Genre: Psychological Thriller, YA
Publication date: August 14th 2014
by Abigail Haas
Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Caitlin Kasprov drags one Donnelly 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?
Caitlin 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…
-A copy was provided by Abigail Haas for review-
My, my, my… what can I say? Abigail Haas has done it again folks! When I put down Dangerous Boys I sat there in a daze in my backyard just thinking about what it would be like to be in this woman’s mind for 24 hours. I imagine it to be very dark, full of twists, and yet somehow still beautiful and a place you would want to be lost in for days on end. Maybe I’m just a masochist though…
Anyway, back to Dangerous Boys. I will be up front and say that I went into this one with some sky high expectations because I was a huge fan of Dangerous Girls. I was prepared to meet some characters that would be really hard to get a read on and to be treated to some delicious twists and well, Haas did not disappoint in any department. In this one we are treated to the tale from the perspective of Chloe as she goes about life in the small town of Haverford, Indiana. This is the kind of town where everyone knows everyone’s business so of course they know that her father recently left her mother because he knocked some girl up. Chloe’s dreams of leaving for College in the fall are cut short after her mother falls apart following the separation and she makes the decision to stay behind and get a job to help keep her mom on her feet. Her one escape from the mundane and very stressful life that has been thrown at her comes in the form of Ethan, a boy who woos her at her job until they are officially a couple. But no one could predict the shit storm that would come to town when Ethan’s brother, Oliver, comes into town.
We get the occurrences of this story in three different timelines. ‘The End’ is a violent section where Chloe is in a room with Ethan & Oliver and there is a falling out of some sort but the particulars of this event aren’t fully revealed until the end of the novel. ‘Then’ are the events that take place leading up to the violent occurrence of ‘The End’ and ‘Now’ is following it. I can’t stress enough how much I loved the use of these timelines and how all the small threads of the whole picture were revealed to us throughout. Knowing where the story was heading, knowing that it wasn’t going to be pretty and people were going to be seriously hurt upped the tension ten-fold. I loved trying to sleuth my way through and put the pieces of the puzzle together by myself. But once I made it to the end I couldn’t have even fathomed things would work out the way that they did and that is what is so genius about the way Haas writes these novels.
Helping to leave the reader in the dark is the fact that it’s really hard to get a read on MC Chloe. I mean, she starts out the novel as this seemingly sweet, small town girl but Oliver brings out a dark side in her once he throws a wrench in her relationship with Ethan. I liked that there were so many sides of her personality and I enjoyed watching her maneuver her way in the relationships that she had with people. From the way that she treated her mother, to how she was with her boyfriend and even the close relationship she had with the Sheriff in her small town, I could never put my finger on what made her tick. The entire cast of characters that we meet in this one are complex beings that really leave you questioning what could have happened to lead up to the shocking events of ‘The End.’
Dangerous Boys is a fully engrossing tale that will keep you glued to the pages until the final moment and leave you thinking about it for a long time afterward. Haas is a genius when it comes to psychological thrillers and the only thing I can think right now is: I want more!