Troubled Teenage Girls

"There's something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls." - Megan Abbott, Dare Me Books that fit the "dangerous teenage girl" trope, exploring the dark side of teenage girlhood.
Harriet Said...
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Harriet Said...

by Beryl Bainbridge

About the book:  A girl returns from boarding school to her sleepy Merseyside hometown and waits to be reunited with her childhood friend, Harriet, chief architect of all their past mischief. She roams listlessly along the shoreline and the woods still pitted with wartime trenches, and encounters 'the Tsar' - almost old, unhappily married, both dangerously fascinating and repulsive. Pretty, malevolent Harriet finally arrives - and over the course of the long holidays draws her friend into a scheme to beguile then humiliate the Tsar, with disastrous, shocking consequences. A gripping portrayal of adolescent transgression, Beryl Bainbridge's classic first novel remains as subversive today as when it was written.

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Dare Me
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Dare Me

by Megan Abbott

About the book:  Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy's best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they're seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls -- until the young new coach arrives. Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach's golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as "top girl" -- both with the team and with Addy herself. Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death -- and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain. The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as "total authority and an almost desperate intensity," provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.

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The End of Everything
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The End of Everything

by Megan Abbott

About the book:  The End of Everything by Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me, is a taut and suspenseful novel of friendship, loss and the dark undercurrents of adolscence. A close-knit street, the clink of glass on glass, summer heat. Two girls on the brink of adolescence, throwing cartwheels on the grass. Two girls who tell each other everything. Until one shimmering afternoon, one of them disappears. Lizzie is left with her dread and her loss, and with a fear that won't let her be. Had Evie tried to give her a hint of what was coming, a clue that she failed to follow? Caught between her imaginary guilt, her sense of betrayal, her own powerful need, and the needs of the adults around her, Lizzie's voice is as unforgettable as her story is arresting. This is no ordinary tale of innocence lost . . .

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The Fever
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The Fever

by Megan Abbott

About the book:  Deenie, Gabby and Lise are best friends - a tight girl-unit negotiating their way through the troubled waters of their teens, a world of sex, secrets and intense relationships. When first Lise then Gabby falls prey to a mysterious illness, hysteria sweeps their school and, as more girls succumb, Deenie finds herself an outsider, baffled by the terrifying illness and scared that it could all be because of something she has done. Suffering with Deenie are her dad and her brother, both protective of Deenie, but each with secrets of their own . . . The Fever is an explosive novel in which Megan Abbott explores the lethal power of guilt and desire, and how mass hysteria can grip a community, making real our deepest fears.

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The Virgin Suicides
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The Virgin Suicides

by Jeffrey Eugenides

About the book:  This beautiful and sad first novel, recently adapted for a major motion picture, tells of a band of teenage sleuths who piece together the story of a twenty-year old family tragedy begun by the youngest daughter's spectacular demise by self-defenstration, which inaugurates "the year of the suicides."

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle
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We Have Always Lived in the Castle

by Shirley Jackson

About the book:  Visitors call seldom at Blackwood House. Taking tea at the scene of a multiple poisoning, with a suspected murderess as one's host, is a perilous business. For a start, the talk tends to turn to arsenic. "It happened in this very room, and we still have our dinner in here every night," explains Uncle Julian, continually rehearsing the details of the fatal family meal. "My sister made these this morning," says Merricat, politely proffering a plate of rum cakes, fresh from the poisoner's kitchen. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson's 1962 novel, is full of a macabre and sinister humor, and Merricat herself, its amiable narrator, is one of the great unhinged heroines of literature. "What place would be better for us than this?" she asks, of the neat, secluded realm she shares with her uncle and with her beloved older sister, Constance. "Who wants us, outside? The world is full of terrible people." Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic, burying talismanic objects beneath the family estate, nailing them to trees, ritually revisiting them. She has made "a powerful taut web which never loosened, but held fast to guard us" against the distrust and hostility of neighboring villagers. Or so she believes. But at last the magic fails. A stranger arrives -- cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune. He disturbs the sisters' careful habits, installing himself at the head of the family table, unearthing Merricat's treasures, talking privately to Constance about "normal lives" and "boy friends." Unable to drive him away by either polite or occult means, Merricat adopts more desperate methods. The result is crisis and tragedy, the revelation of a terrible secret, the convergence of the villagers upon the house, and a spectacular unleashing of collective spite. The sisters are propelled further into seclusion and solipsism, abandoning "time and the orderly pattern of our old days" in favor of an ever-narrowing circuit of ritual and shadow. They have themselves become talismans, to be alternately demonized and propitiated, darkly, with gifts. Jackson's novel emerges less as a study in eccentricity and more -- like some of her other fictions -- as a powerful critique of the anxious, ruthless processes involved in the maintenance of normality itself. "Poor strangers," says Merricat contentedly at last, studying trespassers from the darkness behind the barricaded Blackwood windows. "They have so much to be afraid of."

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The Merciless
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The Merciless

by Danielle Vega

About the book:  "The Merciless is chilling. Think Mean Girls meets The Exorcist."—MTV.com Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page of this thrilling debut novel. Fans of Asylum by Madeleine Roux and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will devour this terrifying series. Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream. Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed. Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls...unless she wants to be next. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us? “Pretty Little Liars fans, get a sneak peek at your new favorite book The Merciless…a nail biting thriller.”—Seventeen Magazine From the Hardcover edition.

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Foxfire
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Foxfire

by Joyce Carol Oates

About the book:  In upstate New York during the 1950s, five rebellious teenage girls form a gang and embark on a mission of fury, anger, violence, and revenge. By the author of Black Water. 60,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo. Tour.


Notes:  Confessions of a Girl Gang

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Sharp Objects
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Sharp Objects

by Gillian Flynn

About the book:  Some scars never heal . . . An addictive thriller from the author of the mega bestseller GONE GIRL. When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes. Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family's mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows - a precocious 13-year-old who holds a disquieting grip on the town. As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims - a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

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The Rehearsal
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The Rehearsal

by Eleanor Catton

About the book:  When news spreads of a high school teacher's relationship with one of his students, the teenage girls at Abbey Grange are jolted into a new awareness of their own potency and power. Although no one knows the whole truth, the girls have their own ideas about what happened. And when the local theatre school decides to turn the scandal into a play, the boundaries between fact and fantasy soon break down as dramas both real and imagined begin to unfold.

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Picnic at Hanging Rock
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Picnic at Hanging Rock

by Joan Lindsay

About the book:  The classic novel about the disappearance of three boarding school girls that inspired the acclaimed film It was a cloudless summer day in the year 1900. Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of the secluded volcanic outcropping. Farther, higher, until at last they disappeared. They never returned. . . . Mysterious and subtly erotic, Picnic at Hanging Rock inspired the iconic 1975 film of the same name by Peter Weir. A beguiling landmark of Australian literature, it stands with Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides as a masterpiece of haunting intrigue.

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