What’s it all about?:
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…
What did I think?:
After reading and loving Abigail Haas’ novel Dangerous Girls, I was really excited to see how her new novel, Dangerous Boys matched up. And yes, I was definitely expecting a bumpy ride, anticipating many mind-bending incidents in the narrative. From the beginning we catch a glimpse of the ending – our main character Chloe helping one brother to safety from a burning building while the other brother remains inside, to burn to death. I love novels like this, where the reader is given an electrifying look at the end of the story with a mystery within just begging to be solved.
Our story then retreats back to the past and introduces Chloe, a teenager excited to be leaving her sleepy little town with little prospects to go to college and begin “living.” Unfortunately for Chloe, her divorced single mother suffers an extreme nervous breakdown which leaves her unable to work, spending the majority of her days in bed deep within a depression funk. Chloe’s father isn’t much help to her, he seems to have moved on and is building a new life with a new family which does not leave much room for her. As a result, Chloe has to give up on her dreams of college and work as many hours as she can in her local coffee shop. She is forced into adulthood and real life quite quickly as she struggles to pay the bills, keep her house clean and look after her mother as if the roles were reversed.
Whilst working one day, Chloe meets Ethan and the two immediately hit it off. He seems to be the perfect boyfriend – charming, sensitive, generous, good-looking (you get the idea) but unlike Chloe, Ethan is perfectly happy within the town and his situation in life whereas Chloe is always looking for something more. Then Chloe meets Ethan’s brother, Oliver who seems to be everything Ethan is not and a bit of a “bad boy.” Despite all her misgivings, Chloe can’t help but feel an attraction to Oliver (and the feeling is definitely mutual). He appeals to all her deepest longings and unleashes a side in her that she never thought she had.
The story shifts from the past to the present where the author teases constantly about the events that precipitated the night of the fire, the characters of the two brothers and the connections between Chloe and the brothers. The result is a messy, complicated and complex set of actions that may even make you question your own dark side. It was a thrilling white-knuckle ride of a novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and kept me on the edge of my seat, feeling that I didn’t have a clue where the author would take it next. Abigail Haas has a fantastic way of reeling you in, making you stay for the duration whilst mourning the end. I can’t wait to see what she’s going to come up with next, if it’s anything like this, it’s going to be riveting and psychologically disturbing – which is great!
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):