When Tenley returns to Echo Bay after four years away, she is eager (maybe even a little desperate) to reclaim her place at the top of the social ladder. It’s time for her to reconnect with her best friend Caitlin and throw a legendary party to let everyone else in town that Tenley is back and she is still a perfect Ten.
Caitlin is excited to bring Tenley back into the fold of popular kids in Echo Bay. She also knows that Tenley’s party is the perfect way to relax and stop thinking about the tortured memories from her kidnapping years ago or worrying about how to uphold her reputation as an angel. With so much pressure, it’s only a matter of time before something has to give.
Sydney doesn’t have much use for Tenley or Caitlin. Sure, she remembers that the two of them were known for legendary games of Truth or Dare. Big deal. Sydney has enough going on with her summer job and her photography.
Tenley knows her party will be memorable when she starts a wild game of truth or dare. But what none of the girls realize is that they are about to be recruited for a game of Truth or Dare where the stakes are much, much higher and making the wrong choice could be lethal in Truth or Dare (2013) by Jacqueline Green.
Truth or Dare is a campy read that will appeal to fans of Pretty Little Liars (the television show or the series). Before reading this book it is worth mentioning that Truth or Dare is the first in the series and is as short on closure as you might expect.
Green shifts focus between the three girls Sydney, Caitlin and Tenley. All of the girls have the potential to be interesting heroines but all of them are also mired in deeply problematic storylines.*
With a lot of misdirects and decoys, Truth or Dare will definitely keep readers guessing as they try to piece together who is behind the escalating dares. A picturesque setting and a sprawling cast of characters add to the story’s atmosphere.
Truth or Dare is a great escapist read. If, however, you think too hard about any aspects of the plot the entire premise falls apart under the scrutiny.
*SLIGHT SPOILERS: I was really uncomfortable with Caitlin’s nickname being “angel.” Aside from being vaguely ludicrous I intensely disliked the idea that it made her untouchable and “pure”–the whole device left a bad taste in my mouth. Nicknames in general were strange. I don’t know if it’s just me but I never had a nickname as a teen and all of the ones in this book were ridiculous. (Perfect Ten? Angel? Blue? Guinness–because I refuse to believe someone actually named their only son GUINNESS.)
Speaking of Guinness: How old is he? I know this was an edgy book and the girls were older teens. But, really. Guinness is even called a grown man and he is chasing after not one but two teenaged girls. Forget a love triangle. That’s just gross.
Then of course we have Tenley and her cosmetic surgery. I disliked how unbalanced the whole issue was (I know it wasn’t the focus of the story but I would have appreciated a little more nuance) and also, given the fact that I doubt Tenley was 18 I’m not even sure that plot thread would have been possible in the real world.
Possible Pairings: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, Clarity by Kim Harrington, Swoon by Nina Malkin, Fury by Elizabeth Miles, This is W. A. R. by Lisa Roecker and Laura Roecker, Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shephard, Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Zeigesar
*This book was acquired for review from Paper Lantern Lit*