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Dare Me

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Overview

When Ben Candido and his friends, Ricky and John, decide to post a YouTube video of themselves surfing on top of a car, they finally feel like the somebodies they are meant to be instead of the social nobodies that they are. Overnight, the video becomes the talk of the school, and the boys are sure that their self-appointed senior year of dares will live in infamy. Every dare brings an increased risk of bodily harm, but Ben cannot deny the thrill and sense of swagger that come with it. The stakes become even more...

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Dare Me

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Overview

When Ben Candido and his friends, Ricky and John, decide to post a YouTube video of themselves surfing on top of a car, they finally feel like the somebodies they are meant to be instead of the social nobodies that they are. Overnight, the video becomes the talk of the school, and the boys are sure that their self-appointed senior year of dares will live in infamy. Every dare brings an increased risk of bodily harm, but Ben cannot deny the thrill and sense of swagger that come with it. The stakes become even more complex when a mysterious donor bankrolls their dares in exchange for a cut in the online revenue the videos generate. But at what point do the risk and the reward come at too high of a price? What does it take to stay true to one’s self in the face of relentless pressure?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/19/2013
Ben and his friends hope to make their senior year one to remember—and maybe even become “weblebrities”—by filming a series of dare videos with an escalating level of danger. Besides not dying while car surfing or jumping from a bridge into a quarry lake, their goal is to get more and more hits online and keep their identities a secret. Thanks to a little ingenuity and a mysterious corporate sponsor, the boys are suddenly all anyone can talk about, and the stakes start to involve a lot of money. In a culture where online audiences are always ready for the must-see link of the moment and corporations are eager to capitalize on user-generated content, Devine’s (Tap Out) story takes on a chilling reality. Between dares, Ben faces an unwelcome family move, has his first sexual experience, and grows closer to his pizza-shop coworker Alexia, who’s fascinated by daredevil boys but involved in an abusive relationship. An adrenaline-inducing read about teens getting in over their heads as they try to make something of themselves. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
School Library Journal
“The extreme dares will appeal to boys, but readers of both genders will identify with the fear and uncertainty Ben and his friends face...With timely subject matter yet universal themes, this novel should be a popular one.”

VOYA
"Though sometimes the emotional intensity is discomforting, it has sweet parts that keep the reader smiling."

Booklist
"This follow-up to Tap Out (2012) should further establish Devine as a go-to author for gritty stories about guys fighting on the fringe. . . . [W]onderfully inarticulate characters and subtle insight into our culture of quick but damaging fame."

Publishers Weekly
"In a culture where online audiences are always ready for the must-see link of the moment and corporations are eager to capitalize on user-generated content, Devine's story takes on a chilling reality. . . . An adrenaline-inducing read about teens getting in over their heads as they try to make something of themselves."

Kirkus Reviews
"Devine’s examination of the teenage boy's need for adrenaline is admirably complex . . . Astute and riveting."

MotherDaughterBookclub.com
“Riveting and fast paced, this book is hard to put down. I recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up.”

