Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.
Published: July 16, 2013.
Published by: Simon Pulse.
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...
Dangerous Girls is a book that you want to go into knowing little about it. It is a book that seems straightforward but isn't, so knowing too much about it could spoil the experience for you. That said, this is going to be a short review because I'm going to try not to give too much away. If you don't want to read further for fear of losing some of the experience (which is what I'd choose, if I were you), I'll just say that I strongly recommend reading this one and that I suggest you go into with as little information and as few expectations as possible.
This is an interesting read, exploring the court case against Anna as she tries to prove that she is innocent of Elise's murder, as well as flashbacks to various points in their friendship and parts of their Aruba vacation. Jumping around in time to see all these different scenes could have been confusing but instead I found that they were stitched together so well that it only made for a more exciting and more intriguing read. I also loved that there were snippets included of the media's coverage of the case, showing how they tried to portray Anna in one light or another -- often negatively -- and how that contradicts what comes from Anna's narration. The characters are strong and well written, especially Anna. They are all structured within the plot so perfectly that the novel is smooth and pulls off its finale excellently.
I wish I had been able to go into it without expecting something major to happen because, since I knew *something* was coming, I was constantly trying to come up with what it could be instead of watching everything play out as it did. Because of this, I had a hunch about the truth. I still think that all the events played out extremely well -- clearly this book was thought through and plotted with skill -- but I wish I could have enjoyed this smart writing without analyzing it the way I did in anticipation of a shock.
Definitely worth a read, but try to go in without any assumptions or ideas about the ending (I know, hard after I've been talking about it, but I warned you!) and just enjoy the journey. Also, when you recommend it to others (which I think you will after you read it), keep everything hush hush!