Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review ~ Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Series: standalone
Genre: YA thriller
Pages: 336
Publication date: August 14th, 2014
Publisher: Abigail Haas (in US) 
Goodreads Description: 
Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?
Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…
Source: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Dangerous Boys was pretty good! I was more surprised how upset I got with the characters (though that strangely didn't affect my rating at all) than what was happening in the story, but I can see why so many people have loved it.

I'll start with my reactions to the main characters, then get into the actual review part of this review. 

Chloe ~ I haven't disliked a character so much in such a long time. She made me so angry. I loathed her. In the beginning of the book, I sorta related to her and her situation. I'm in a similar position in my life right now (I'm one month away from starting college, but instead of going to the university I was planning to go to, I've decided to go to community college for my first year because it's the best financial choice for me). I'm also a good girl that got really good grades in high school and I also sometimes feel like I'm in a box and that I'm pretending to be someone I'm not. I can really relate to Chloe. Well, before she handled everything so poorly. Instead of seeing the best in the situation she was in and then trying to make it better, she just seemed to succumb to her dark side and then blame someone or something else for the decisions she made. She made horrible decisions, which I ordinarily would've been okay with, but I had absolutely zero sympathy when she shifted the blame. 

Ethan ~ Ethan, Ethan, Ethan . . . why, man? Why? You're so weak. That's . . . really all I can say without spoiling anything. *shakes head*

Oliver ~ After finishing the book, I realized he was my favorite character. He was an honest guy. Yeah, he was a terrible one and I never liked him, but he didn't back down and he didn't lie like the others did.

(Now, the things that did affect my rating.)

However much I hated the characters, they were still very well developed. I wasn't irritated with them because they of how they were written--I was irritated with them because the author did a great job convincing me of the kind of people they were. 

Also, I liked the roles each one played. Chloe was the good girl who had to choose between the good, safe, and comfortable life she already had and the new, dangerous, dark life that seemed to fit her more. I found that Ethan and Oliver represented those two lives. Her struggle between the two of them was the struggle that she had with the person she truly was. I love it when a book has something like that in it. It makes the story more fascinating to read.

The story itself was pretty good. I really liked how it shifted between the present, the end, and then. Those parts weaved together and made the story more interesting. Only a part of the end/present was revealed at a time, so as I was reading the parts set in the past, I was trying to piece together exactly what happened and how. Unfortunately, it was really easy to figure out, so the ending wasn't surprising. I was hoping that a big, unexpected twist would happen. The fact that it ended the way I was expecting it to didn't disappoint me quite as much as I thought it would, though. There was some really good foreshadowing, so that made the ending a little better for me (it was actually fun to spot the moments of foreshadow when I knew what they were hinting at).

I didn't pay as much attention to the writing as the other parts of the book, but there were a few parts where I thought, "wow, this is really good stuff!" This was mainly when the main character seemed to talk directly to the reader. I loved those parts! They were thought-provoking.

Overall, I wasn't as wowed by Dangerous Boys as much as most of my blogger friends have been. It wasn't the characters (my irritation with them didn't affect how much I liked this book, really). I was expecting the book to be mind twisting, but figuring out the what really happened around 60 percent made the book less surprising for me. It was exciting to find out I was right, but my mind wasn't messed with as much as I'd expected when I first started reading it. The book wasn't as thrilling. However, the story, the character development, and Chloe's struggle were all great and I finished reading knowing that I had just read a really good book.

My question for you:

I hated a couple characters in this book, but as I said a few times already, it didn't affect my rating. Has that ever happened to you?

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