"Promise me that you'll never leave me alone."
The Dare is the story about Seventeen-year old Brynna Chase. Eighteen months ago, she lost her best friend, Erica Shaw, to a silly dare that went horribly wrong and she hasn't found a way to forgive herself, or move on. Bryn put herself through hell with grief and anger and blame. She crashed and burned (drug and alcohol abuse). She lost all her former friends because of her actions. She spent time in Rehab after being arrested for DUI. Her parents forced the family to move away from the scene of Erica's death, to a new location in Crescent City. And, that is just the beginning of Bryn's story.
Now, Bryn really only wants to be left alone. She wants to finish out her remaining two years of High School, and then fade into obscurity without letting anyone know where she went. That includes attempting to keep her parents happy, and trying to avoid the spotlight in her new school. That would be fine were it not for the fact that a stranger is fully intent on destroying Bryn totally and absolutely and with malice. Who is this mysterious stranger? Why is this person so intent on embarrassing, and ruining Bryn's life completely so she is left vulnerable? Will Bryn figure out who the mysterious stranger is before she ends up dead like Erica?
The Dare is an interesting story that perhaps could have been a bit better. I fought hard to control my issues and to connect with Bryn's character, although I could see someone being sent to their breaking point by the events that happen to her. Erica's death was Bryn's breaking point. Being reminded of that awful night over and over again just makes things worse. I absolutely understood her desire to stay out of the limelight, and away from the water. As a former swimmer myself who would do anything to be near water, I could totally understand Bryn's hesitation and refusal to go back into the water, even with her new friends pushing and pulling her.
The Dare does have a strange, and creepy feel to it. Is Erica really dead, or is she alive? If she is alive, then why would she torture Bryn? The author does a good job of getting inside of Bryn's head and letting readers know exactly how she is feeling, along with the anger, and anguish that goes with losing your best friend, and then being treated like a virtual prisoner by her own parents. I felt for Bryn and everything she went through. I totally understand how a person can crash and burn after an emotionally devastating event. Hell, I've been through so much myself over the years, that it's a wonder I am actually still standing.
Bryn's new friends are an eclectic bunch. There is the required gay friend Evan, who strives hard to ensure that Bryn's isn't alone, and gets her to spill the beans about her past, slowly, and is a bit on the annoying side at times. There is the so called love interest Teddy, that just didn't manage to keep my interest because it never really went anywhere. The other two characters in Bryn's circle include Evan's sister Lauren, and Darcy, who apparently knows too much about Bryn's past.
I have followed author Hannah Jayne since she released the Underworld Detection Agency series in 2011. Apparently, that series is coming to an end this year with the release of Under the Final Moon. As for her non UDA novels, I have Truly, Madly, Deeply on my Kindle and will hope that I can squeeze it into my reading schedule over the next few months.
Author - Hannah Jayne
Title - The Dare
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Released: July 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Format: E-Book 304 pages