Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Title: Dangerous Boys
Author: Abigail Haas
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Release Date: August 14, 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
It all comes down to this. Oliver, Ethan, and I. Three teens venture into an abandoned lake house 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 the story together - a story of jealousy, twisted passion and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful faces ...


Dangerous Boys was another successful, deliciously twisted story. Abigail Haas is so good at writing these mystery-thrillers. She really makes you contemplate the nature of man and good vs evil. Even when I thought I had this one figured out, she surprised me yet again.

Chloe is drowning is her small town. She just wants to get out of there, and she almost did, but then her father left and her mother fell apart and she was left to pick up the pieces. But every day that she's stuck in that town bears down on her. She's tired of being the girl everyone expects her to be. She's tired of pretending. Ethan makes her feel trapped but Oliver... Oliver sets her free.

The tone of this story got darker and darker as it progressed. I thought I knew who Chloe was - even as her actions became more worrisome - but turns out I didn't know her at all, which fits precisely with the theme of this book.
"You can never really know someone. [...]
We're all strangers, in the end.
I remember something, from a book Oliver gave me months ago. It said that we're all irrevocably trapped inside our own minds: just as it's impossible for anyone to truly know us, we can't begin to hope to know anyone else.
I understand it now.
You can be a part of someone's life for years, your parent or brother or friend, and then on day they turn around and do something so unconscionable, a crime so great, that suddenly, they're a stranger to you. You think that their goodness is innate, embedded in their DNA, so you take it for granted, right up until the terrible moment when everything changes. Only then do you realize, those good deeds were actions. Actions that can stop, change on a dime at any time.
You don't know what's behind that smile. You can't imagine who someone will turn out to be. We assume the sun will rise very morning just because it has done every other day, but what happens when you wake up to darkness? When you open your eyes and find, today is the one different day?"
There were lots of quotes like this that I devoured. The writing was beautiful and darkly poetic. And again, the way Haas delivers the story, switching between the past and the present, revealing only so much at a time, is perfect. I was completely transfixed.

Overall, Dangerous Boys was addictive and pleasantly unsettling, and I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as Dangerous Girls. They were two very different stories - which I was ready for - and I preferred the later. The pace and plotting of this one didn't pull me in quite as much (and I felt really bad for Ethan). But I can understand all of the praise for both of Haas's novels. They really are something else and I highly recommend them for a good suspense novel! 

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