By: Jacqueline Green
Published By: Poppy
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Page Count: 389
Source: Kindly Provided by Paper Lantern Lit
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary, Mystery
I have been excited about this one since the moment I heard about it. Truth or Dare is one of those games that reminds us all of our youth. I can remember being so excited (and slightly terrified) to play this game at slumber parties. You never knew what was going to be asked or what people might make you do. I suppose part of the fun is not knowing, but I remember always being super anxious. I loathed dares so I always stuck to truth. I was excited to see how a YA author would take this right of passage and add a thriller factor to it.
Tenley and Caitlin have been best friends since elementary school - even during the years when Tenley was living in Nevada, hundreds of miles away from the peaceful Echo Bay. These two are your typical high school Queen Bees - one is vicious and beautiful while the other is Miss All Around Perfect. I constantly found myself thinking of Tenley as the devil on my shoulder and Caitlin as the angel. The friendship between these two has some issues, but overall I really enjoyed the relationship and how the girls complimented one another. Ultimately, it is their devotion to each other and their love of dares that sparks the entire creepy plot.
In addition to Tenley and Caitlin, Sydney, a loner from the less affluent side of town gets pulled into the dangerous game. None of the three girls know who is behind the dares, but as the stakes raise higher and higher, they each know things have to stop before someone gets hurt. There were moments when my mind went back to Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. I'd also say there is a heavy dash of Pretty Little Liars lurking in this one. While Truth or Dare has some commonalities with these other novels, it isn't just a recycling of those plots. I am certain though that it will appeal to fans of those series.
Don't less this one fool you - it is creepy. The idyllic seaside town setting adds a sinister element and coupled with the Lost Girls lore, I felt the occasional chill up and down my spine. I was so wrapped up in these girls that I couldn't stop reading until I had pieced everything together. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives, but found that Caitlin was my favorite narrator.
My biggest complaint with this one is I felt like the big reveal was a bit predictable. I had identified the culprit pretty early on. I didn't see that ending coming though. That was brutal! I'm interested to see where this series will go next. I think this could have been a great stand alone novel as well. To find out that it's a series, makes me think maybe the ending wasn't all it appeared to be.
All in all, this is a darkly delightful contemporary mystery that is the perfect read for the dwindling days of summer. I also think there is some valuable food for thought concerning bullying and socioeconomic status contained in this one.
One Last Gripe: I have a slight gripe with the ending, but I can't say what it is because it would give something major away. I'll just hope its answered in the next installment.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I liked how the characters were connected - even when they didn't realize it
First Sentence: The water was everywhere.
Favorite Character: Caitlin
Least Favorite Character: Sydney's Dad
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 even there; 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.