Summary from Goodreads: 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 ever imagined...My take: I probably would have passed on this book except that some fellow bloggers posted great reviews on Goodreads. And I agree with them -- Dangerous Girls is a suspenseful, creepy read that's one part psychological thriller and one part legal drama.
The story switches off between three different timelines: the night before Elise's murder, the legal aftermath, and flashbacks to Elise and Anna's relationship. Normally, that many different story threads might be too much, but in this case the time shifts are easy to follow and the flashbacks provide necessary insight into Anna and Elise's relationship.
If you read true crime or follow the news, you might see parallels between this story and two well-publicized cases: the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005, and the 2009 trial of American foreign exchange student Amanda Knox for the murder of her roommate in Italy.
Like Natalee Holloway, Elise is on vacation in Aruba when tragedy strikes. And, similar to Amanda Knox, Anna and her boyfriend are put on trial for Anna's best friend's murder. The big question in these two real cases and the fictional one in Dangerous Girls: what really happened? The book's jumping around in time ensures that the reader gets information bit by bit, with every chapter revealing a new piece of the puzzle. All the legal wrangling is cleverly juxtaposed with both the flashbacks and the coverage of the case by a Nancy Grace-like reporter, highlighting the way that facts can be twisted and manipulated.
As gripping as an episode of Dateline, Dangerous Girls squeezes out every bit of drama and suspense and delivers a tale with some crazy twists and turns.
If my winner is a US resident, they'll receive a finished copy of Dangerous Girls, to be mailed on Monday or as soon as I receive their address. If winner is international, they can choose any book up to $10 on The Book Depository. (US winner can choose this option too.) Entries close Monday, July 15 at 8 am EST.
To enter, just leave a comment and tell me about a favorite book that kept you guessing until the very last page. If the account you use to comment isn't linked to an email or to a blog with contact info, then please leave an email in the Google Doc. Thanks!
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