July 30, 2013

Review: Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green

Truth or Dare (Truth or Dare #1)
Author: Jacqueline Green
Release Date: May 14th, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Page Count: 416
Source: Provided by Paper Lantern Lit
Rating: Say WHAT now?
When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it’s no longer a party game. It’s do or die.

It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin “Angel” Thomas to prove she’s more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn’t eventhere; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they’re forced to play along—or risk exposing their darkest secrets.

How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who’s behind this twisted game?

Set against the backdrop of Echo Bay, an isolated beach town haunted by misfortune, Truth or Dare is a highly charged debut that will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

Tenley's back and town, much to Caitlin's excitement and Sydney's disinterest. But excitement and disinterest quickly turn into fear and other similar emotions when an anonymous darer starts leaving these sketchy, type-writers notes for the girls to find. The girls, scared for their lives and overly protective of their deep dark secrets (which the darer somehow knows) go along with the darer's wishes. Until, of course, things get a little more dangerous. Like, life threatening dangerous.

Let's break this down:

So I've never read Pretty Little Liars. I watched the first couple episodes and from what I can tell, this book is pretty similar. Granted, there are dares and not the ghost of an ex-friend haunting Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney, but yeah. It's got the same creepy, mysterious crazy person harassment going for it. And there's this really strange guy lurking about who they all think is the darer but it's not. Which, if memory serves, fits to the Pretty Little Liars plot as well.

But, despite the similarities, I really liked this book. First of all, even though I guessed maybe 100 pages in who the darer was, I got misdirected a couple times and I wasn't totally convinced my first guess was right until the very end with the big reveal. This is because Jacqueline Green is very, very good at making the paranoia and fear in this book real. I wouldn't have followed the ever changing list of who the girls thought did it if there hadn't be solid evidence to go against each person. And even if the evidence pointing to one person or another WAS flawed, the constant back and forth kept my brain from settling on one person.

So yeah, the misdirection in this book gets an A+.

I also really liked all the secrets in this book. Do I honestly THAT many characters in a story/small town have that many serious disorders? No, not really. Do I understand the purpose of this whole "Caitlin was kidnapped as a child" plot? No. Not at all. (Although I do think I know whose mom did the kidnapping - for reasons unknown.) But the backstories here were really well developed. I honestly believed that these characters would complete all these dares to protect the secrets that were at risk.

Another thing I totally loved about this book was that it didn't really have an obvious, stand up boy for all of us to root for. Yeah, there were a couple of interesting characters, but none of them gave me the butterflies - and I don't think they were supposed to. This book is really about Caitlin, Tenley and Sydney and the terrors they go through, not any silly romance plot. The three girls grew wonderfully over the course of this book. They had to ask themselves the hard questions - the life or death questions at the very end - and I think the paths each of their characters take is incredibly admirable and probably the best part of this book.

The long and short of it?

Plot: Maybe a little bit too similar to what's already out there but still very good.
World Building: There's A LOT going on here, but it's a series and I guess I buy it. Every small town has it deep dark secrets, right? (I'm a big city girl, so I'm just making assumptions here.)
Character Development: As mentioned above, the way the girls changed over the course of the book is probably one of the strongest elements of the story.
Prose: Very, very readable. This book is pretty long and the prose (as well as the character development are really what keep you reading).
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you're into the ABC Family shows or even some of the dark CW shows, this is probably the book for you. It's a series with crazy intrigue and surprises at every turn. And to be honest, normally I wouldn't read this kind of book, but I really did enjoy it, so I'm glad I did!

Did this one scare you like it did me? Did you guess who dun it? And, more importantly, do you think I missed a delicious boy worth drooling over? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Hmm, I'm still not sure I'd want to read this book! While I like Pretty Little Liars well enough, I feel like there's only enough room for one Pretty Little Liars in my life... BUT I do like the sound of this character development. We shall see!

    1. I think you should definitely read it. I watch Pretty Little Liars and enjoyed this book (I'm also dying to read the next book in the series). I think this is better than PLL because the secrets are much more entertaining, the girls are more interesting, and the end is satisfying.


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