I first read Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas when it was first released in 2013 and the story has stuck with me since then. It might be in part because I have a minor fear of being accused for a crime I didn’t commit (ok, no seriously this is a major fear of mine), but it’s also because it’s just an awesome book. I stayed up late into the night reading it, both unable to put it down and afraid to read what came next. It’s a page-turner that will stay with you long after you read the last sentence. Check out this description and tell me you aren’t dying to know more.
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, the reality is more shocking than anyone could ever imagine…
Long story short, this book is incredible, but if that doesn’t convince you, here are my top six reasons you should stop what you’re doing and read Dangerous Girls right now!
1. It’s a story that could be ripped from the headlines
When Anna’s best friend is found brutally murdered during a spring break trip to Aruba, Anna is charged with the crime and set to await trial in an Aruban jail. The story is reminiscent of sensational news stories like the Amanda Knox trial. Books like these are always so interesting because even though they sound absurd, they’ve actually happened in real life. (For those interested in more books like this, check out this list!)
2. Alternating chapters
The chapters alternate between the past and present, unfolding the story and offering tantalizing clues as it progresses. With each chapter, you might think you’ve figured out the mystery, only to find you’re completely off base as the next chapter begins. As all the pieces fall into place, you finally get a clearer look at the big picture of what happened to Elise and you’ll be surprised.
3. You won’t know who to trust
When Anna is accused of the murder, her boyfriend and a few other close friends are also questioned by the police. It’s not immediately clear who the reader can trust. Could one of Anna’s friends have had something to do with it? Was it a stranger? And most importantly, will they betray Anna to save themselves?
4. It will have your heart beating until the very end
There are very few books that physically affect me, but this was one of them. My heart was racing and I was actually afraid to read on to find out what happens to Anna. Abigail Haas does a great job of working the reader up until the book’s nail-biting conclusion. It’s a visceral experience that places you right there in Anna’s terrifying circumstances.
5. A tropical setting for a grisly crime
The contrast between the beautiful Aruban scenery and the horrors that unfold in this book is pretty striking to say the least. Aruba brings to mind images of beautiful beaches and happy tourist, so it’s an interesting place to set this story.
6. A gorgeous cover
The old saying of “never judge a book by its cover” is completely ludicrous. I love judging books by their covers and the paperback edition of Dangerous Girls has a great one. There’s something about the way the teal of the bedspread and pink of the title look together that is so appealing. This gorgeous package contrasted with the terrible topic of the book is genius. I could stare at it all day.