Narrator: Vanessa Moyen
Series: Hometown Antihero #2
Published by Tor Teen
Published on 17 September 2019
Genres: Thriller, United States, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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Kylene Danners’s ex-FBI agent father is in prison for murder and she’s hell-bent on getting him out. But trying to investigate in the small town where a defensive lineman is a hero no matter who he tries to kill and the girl who gets him locked up is public enemy number one is dangerous. Dark secrets are everywhere in Jasperville—the kind Ky can’t walk away from.
When rookie FBI agent Cedric Dawson returns to town to finish an open investigation, he goes undercover at her high school—as her ex. Determined to keep her from interfering, Dawson’s plan backfires after Ky gets an anonymous call about missing girls officially labeled as runaways—runaways that didn’t really run away at all.
Because dead girls can’t run.
And they don’t say a word.
The sequel to Dare You to Lie delivers more of the same high-action tee investigator thrilling mysteries as its predecessor, with our resident badass Kylene Danners also embroiled in a fake dating trope while she works with rookie undercover FBI agent Dawson to bring down an underage sex ring involving students (and possibly teachers!) at her school, while still trying to prove her FBI dad was framed for the murder of a colleague. Whew! That’s a lot to pack into one book.
The biggest problem I had with this book was once again the overwhelming ratio of male to female characters. There is more ‘screen time’ for precisely one new female characters, but it comes at the expense of Kylene’s alleged newest best friend Tabby, whose role was delegated to little more than an enthusiastic cheerleader trying to get Ky and her ex AJ back together and dragging Ky to all of these social events she didn’t want to go to, you know, for the drama. Kylene’s other female ally largely only appeared off page in phone conversations, so that was disappointing. This isn’t a reverse harem, so what is up with all the dicks? Every other girl was your typical whispering, shade-throwing, rumour-mongering Mean Girl.
Don’t get me wrong, the boys were assholes, too. But there were just so many important boys and not enough important girls. It was like Ky was a guy who though girls had cooties. She just didn’t interact with them, befriend them, hang out with them, talk to them, or think about them (except Tabby, the Token Female Friend.)
There may have been few other girls in this book, but in my opinion the lack of the female gender was made up for by the excellent fake dating story Agent Dawson used to pose as a student at Ky’s school as her ex-boyfriend (and soon to be boyfriend again, as he kept telling other students). I am trash for fake dating, apparently, because I absolutely loved this. Dawson is in his 20s, so much too old for Ky anyway (yes, I feel the same way about Vampire Academy), and they genuinely antagonise each other over practically everything, but I really do get the feeling that they have grown to respect and like each other this far into the story. There’s also a lot of sexual tension on Ky’s end because Dawson is hot and likes to walk around shirtless or something. But this is complicated by AJ, who Ky is also attracted to.
I would argue that this is not a love triangle because there is no love. There is absolutely nothing deeper than sexual attraction and lust from Ky. She’s not in love with either of them, she literally cannot (or does not) think that deeply about either of them, and also, she’s trying to save her dad and take down this underage sex ring and she doesn’t have time for boys (except she clearly does). Some people probably call this a love triangle and I’m just like
I thought this was going to be a duology, but since the major plot point is still unresolved by the end of this book, there should be a third one coming out to wrap everything up, hopefully in 2020 or maybe 2021.
Normally I hate books that end without resolving important plot points, like cutting off the end of a three-act story just to shift it to the next book in the series, but I don’t feel that this happens with this series. Sure, the dad-in-jail plot point isn’t resolved, but that’s not actually Ky’s focus in either of the first two novels in this series. She may not have solved her dad’s problem, but she did solve her own problems, and I found that very satisfying, and interesting enough to keep going.