July 1, 2014
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Two jumped off the pier that night...but only one came back alive
Bryn did everything with her best friend Erica. So when someone dared Erica to jump off the pier one night at Harding Beach, Bryn was right by her side. But when Bryn made it back to the surface, Erica was nowhere to be found. Bryn tries to make a fresh start by burying her memories of that awful night. But when a Twitter post from "EricaNShaw" pops up on her feed and a chilling voice mail appears on her phone, she realizes that someone isn't ready to let go of the past...
Hannah Jayne's The Dare is a book that keeps you guessing. Bryn is starting a new life - new town, new house, new school - and trying to leave the past behind her. The past where her best friend, Erica, drowned.
She is sure someone at her new school will know what happened, will know her part in it, and it will be like it was all over again. When it seems that Bryn is just the new girl, with no one knowing anything about her, she tries to relax.
But when she starts receiving tweets from 'EricaNShaw' and mysterious calls, it seems someone does know about Erica's death. Someone not ready for Bryn to start anew.
The Dare has an interesting character in Bryn. It's clear that she's trying to have a fresh start, to get away from her past. It's also clear that won't be as easy as hoped. As the story progresses, we learn more about what happened the night Erica died and what happened to Bryn after. As we learn more, we're able to understand some of Bryn's actions and feelings more. Yet, it also becomes clear that readers, like Bryn herself, may not be able to trust her interpretations of things.
I liked that Bryn's feelings about the past, how she saw things now and even what was happening to her was not necessarily to be trusted. It brought an additional bit of mystery to the story.
We don't get to really know the side characters in The Dare. There's a group of friends who are part of the story, but we only scratch the surface with their characters. The little bits we're given make it seem like they are good characters, but we don't see enough. Evan, (whom my mind cast with Felix from Orphan Black) may be the exception to that. While we still only see bits of who he is, he's entertaining.
The ending was surprising in just how different events - both that we saw and hinted at - came together. It was abrupt, though, and left quite a few things unexplained. While I enjoyed the larger answers it gave, there were smaller pieces, parts of the story, that were not explained.
A spoiler-filled review would make it easier to clearly explain some of the issues I had, but I'm trying to keep this spoiler free . . .
Prior to reaching it's unsatisfying ending, The Dare was a fun read that kept its readers guessing - both about the plot and Bryn. If things had been left more resolved and/or we'd seen a bit more of the characters (which may tie in with the ending, as well), it could have been a really good read.
Other books you may also enjoy: The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee and Six Months Later by Natalie D Richards
thank you to he publisher for my copy to review via NetGalley