Synopsis: Paradise in Aruba quickly gets gruesome in this “ripped-from-the-headlines thriller (Kirkus Reviews)” with 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 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 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 could ever imagine…
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller
My thoughts: This is the type of novel that you don’t need a bookmark for because you’ll end up reading it in one sitting. Dangerous Girls is the mystery novel that I didn’t know I needed in my life, and it has successfully become one of my favorite novels of 2016. If I were to sum up this novel in one sentence, I’d say that this is a YA equivalent of Gone Girl (don’t worry the plot isn’t identical). This novel is addicting and will engross you from the first page until the very last. It is a novel full of twists and turns, taking you through different points in time in order to figure out not only who killed Elise, but why.
Dangerous Girls follows Anna going through the investigation and brutal trial followint the murder of her best friend, Elise. The story also jumps back in time in order to show you past memories of Anna with Elise, her boyfriend, and her other friends spanning from years ago to days before the murder. It helps set the stage for the reader to realize that the relationships in this novel weren’t picture perfect. In fact, they had so many flaws that they were bound to crumble under the slightest tension. Haas expertly uses the scattered timeline of the novel in order to present the reader with important facts first and then unfolds secrets and twists along the way. It successfully kept me on the edge the entire time, wondering what had happened to lead up to Elise’s murder.
I was obsessed with this novel in a way that I can’t articulate. It was the perfect murder mystery novel that held enough intrigue to keep me reading until one in the morning. Just when you begin to suspect one person of being untrustworthy, another person enters the narrative with a secret that leaves you wondering what is truly happening during Anna’s trial. This book showed how corrupt the judicial system was in trying to pin the murder on Anna and was described in a way that made me ache with sympathy for her. I rooted for her throughout the entire story and felt connected to her the most as she slowly opened up her memories to the reader.
Her relationship with Elise was what really made the entire book. They had this infectious chemistry shown throughout different points in the novel that made me wish they had an open relationship. It was the one aspect of the novel that bugged me the most, but once I finished the story, I understood why the relationship wasn’t official. Their friendship ruled the novel and was so complicated and twisted in a way that really set the tone of the entire story
Each character in this novel was incredibly complex. Their pasts unfurled as the trial went on and more flashbacks were introduced into the story. There wasn’t a character that I truly trusted and that’s what truly makes a page turning mystery novel. It hooked me in, got me invested in the mystery, and made me actually scream at the last line of the novel. If you are looking for a novel that has a web of secrets and mystery and makes you question your judgement at the turn of each page, then this story is for you. You will not regret picking up this novel that deserves to be made into a film because of how mind boggling it was.