Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green
Release Date – May 14, 2013
Publisher Website - Hachette/Little Brown
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 416 pages
My Rating- 2.5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it’s no longer a party game. It’s do or die.Got a secret? Want to keep it? Take the dare. This first in a series of novels that twists the iconic game from many people's childhoods into something sinister, and dangerous.
It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin “Angel” Thomas to prove she’s more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn’t even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they’re forced to play along—or risk exposing their darkest secrets.
How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who’s behind this twisted game
Set against the backdrop of Echo Bay, an isolated beach town haunted by misfortune, Truth or Dare is a highly charged debut that will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.
This is a first novel in what is expected to be a series. I almost would have preferred a stand alone. It could be have been a tighter paced, and more cohesive if it was not drawn out to accommodate a series. The little drops and teases for the next books did pique my interest, but I felt like it took an effort to be invested.
Truth or Dare has a lot in common with the Pretty Little Liars series. Fans of that series will naturally gravitate to this similar sounding plot, and I do think there will be those who find much to love between these pages. For me I found the characters unrelateable, and the plot moved a little slowly.
Pacing issues plagued my enjoyment of this novel. It felt really long, and perhaps, as I mentioned, it could have been tightened up a bit. The ending flowed much better than the beginning.
I was expecting scandalous characters who were flawed. They are, but I felt distanced from them. The development seemed secondary to the plot. I think that plot heavy readers will enjoy it more, but character driven readers may have a harder time with it.
The secrets these girls are keeping have more to do with them not wanting to lose social standing than truthfully high stakes. One is scared that her plastic surgery will become common knowledge, another is worried her reputation will be tarnished. It made the dares, which quickly escalate into having real consequences, seem not worth it. It made the characters motivations lack any real urgency. It made the characters themselves seem rather shallow. Once other people (who appear to not be directly involved) could be harmed by these dares was when I wanted to slap sense into these girls.
The ending of the novel is much stronger than the first half. It starts the wrap up with a rather predictable unveiling of who is sending the dares, but ends on an unsettling note that will propel the series into what I hope is darker territory. There is potential here, and I would love to see this series live up to it. Sydney's dark past, the possible love triangle with Guinness, and the unanswered questions all leave much to explore.
The author didn't shy away from rising the stakes at the end either. It's the type of stakes I wish had been in place since the beginning. This game of truth or dare is deadly. The fact that many unanswered questions were left unanswered regarding the characters who die left me feeling unsettled. I can only hope that even though the characters are not around that these questions will get closure.
A novel that may not have blown me away but gave me enough to want to check out the sequel. Fans of Pretty Little Liars may enjoy this one, and I do urge you to check out other review before deciding to read it.