VOYA - Deena Viviani
With his dad laid off, broke, and selling their house, and his crush dating an abusive guy, high school senior Ben Candido figures he has nothing to lose when Ricky asks him and their friend John to complete ten dares over ten months. At first, Ben loves the adrenaline rush and attention when the masked Daredevil Crew's stunts are uploaded to YouTube. Soon, though, the dares become more dangerous, and it is clear that someone other than Ricky is behind them. Ricky finally reveals that a businessman named O. P. will pay them for each YouTube view they receive, and the trio blindly signs his contract. As the school year progresses, the teens risk their lives to keep money coming into their pockets. Tensions grow as their identities are slowly discovered, and a final showdown between Ben and a classmate has him wondering if he will make it through high school alive. Dare Me's premise is compelling; however, some of the dares are odd (one time the Daredevils dress like turkeys so hunters will shoot at them), O. P.'s motives are never clear, and the finale involving an injury by corn stalk is laughable. The author also repeatedly reminds the reader why Ben sticks with the dares (first he wants the glory, then he does not want to let his friends down, and then he needs the money), most likely to reinforce his own weak reasoning. The fact that Ben's older sister keeps his secret is also questionable. Buy this book only if readers are asking for more contemporary, edgy fiction starring high school guys. Reviewer: Deena Viviani
VOYA - Maia Raynor
Dare Me is a story about a teen and his friends, their desire to be seen, and what they are willing to risk for that visibility. Their plan seems simple: complete ten dares in ten months during their senior year. Though sometimes the emotional intensity is discomforting, it has sweet parts that keep the reader smiling. Just like the author's other novels, the theme of truth and consequences definitely applies. Reviewer: Maia Raynor, Teen Reviewer
Kirkus Reviews
2013-08-15
Fully attuned to the adrenaline-fueled appeal of dares, Devine deftly conveys the dire consequences that can ensue once the first step is taken. Ben, a perfectly normal high school senior, and his buddies Ricky and John pull an amazing stunt, which they post anonymously on YouTube, hoping for "weblebrity." What comes their way is a contract promising them money if they continue to do ever-more-dangerous dares. When not filming dares, narrator Ben works as a pizza-delivery guy and longs for popular co-worker Alexia, who's attached to a bad boy. His reflections on physics, English class and math become more penetrating as the ante ups with each completed dare. Adding in cameraman Trevor changes the equation only a little. Trev is a nerd and a target for bullies, but he's also exceptionally smart and a quick thinker. As the stunts continue, Ben begins to have his doubts. Further complicating matters, Ben's dad is out of work, and Ben's sister wants to do a paper on their macho antics for her college psychology class. Devine's examination of the teenage boy's need for adrenaline is admirably complex, and he frames it within an engaging and realistically foulmouthed narrative. Ben reflects, "This is larger than us, and we're already in motion and gaining speed. The natural course is to let this run take us where it's going. There are no brakes in freefall." Astute and riveting. (Fiction. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 8 Up—Ben and his two friends want an epic senior year, so they decide to complete a series of dares and post videos of them online. The boys cover their faces and call themselves the Daredevil Crew. Their first videos go viral, and suddenly they are the talk of the school. A sponsor appears with lots of cash to pay them, but wants each stunt to be more dangerous. The feats start to interfere with life rather than enhance it. School and the authorities try to find out who belongs to the Daredevil Crew, and Alexia, a girl Ben has known and cared about for many years, gets mixed up in the violence. His falling grades and his family's financial problems mean going to college may no longer be an option. The teen tries his best to deal with his situation while questioning all the reasons the boys keep doing the stunts. The story culminates in a horrific fight that ends in serious and long-lasting consequences for everyone involved. The extreme dares will appeal to boys, but readers of both genders will identify with the fear and uncertainty Ben and his friends face. The story shows the aftermath of poor choices and how one person's actions can have a ripple effect far beyond what was expected. With timely subject matter yet universal themes, this novel should be a popular one.—Diana Pierce, formerly at Leander High School, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762450152
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 492,449
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Devine is a writer, high-school English teacher, and educational consultant. He is the author of Tap Out, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers, and This Side of Normal, and lives in Waterford, NY with his family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 31, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    How far would you go on a dare? How far for money? This and more

    How far would you go on a dare? How far for money? This and more is answered in this thrilling story which I’m glad I picked it. Thought provoking and realistic, this story will take you on an adventure.

    Plot: The plot is simple. Teens doing dares during their senior year. One dare goes viral and the next thing you know, they are getting paid to do more dares….dangerous dares. And of course being teens, they go for it. I really liked this plot. Though it may not seem like much, this plot really brings in the emotions and thoughts of teens. The drive for money, popularity as well as going all out senior year.

    Friendships: With teens and money things do go too far. Some of the dares push to the limits of a close dance with death. Luckily through the story, the teens began to realize that maybe money isn’t worth it after all. Because of the money and popularity there are a string of jealous teens and fights. Friendships are lost and others are born. Needless to say, you will not be bored reading this story.

    Ending: I think the ending is fitting for this story. It didn’t end happily nor did it end badly. It ended just right giving the teens well… the consequences that happen with making bad decisions.

    Overall, this is an exciting book! If you want a story that focuses on real teens emotions and social media, pick this book up. It’s takes all things that are going on today and focuses on issues that others may not want to see. Dare Me is fantastic.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2013

     "There are no brakes in freefall." Best line in DARE

     "There are no brakes in freefall." Best line in DARE ME by Eric Devine. 

