’ll know who said it. If you haven’t? Well, it’ll be your fault for looking. View Spoiler » Chills. Just many many chills.

The simplicity and gripping nature of the novel. The need to know more, even if it wasn’t the format I’d have liked.

So…that’s it.I hope I did a good job of expressing not only my concerns and issues, but also of letting everyone know that the story is strong and altogether gripping-even if you don’t like it, you’ll likely still make it to the end in record time….that’s just a hunch. After I finished, it was 2 AM and the house was dark- I needed to let my dog out in the back yard and found myself *not so discreetly* peering outside the back door, lest someone stab me repeatedly because I wasn’t aware. Don’t worry, my Pomeranian would have kicked their ass. I needn’t have worried.


How much do you love me?

BOOK REVIEW – Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

BOOK REVIEW – Dangerous Girls by Abigail HaasDangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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...

This book scared the hell out of me. For real. And that’s saying something, because I’m not easily frightened except for clowns – and freakin’ dolls with blank eyes who stare – but who wouldn’t? What do you mean, everybody isn’t afraid of dolls and clowns? Are you kidding me? They’re so fucking weird and unnerving that I shiver when I think about them. Anyway, the fact is, I can read about almost anything without being scared at all, either serial killers or ghosts, yet this book reaches my biggest fear : not being believed by others.

Why did this book affect me so much?

Perhaps it’s because I can relate?

When I was in my early 20s, I was friend with a girl who reminds me Elise (and Anna, for that matter) – not really in their behavior, because we didn’t go out like them (no judgment here, just facts), but because how possessive our friendship became. Quickly, we developed a fusional relationship, and yeah, at first I didn’t realize, that was so subtle. She was nice, we got along well, we had fun, and we let go of many other friends without even realizing it, creating a protecting cocoon around us. When my BF and I started to date, we came across the same difficult adjustments, and after some time, I genuinely thought that we were good. Until she started calling me all the time, and our interactions became filled with jealousy more often than not – I felt it, this urge to swear that everything would stay the same, to promise anything to make her more happy about the situation, while in my heart I just wanted to tell her to leave me the hell alone because I felt suffocated. That was it – we finally stroke a balance – but the fact remains that I’ve stayed scared as hell by female relationship for a few years, until a wonderful friend convinced me that a real friend wouldn’t want to make you feel guilty for being happy. Feeling neglected is hard and unfair, and I’m not saying that we have to forget everyone when we’re in love, far from it. But emotional blackmail is never okay.

Is all this unsolicited personal information helping to understand this book, you’re asking? I don’t know, but I think it affected my perception of the story, showing me, if I needed it, that the way the relationships are portrayed here, how twisted they seem to be, can be fucking realistic, unfortunately.

The truth is, we all would look guilty. When everything can be interpreted in a way or another, how can you be sure that you’re not digging the grave that will send you to jail? That everything can’t be twisted to make you look guilty? You can’t, that’s simple like that – let alone in the society we’re living in, always so saturated by information that we have a hard time deciphering what to believe. And if that’s not the most frightening thing of the world, I don’t know what is.

Throughout the book we suspect everyone, including the main character, Anna, and that’s what gives Dangerous girls so much strength in my opinion.

To conclude

✔ It’s gripping, overwhelming, and I was hooked from page one.
✔ The use of interviews, texts, trial records and other phone conversations make this story look like a true investigation where we, readers, are struggling to follow the tiniest clue and damn how I love it.
✔ The writing is perfect, as it makes everything so fleshed out, whether the characters or the settings – damn, I was there, with them, at every fucking moment they live.
✔ Don’t expect it to be some light investigation – that’s raw, painful to see all these relationships being dissected until each and every one of them look downright toxic.

To be frank, I think I equally loved and hated it – but even if it ripped my heart and depressed me, this dark psychological thriller is just so damn brilliant to be rated lower.

© 2018

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: