The Dare

268p. ebook available. Sourcebooks Fire. Jul. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781402294570.
Gr 8 Up—Best friends Brynna and Erica did everything together. They swam on the school swim team together. They shopped together. They ate lunch together. They shared clothes. They even dared to jump off the pier at night together—but only Brynna got out of the water and Erica, whose body was never found, was pronounced dead. For the past 18 months the protagonist has struggled with guilt, drugs, and alcohol, but she's ready to make a fresh start at a new school for her junior year. No one knows about her past, so she should be able to slide under the radar—or so she thinks. But suddenly she starts getting tweets from Erica and menacing messages at school, and she is sure she sees Erica everywhere. Is she being haunted, or did Erica survive the dare and now wants revenge? The novel's premise promises goosebumps galore, but the execution delivers barely a shiver. Brynna isn't a particularly sympathetic character, despite her troubles. The adults in the book are either absent, clueless, or one-dimensional, and the friends Brynna makes at her new school are interchangable even though one is supposed to be a love interest and another reveals to Brynna that he's gay. Nothing here will make readers look nervously over their shoulders or jump when they get a text. Stick with Sara Shepard's "Pretty Little Liars" series (HarperCollins) and Lois Duncan's I Know What You Did Last Summer (Little, Brown, 1973).—Heather Webb, Worthington Libraries, OH

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