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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,140 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Megan Abbott Narrator: Khristine Hvam Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781611134698
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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.

The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as "total authority and an almost desperate intensity," provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “An extraordinary writer.”

    Nick Hornby, New York Times bestselling author

  • “One of the most exciting and original voices of her generation.”

    Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A fascinating, almost voyeuristic, glimpse into the power struggle that goes on between teenage girls…There’s a dark and twisted love story here, told with a rich sensual undertone that lingers long after you close the last page.”

    Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author

  • “I dare you not to love this book. You lucky reader.”

    Tom Franklin, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Arresting, original, and unputdownable.”

    Rosamund Lupton, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Haunting…If cheerleaders scared you in high school, you’ll finish…Dare Me convinced you were right.”


  • “A taut, twisted tale…Dare Me shimmers with dark sexual tension and poisonous possibilities.”

    Marie Claire (UK)

  • “Make no mistake, this is no pulpy teenage tale: it’s a very grown-up look at youth culture and how bad behavior can sometimes be redeemed by a couple of good decisions.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Megan Abbott’s chilling new novel…turns the frothy world of high school cheerleading into something truly menacing.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A psychologically astute thriller…Abbott’s latest is not only a page-turning mystery—it’s also a close look at teen girls’ ferocious rivalries and intense bonds.”

    Entertainment Weekly (Summer 2012’s Hot Reads)

  • “Sexy and sinister.”

    New York Times (Summer Beach Read Pick)

  • “A tense, fast-pasted psychological thriller.”

    Times (London)

  • “Mesmerizing…One of the most deftly plotted noir crime novels I’ve read in a long time. The requisite twists and turns subtly embedded within Abbott’s characters’ motivations…are the sign of a truly accomplished plotter.”

    Independent (London)

  • “A compelling, compulsive read.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Abbott…finds the nearly sinister underside of everyday events and somehow builds great suspense from ingredients that seem so familiar. Abbott has become expert at revealing truths we thought we knew but didn’t, delivered in prose that is by turns elegant and incantatory.”

    Daniel Woodrell, Edgar Award–winning author of Winter’s Bone

  • “Terrific…Abbott takes a plot that seems torn from the headlines and transforms it into Shakespearean tragedy…This is cheerleading as blood sport, Bring It On meets Fight Club—just try putting it down.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Dare Me sneaks up on you from behind, pulling on long-forgotten memories of teenage desperation, obsession, and desire. This is truly masterful storytelling.”

    Alafair Burke, bestselling author of Never Tell

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2012
  • A 2013 Anthony Award Finalist for Best Novel
  • A 2012 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • Selected for Oprah’s Summer Reading List
  • A 2012 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Finalist
  • A Booklist Best Book of the Year for Crime Novels

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abeille | 2/20/2014

    " This book surprised me by pulling me into its story with an iron grip. I thought this would be a summer book, fun to read but easily forgotten. I won't say this will be one of my favorite books, but I know I'll remember it. It brought back some painful memories and really captured the feel of those teenage years I was happy to put behind me. It's not a comfortable read, but one that I would recommend. Book #80 in the Book a Week Challenge at the #WTM boards. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ali | 2/17/2014

    " Had kind of low expectations for this book, but I thought it was really suspenseful with some really good writing. I didn't like the ending very much, but still an overall great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 2/15/2014

    " Bring It On meets Less Than Zero with a nice sprinkling of Heathers. With that being said, there were disappointments for me - they just didn't ever take away from how cool and fresh the writing is. It is a new take on the young protagonist older than her years. Lots of good highlighting opportunities. You'll go for the story but stay for the writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shirin | 2/5/2014

    " Read this for the writing, not the story. Abbott has a way of constructing beautiful sentences and giving a glimpse into the existential angst of teen girls (and women, and men), often with a good dose of wry humour, and always with surprising depth. I often stopped to mark a passage to use in my review, but I don't keep post-its by my bedside. So you'll just have to believe me. I didn't care too much for the plot, and some of the protagonist's musings seemed a little too mature for her age, but in any case all of that is just a ruse for the poetry inside. Cheerleader Noir is better than you might expect. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 1/18/2014

    " I was unable to finish this book, despite the sterling reviews it has received. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori Susan | 1/14/2014

    " It was not one of my favorite books, but I think my dislike for mean girls and cheerleaders came flying back! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allison Lyons | 1/13/2014

    " A book about horrible people doing horrible things to each other--and themselves. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 12/30/2013

    " I can't say I really liked this book, but I didn't hate it either. I think mainly the whole teenagers full of themselves bit just puts me off. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca Kasten | 12/15/2013

    " This book reminds me of my workplace. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Milla Diaz | 12/10/2013

    " This book was not as dark and ugly as I hoped and I had a hard time liking any of the characters. They were either mean and willing to do anything to keep their spot on the squad or boring stereotypes who do predictably stupid things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sasha | 12/10/2013

    " I think the author did a nice job of demonstrating the competitiveness and cruelty between teenage girls. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tess | 12/9/2013

    " Was very good and putting the reader back emotionally in high school. Which is not such a good thing emotionally. How if you don't have a strong sense of self, how easily you can be manipulated. A tale of jealously and cheerleading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike Schneider | 9/13/2013

    " Initially, I thought "Why am I reading this "Chic-lit" book about cheerleaders?". However, as I continued, the book slowly transformed into a complex murder/love triangle story. It was interesting in the end and showed the passion these girls have for their activity "Cheer". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie Mescher | 6/4/2013

    " Sounded way better than it was. Barely kept my attention. Mostly just scared the mothers of daughters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deedee | 4/28/2013

    " I just could not get into this book. I felt there were too many endless chapters about a high school cheer leading squad and their worries about keeping their weigh off so they can jump higher and on and on ... Maybe because it was about high school girls and I am a grandmother! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Plainjane26 | 4/25/2013

    " Interesting concept but I really hope real girls do not act like these girls in this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 1/7/2013

    " Fun whodunit read about a group of high school cheerleaders and their coach. I wouldn't exactly describe it as "light and fluffy" but it was a quick read and fun enough to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 12/20/2012

    " Dark and disturbing, hard to put down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy Mulder | 12/16/2012

    " I guess I'm just not too interested in cheerleaders, and actually, I've been overdosing on teen books lately.! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juliet Farmer | 10/2/2012

    " Warning: Reading Dare Me & Gone Girl in the same month may cause nightmares! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melanie | 8/24/2012

    " I'm sorry but after being 98 pages in I could no longer take the writing style or Addy as a character. If it had been written another way maybe I could have continued, sorry but this book just isn't for me :/ "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherwestonstec | 7/20/2012

    " a very dark story about cheerleaders. interesting and a quick read. "

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About the Author
Author Megan Abbott

Megan Abbott is an Edgar Award–winning author of several novels. She received her PhD in English and American literature from New York University and has taught literature, writing, and film studies at New York University, the New School, and the State University of New York at Oswego. Her writing has appeared in Salon, the Guardian, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Khristine Hvam has won six AudioFile Earphones Awards, placed three times as a finalist for the prestigous Audie Award, and won the Audie for best narration in 2012 and 2013. She studied acting for the theater and film, and her voice can be heard in Pokémon, World of Warcraft, and in various television and radio commercials.