Thanks to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest honest review.
Release Date: November 8th, 2016
You are cordially invited to to participate in a game of thrills and dares. Tell no one, and come alone. If you dare.
Synopsis: Hope is sick of everyone treating her like she’s breakable. Sure, she has cystic fibrosis (basically really bad lungs), but she’s tired of being babied by her mom and her overprotective best friend, Ethan, not to mention worrying about paying for her expensive medication and how she’s going to afford college. And she’s bored with life in her run-down New Orleans suburb.
When an invitation arrives from a mysterious group that calls itself the Society, Hope jumps at the chance for some excitement. This could be her ticket out. All she has to do is complete a few dares and she might win some real money.
But the Society isn’t all it seems…and soon Hope finds that playing the game isn’t a choice–it’s a requirement.
I was really intrigued by the premise of Dead Girls Society and, okay. The cover grabbed my attention too. But seriously, a story based on a secret and sinister Society that issues invitations to a few girls with no apparent connection besides the fact that they all go to the same high school? “Hmm.” I thought. “This sounds a little off the beaten track.” And despite the unveiling of the antagonist not coming as a surprise, this wound up being an enjoyable read. Hope is a character readers will instantly connect to. She’s battling an illness that she knows will eventually kill her, yet she longs for a normal life. She loves her mother dearly, but chafes at the restrictions placed upon her. That’s why, despite her being an intelligent girl, it’s not difficult to believe that she’d accept the invitation. Especially since her family is hurting for money in part because of her medical bills, and the Society is offering $100,000 to the winner. The other girls participating at first come across fairly stereotypical: the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, the spoiled rich girl, the mean girl, etc. But, surprisingly they all have quite a bit of depth, and some pretty interesting back stories. The romance is sweet but really takes a backseat to these girls and the mystery surrounding the mysterious Society. In addition to the already diverse concept of having a main character in this type of book, dealing with a serious illness, there’s also an LGBT relationship which is threaded in believably and emotionally. You know, I read so many YA books and sometimes I feel as though the authors don’t always remember what it was like to be a teenager. But with Hope and her friends, I think Michelle Krys has done an outstanding job at capturing all the nuances of teens and their complex personalities and relationships. The idea of having the setting be in New Orleans was brilliant, especially as one dare takes place in a swamp complete with gators! There were plenty of thrills and chills which kept the book moving along briskly and I polished it off in one sitting. As I said in the beginning, the unmasking of the villain(s?) wasn’t a huge surprise, but the motivations behind the Society’s creation were a huge shock for me. There were a couple of loose ends that were never tied up, but overall the ending was perfectly satisfying. Dead Girls Society is the first book I’ve read by Michelle Krys, but it definitely won’t be my last. This is an immensely fun read, especially for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Veronica Mars.