Reagan Arthur Books, 2012
Audience: Adults, Older Teens
Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy's best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they're seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls -- until the young new coach arrives.
Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach's golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as "top girl" -- both with the team and with Addy herself.
Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death -- and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.
This was on a list for people who like Veronica Mars. That’s me! My coworker had read one by her, reminding me that I had meant to read Dare Me. I grabbed it, and she said, (to tease me) “Is this one of those books you’re going to check out and never read? Because that’s what I think when I check out a book.”
I renewed it 3 times and managed to get a $2.50 late fee, but I read it! Yes, I made sure she knew.
So the story started off really strong. It had a dark, ominous tone. I knew something bad was coming but couldn’t predict what or who would be the victim. Despite the fact that Bring it On is all bright and funny, I found myself wanting to watch it again just because of the cheerleading storyline in this book. Very distracting.
I liked the psychological thriller aspect of it and the doubt that the author created. Who was the crazy one - Beth or Addy? It was like a tame version of Gone Girl.
However, the ending got to be cliche and stereotypical and bothered me. It had a scene in it that didn’t contribute to the story and didn’t fit the audience of the book. I wouldn’t expect a coach to act the way Coach did with her team, either. Other than that, I enjoyed it. I’ll read more books by her, but I won’t expect to give them high ratings.