Review : Truth or Dare, Jacqueline Wilson

When I first read the synopsis of Truth or Dare, I immediately thought about a Pretty Little Liars spin-off. I was honestly surprised to enjoy it this much.  Despite a story that’s not so original, I found myself turning pages quickly, and really enjoying the ride.

Nothing as childish and innocent as a simple game of Truth or Dare. Or, is it? When Tenley Reed comes back to the city, she’s eager to regain her popularity, her best friend Caitlin, and, well, her whole life back. What better way than to replay an old game of truth or dare with her friends? Raising the odds, making one night fun…until the next morning spins out of control. Tenley, Caitlin, and Sydney, a girl who isn’t even part of this socialite crowd, are starting to get notes. Dares. Do this or I reveal this dark little secret of yours…What a twisted game. Despite the deja-vu of this story (Pretty Little Liars was kind of made on the same sort of plot, girls getting threatening notes), I enjoyed the way it was built, and the setting, too. At Echo Bay, a small town next to the ocean, everyone knows each other. This place is filled with a dark history, too : a few years ago, while the Fall Festival took place, girls drowned out to the sea, near a place now called, The Phantom Rock. Despite appearances, this story isn’t really a copycat, due to this interesting background of the city…and also, to the different main characters of this story.

“What do you say to a little game of truth or dare?”

Told in three different point of view, in alternating chapters (Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney), Truth or Dare gives an interesting relief to the same story. All of these girls are being threatened, getting dares, and it was really good to see the three of them react in different ways, suspecting some, of other people, and sometimes, even each other. I found all of them very relatable, though I have to say, Tenley’s character was a little more hard to grow attached too : being the spoiled, rich girl, used to getting what she wanted, it’s obvious I had a harder time getting there. Caitling was my favorite character, her personnality, her struggles, her evolution… I just found myself attached to her, and found her story, very intriguing to read. However, I have to say, the author did a great job at shaping the main characters : I found them three-dimensional  (except a little less for Tenley, maybe, I don’t know). We deal with them, their personnalities, and, as we continue reading, we get a glimpse of their families, their dark sides, their friends, their love lives… Everyone had an interesting background. I found it refreshing to see some family relationships being carried into the plot : Sydney with her parents, a little of Tenley with her mom, and the same with Caitlin. If I’m talking about relationships, I should make a point about friendship, too. In this mysterious story, it was great to see different sides of the same story, and, great to see how little they know about each other, even sometimes, their friends. Friendships are put at stake, between Caitlin and Tenley. This was realistic, given the context, and I really enjoyed it. But what about Sydney? I said before that she isn’t really part of this crowd, and she’s far from being Tenley and Caitlin’s friend, either. However, the author fitted her in with the others in some scenes, and it was good to see those different personnalities colliding. I have to admit, I would have liked more of those scenes, but it wouldn’t have been realistic.

About the ending… I’m not going to spoil anything for you guys, but I found it a little predictable. I’m used to reading books similar to this one, filled with suspense and plot twists, that’s one of my favorite type of stories. However, I was a little disappointed about the ending. It was quickly wrapped-up, as opposed to the beginning, which took some time to came. What stood out, however, is how the lives of the characters are messed up, at the end. I’m not going to say anything, but, this closure, I didn’t really see it coming, and I liked it…But there are still so many questions. I knew, when I picked up, that this was the first in a series. I kind of expected it to be better wrapped-up at the end, than all the Pretty Little Liars are. But I was left with more questions than answers, about Caitlin, about the whole plot, even. That being said, I really had a great time reading Truth or Dare.

If you’re a fan of drama, mystery, and a fast-read, then I advice you to pick up Truth or Dare.  An entertaining read, with interesting, growing characters, and a well-plotted story. I’m not sure yet if I’ll pick up the second book, though. I liked it a lot, but I don’t feel compelled to order the following installment.

Jacqueline Green, Truth or Dare,  Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, May 14th 2013,.


When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it’s no longer a party game. It’s do or die.

It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin “Angel” Thomas to prove she’s more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn’t even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they’re forced to play along—or risk exposing their darkest secrets.

How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who’s behind this twisted game?

Set against the backdrop of Echo Bay, an isolated beach town haunted by misfortune, Truth or Dare is a highly charged debut that will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.

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