I’m not sure what drove me to want to read this book so badly…maybe it was the nifty cover or the clever title…or even that amazing sounding plot. Either way, I was super excited to dive into this one.
Dead Girls Society tells the story of Hope Callahan, who is fed up with being treated like she is sick all of the time, even though her cystic fibrosis has made it so she can’t do the things that healthy kids do. Her best friend, Ethan, still cares for her, despite the fact that she’s sick, but to add on to it, she’s secretly in love with Ethan, and he’s dating a blonde Barbie kind of girl that Hope is tired of hearing about.
So when Hope receives a strange e-mail, inviting her to a strange address at midnight, she sits back and considers who could have sent the invite, and whether or not it was some kind of prank. But Hope is also tired of living her life on the safe side – doctor appointments, being pulled from school because of her illness, and being treated like she could break at any moment – so she decides to live a little wildly and accept the invitation.
“Does anyone who isn’t closing in on their expiration date understand how beautiful this world is, that they have it all at the tips of their fingers if they would just look up from their phones and notice?”
When she gets to the abandoned warehouse that is the location that was listed in the invite, she meets up with other girls – girls that she normally wouldn’t have anything in common with or reason to talk to – girls from other cliques that have their own lives and their own circles of friends. Together, they follow the instructions, and find out that it’s more of a game of truth or dare – only without the truth.
When the first dare they are assigned involves going to the abandoned Six Flags park in New Orleans, and has them bungee jumping from the top of abandoned and decaying Mega Zeph roller coaster, Hope begins to wonder if she can actually do the dares being asked of her…but if she doesn’t, what will happen to her? When she arrives home and finds a box with a supply of medication she needs to survive just sitting on her bed, coupled with the $1000 she received and the promise of more money for being the winner of the dares, she decides to stick with it, because maybe, just maybe, she can make life easier for her mother and little sister.
As the dares continue over several nights, each one getting a little more difficult than the last, Hope begins to see exactly what happens when the girls cheat or don’t follow through with the assigned tasks…and just how far the society behind the dares is really willing to go.
This was a really interesting book, definitely a thriller that I kept saying “just one more chapter!” with over and over again. It kept me up until 3 am reading before I realized what time it was and had to go to sleep!
Hope’s character is driven, and she definitely wants what is best for her family to the point where she risks her life to win the $100,000 at the end. Along the way, she makes some friends that she would not have otherwise found herself making – and uncovering secrets that she wishes she hadn’t. I also haven’t read many YA books that featured a character with cystic fibrosis (aside from Lurlene McDaniel books, of course), so this was not only new for me, but the way Hope’s character handled her illness was amazing – she didn’t let it own her, the way others might. She was focused on living her life to the fullest and enjoying what she could.
The whole romance thing between Hope and Ethan is a tiny little sub-plot in this book, so don’t be worried that the whole book is going to be about a girl pining for a guy who is dating someone else. It isn’t. The main focus of the book is the society and the dares that these girls are forced to partake in. It’s a thriller, and it isn’t masked by cheesy romance – I loved that!
The author’s writing is the kind of writing that completely pulls you in. I seriously loved the writing, character development, and plot lines that were a part of this book.
The only thing about this book that I didn’t like was the ending. It’s definitely a cliff hanger, and I’m really hoping that there’s another book that picks up where this one left off. I can’t believe it ended how it did. I love books that give me some sort of closure at the end, but if you don’t mind a cliffhanger then you won’t be disappointed.
The twist in this book was a bit easy to figure out, and while I found myself loving the book, I wished that twist had been a little more complex.
If YA thrillers are your thing, you have to give this one a go. It’s definitely an interesting read with plenty of fun characters, and all of them have their own personality and traits – we aren’t looking at a cast full of cookie cutter characters, but characters who actually add something to the story.