Title: Dangerous Boys
Author: Abigail Haas
Format / Length: Paperback / 336 pages
Publisher / Date Published: Simon & Schuster UK / August 14th 2014
Category / Genre: Young Adult / Magical Realism
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Description: 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…
I loved this book — I really did. But did I think this was as good as I found Dangerous Girls to be? Simply put, no, it wasn’t (for reasons discussed later in this review), and I feel bad for saying that, because I still thought this was brilliant. Haas has a way with words, leaving me, once more, reading her books up until ungodly hours of the morning. Both Dangerous Girls and Dangerous Boys are the epitome of a “thriller” — because they were just that. Thrilling.
Like I said, this wasn’t as good as Dangerous Girls. Here’s why:
- I feel like Abigail Haas has a very certain way of writing, with similar characters and a similar, twisty storyline. This is fine. But it does not make for as much of a shock to the reader after you’ve read one of her novels. And I’m worried that her novels are going to be a “once you’ve read one, you’ve read them all” sort of thing. Her novels, so far, have both contained characters which are delightfully twisted and intriguing to read, and a fast-paced plot and a slightly open ending. While the ending was intense — it wasn’t shocking or as mind-bending as Dangerous Girls’, either.
But let’s not dwell on the negatives, right? Still, I loved this. It was awesome. Like I said, twisted, terrible characters that you just can’t stop reading. I found Oliver particularly interesting, even though he was more than a touch disturbing to read about. (Can’t say I cared much for Ethan. He was a bit dull compared to his brother — but I suspect that was what the author was trying to get at here.)
And the writing! Oh, the writing. I love the way Abigail Haas writes. It’s just so easy to read. I can turn page after page, and the next thing I know I’m halfway though — and oh, look at the time, but who cares about sleeping because this book is so addictive and intense, and I just need to keep reading until I’ve turned the last page.
One of the best things about Abigail Haas’s books is that they make you think. Not in a philosophical, deep way or anything. But she makes you think Damn, humans are freakin’ disturbing creatures. Which is different to read — because YA authors usually aren’t brave enough to go there.