Addy Character Analysis Dare Me

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When you think about cheerleaders, you think they are the queens of high school, they are on top of the social order, and they enforce the rules strictly. Often, cheerleaders in books or even movies are just used for comedy or teen drama, but in this case, they are used for crime. This is exactly what Megan Abbott does in the novel Dare Me. Dare Me is a mesmerizing piece of style combining deep characterization and insight with a truly nerve-shredding crime plot. The story is narrated by Addy, lifelong lieutenant of cheerleading captain Beth, until Coach French takes over the cheerleading squad, and wins Addy over. In some ways, Coach French is the kind of inspirational leader/mentor young people long for. She believes in the squad’s competitive …show more content…
She is mean and manipulative, and she tears down other girls just to win the battle against Coach French. Yet, buried deep inside is a touching vulnerability, most clearly seen in her friendship with Addy. At several points in the story, she calls Addy stone cold, tough, a fox. “It was always you,” she says. Addy may have been Beth’s second-in-command, but we see how much the power dynamic is reversed from Beth’s point of view. Even though Addy does not realize it, Beth really craves her approval, her validation, above all, her friendship. Therefore, when Addy, like the rest of the squad, becomes enthralled with Coach French, Beth’s battle against the coach becomes personal — much more than supremacy over a cheerleading squad; it is a battle to be Addy’s …show more content…
She knew it was her chance to wrap Coach around her finger. However, Beth is simmering resentment and jealousy concerning Addy’s relationship with Coach have reached a boiling point by the time the officer turns up dead in his apartment. The whodunit aspect surrounding this death pales against the dark sexual and psychological currents that ripple among the girls and Coach; the question of who is emotional victim versus who is predator becomes murkier and more disturbing than any detective puzzle. Dare Me is ultimately Addy’s story, however. At the center of Coach French and Beth’s power struggle, Addy is embroiled in many seriously messed up events, and when everything seems to be about power dynamics, she is unsure whom she can trust. Addy is in a state of flux, both uninterested in going above her lieutenant role and secretly yearning to be the Flyer on the squad, the Queen Bee as it

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