“Tense, dark, and beautifully written” (Gillian Flynn), this novel of friendship and betrayal from an Edgar Award-winning author is a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.
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. Writing with “total authority and an almost desperate intensity” (Tom Perrotta), award-winning novelist Megan Abbott delivers a story as unnerving and thrilling as adolescence itself.
“Spectacular . . . It’s Heathers meets Fight Club good.” — Chelsea Cain, the New York Times Book Review
Megan Abbott is the award-winning author of nine novels, including You Will Know Me, The Fever, Dare Me, and The End of Everything. She received her PhD in literature from New York University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Guardian, and The Believer. Currently, she is a staff writer on HBO’s David Simon show, The Deuce. She lives in New York City.