    Ben, the main character, and his friends are pranksters and adreniline junkies. They start their senior year at school doing a dangerous stunt and a plan to do 10 dares. Only an anonymous person gets involved, calls the shots, and everything escalates out of control. There's also a realistic romance (not sappy at all like Romances) and one sex scene, but with purpose, not gratutious. The foul words in dialogue was authentic for teen boys, although I felt the adults wouldn't have used the exact same vulgar words as the teens.    
    DARE ME will especially appeal to boys. I felt boys could relate to the actions and motives and ambivilance of the characters. [Note: I read and write books with male protagonists, but I had trouble understanding and couldn't identify with Ben and John and knew it was because I am a woman. However, I taught high school and did know adolescent boys like this, so I believe the author is writing authentic characters, even if the mother and teacher in me was afraid these boys were going to ruin their lives and futures.]  
    The ending rang true in that the characters all suffered consequences to their actions. One thing I loved throughout the book was how the main character understood Issac Newton's laws and how they applied to his decisions and the outcome of those actions. I also loved his sister and their relationship and found that to be very realistic. I loved his whole intact family and how they interacted. The pizza place and job was very accurate. (My son had worked at a pizza place in high school.) 
    I bought DARE ME at B&N and often give away books to libraries. However, I plan to keep DARE ME on the shelf for a couple of boys in my family for when they reach 14. I'd rather they read about Ben's exploits and hopefully it will be a cautionary tale.     



     

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  • Posted October 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Eric Divine¿s latest novel, Dare Me, presents not-so-typical tee

    Eric Divine’s latest novel, Dare Me, presents not-so-typical teenage antics among three high school seniors who take on the challenge of: Just how far will they take a dare once they are faced with the reality of whether they are man enough to accept the consequences?




    Ben Candido and his friends, Ricky and John, are in their senior year of high school. Time is running out for them to change their respective images (and certainly peer perception) of the seemingly ‘nobody’s’ they have been all through high school. Things are about to change once Ricky makes a connection through Craigslist with mystery man ‘O.P.’ Ricky strikes the deal with O.P. that requires the three of them to perform ten outrageous dares throughout the school year. Ricky isn’t too concerned about buy-in from his buddies once they learn they’ll get paid for their high risk performances. He further sweetens the pot when he explains the money is endless based on the number of YouTube hits they’ll get once posted. The story opens with their first dare—car surfing in speeds in excess of 40 mph. The only job the ‘surfer dude’ on the roof of the car needs to do is stay atop the vehicle while in motion. To further enhance the dare-devilish acts, the three are contractually bound to do all stunts in disguise—an added bonus to the interest and intrigue.




    The double-edged sword, however, is their rapid and unexpected virtual fame as the internet hits continue to rise in number. It’s all the buzz and rage at school. The adrenalin boost and instant celebrity the boys experience, even though their identities have been concealed, is the ultimate high. Their ‘almost famous’ status is well on its way to ‘famous’ and it seems the standings have changed overnight which also fuels their craving for greater risk and more dangerous stunts. O.P. is all about upping the anti and encourages the boys to keep going. While the rush fuels their fun and games, their bravado is somewhat stalled when one of them gets hurt. However, it’s too late to change their minds and that contract they signed doesn’t have a ‘back out’ clause…




    Eric Divine demonstrates a strong voice and vision for his audience. After reading his biography (and learning he is a high school English teacher), it is abundantly clear he writes from (perhaps) personal experiences. The situations are fluid and credible throughout the story—situations that range from the dynamics of high school girl drama to the overly active testosterone of the boys and the awkward moments most kids this age navigate. Divine does a superb job of playing out the behaviors (particularly with high school boys) of the constant quest they are on as they vie for front and center stage among their peers. The story has a comfortable balance between actions and consequences, but doesn’t come off as preachy. Rather, Divine has struck a confident balance among choices, actions and consequences young adults face today and as a result, has accomplished writing an engaging body of work across the pages of Dare Me.




    Quill says: Dare Me presents believable consequences a young adult must face as a result of the choices he or she has made.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    It Is What It Is

    This book poses important questions that we ask ourselves everyday, just not in the same context. What's important in our life? What are we willling to do for money? What is worth our life? What are we willing to risk? And, just like life, this book gives the characters results, but not necessarily answers. Eric Devine is a writer to watch. What he's contributed to the fearless teen fiction genre is something to be read and recognized for it's relevance.

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  • Posted October 15, 2013

    Eric Devine, Author has released his second book called Dare Me.

    Eric Devine, Author has released his second book called Dare Me. I have just finished it, and highly recommend it. The premise is that three high school seniors decide to spice up their last year of school by completing and posting ten dares over the course of the year. However, things are not always as they appear, as the ringleader is withholding important information from the others, rivalries rear their ugly heads, outside influences come into play and that little matter called life gets in the way. The plot takes several twists and turns throughout, and has several suspenseful moments. I recommend the book for high school age through adult. This book is a good read.

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