Dare You – Jennifer Brown – Nikki Kill #2 – Katherine Tegen Books – Published 14 February 2017



Nikki Kill didn’t realize that trying to find out who killed Peyton Hollis would tangle her in a web of dangerous family secrets that would rock her identity to the core. But now that Nikki knows the truth, the all-powerful Hollises want to frame her for Peyton’s murder. 

And now Nikki’s only chance at escaping the cold black bars of prison or the crimson grip of death is teaming up with the enigmatic Detective Martinez and relying on an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of clues….

My thoughts

Fantastic. Addictive. And now I so very desperately need the next book in this series. Right. Now. I can’t wait to read what happens next and get back to Nikki and Detective Martinez. Ahhh. When can I have book three??? But first, let me tell you about my love for this book.

Dare You picks up where Shade Me left off. Nikki knows who killed Peyton, she just can’t prove it. So she finished school and is about to graduate. But that’s it when it comes to plans, and she is unsure about what to do with her life. She hasn’t heard from Detective Martinez in months. But when she is arrested she knows that those who killed Peyton haven’t forgotten about Nikki and they intend to see her jailed or dead.

It’s great to return to the world of Nikki Kill. Where emotions, words, letter and numbers are colours. Where her senses have helped reveal a classmate’s killer but infinitely complicated Nikki’s world. Dare You and Shade Me are the very best kind of mystery stories, plenty of suspense, a strong protagonist, seemingly impossible odds, and just the barest hint of romance that keeps you desperately hanging on for more.

With the return of the bad guys to Nikki’s life, so too returns Detective Martinez (cue happy dancing and confetti). I was so happy to see Nikki and Detective Martinez team up again. I love their story, love them together. Bring on those yellow sunbeams (and violet streaks, hmmmm…). And this book certainly continued their story, the one I was so desperate to see develop after the events of Shade Me. But what a slow and agonising – in the most delicious way – (love?) story. We will have to wait for the next book to see further development. It will be worth the wait, I can just tell.

But while Nikki’s personal life may be developing slowly everything else happens at light speed. New developments, new clues, more twists, more people woven into the mystery that is Nikki’s life. Just when she uncovers something it gets harder to prove and more complicated.

I love Nikki’s character. Rough around the edges, go it alone, troubled by what she sees and knows, Nikki Kill. Tough as nails, acerbic, loner. How can a girl who continually walks into dangerous situations not evoke the stupid-girl label from me? How can a girl who treats good guys badly not make me angry? Maybe it’s because she doesn’t walk, she marches. Maybe because she is upfront with the guy, believes she isn’t worth his time or anything long term with anyone. I love her instincts, love her attitude, love how she feels infinitely guilty and sad about the people she has loved and lost. And while I’m listing things I love, can I just express my love for the cover, especially the choice of those particular colours.

This series has to be read in series order to understand the plot, mysteries, and clues uncovered so far. The end of Dare You is resolved enough not to leave the reader hanging but there are still so many unanswered questions, and it is almost a cliffhanger because there are lives in the balance, people!! Again, I repeat, I need book three.

I love this series, love this book, love the writing, love the characters. This series, Dare You in particular, is highly recommended.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

More information

Category: Young adult fiction.

Genre: Contemporary.

Themes: Murder, detective, synesthesia, mystery, crime.

Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.

Advisory: Coarse language, bit**, f***, wh***, sh**. Frequent references to prostitution. Vaguely implied sex scenes. Sexual references. References to drugs.

Published: 14  February 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

Format: Hardcover, ebook. 480 pages.

ISBN: 9780062324467

Find it on Goodreads