Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys
Summary from Goodreads:
You are cordially invited to participate in a game of thrills and dares. Tell no one, and come alone. If you dare.
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.
This is another book that I requested from Netgalley but never got around to reading before it came out last fall. I did not read the Arc, but instead got a finished book from the library.
The book is told through Hope, and she is an interesting character. Because of her cystic fibrosis she has led a very sheltered life. Her mom prefers it this way. She probably would never let her leave the house if she could. Because of this Hope feels like she has missed out on a lot of typical childhood and teenage adventures. So it isn’t a big surprise when she decides to embark on this wild dare game, even when things start to go wrong. The lure of winning lots of cash also helps keep her in the game. Cystic fibrosis is a debilitating disease that eventually kills. There is no cure, only medication and therapies that help to prolong the persons life. It is depicted well in this story, through the times when Hope struggles to breath and the therapies that she does with her mom. Hope takes her illness in stride and is very much aware of her limitations, but still she wants to do the dares. I liked Hope a lot, she is resilient and brave and clever. Even though she goes along with the dares, she still wants to find out who is behind them and why they were all chosen for this society.
The four other girls who are part of this little group are your typical teens and make for a diverse eclectic group. You have Hartley the badass and trouble maker, Lyla the basketball jock, Nicole the smart overachiever, Farrah the beautiful rich girl. Each girl has their own motivations for doing the dares. At first it doesn’t look like there is a commonality behind why they were all asked to be part of this society, but as the mystery behind it is played out we eventually find out the common thread that ties these five girls together.
The two love interests in the book were also complete opposites. Ethan is Hope’s best friend and has always been there for her. But he has a girlfriend now and doesn’t seem to be there for her as much. Hope admits to herself that she has a crush on Ethan, but it takes the game for her to get the courage to admit to it. I liked Ethan, he really wants to help Hope, but sometimes is clueless about her as well. Tucker is the typical popular rich boy, who has just a hint of bad boyness to make him interesting. You can tell he is up to something when out of the blue he decides to befriend Hope, but I also couldn’t help but hope that his motivations were not all bad.
Despite the fact that Hope’s mom was maybe a little over the top when it came to protecting her, I couldn’t fault her for it. It must be very hard to raise a child with such a debilitating disease. She did her best and by the end she started listening to Hope and what she wanted. Jenny, the younger sister, was very sweet and you could tell that she loved her sister a lot. Her role in the society was a bit much, but it made sense in the great scheme of things.
The dares are well done, but extremely dangerous. I was amazed that they all went through with them, I’m not sure I would have. The reasons and motivations behind this secret society are a little on the incredulous side. While I believe that revenge can be a great motivator, and make people do crazy things, I think this book takes it beyond what most people would believably do. The mystery behind the society is well played out. I pretty much had it figured out about the same time that Hope did. There were a few twists and turns though that kept me on my toes.
Overall this is a good read with lots of interesting twist and turns. It was nice to see a main character with a disability in a story of this type. The dares certainly did not lend themselves to something that a girl with her illness would ever due on her own. If you are looking for a solid secret society mystery adventure than take a risk and red this one.