Dare Me by Eric Devine

As a young adult, how many times did you complete a dare just so you didn’t look like a coward, or maybe because the rush was too great to pass up? I knew someone who jumped off of a train bridge hundreds of feet into their town’s river. And then there’s always the ever exciting thrill of sneaking out of ones parent’s house after curfew to go gallivanting in the dark with friends. Sound familiar? While we may be ashamed of some of these incidents now, dares and foolish stunts are a rite of passage that teens complete no matter where they’re from … only these days, you can document a dare and post video online for the whole world to see. Weblebrities abound.

In Eric Devine’s new book, DARE ME, high school seniors Ben Candido and his friends, Ricky and John, decide to post a YouTube video of themselves surfing on top of a car. Overnight, the video becomes the talk of the school and they finally feel like the somebodies they are meant to be instead of the social nobodies they’ve been for so long. The trio agrees to complete ten stunts total, bankrolled by a mysterious donor met via Craigslist. They’ve been promised money, but is it the thought of becoming legends what’s really driving them to take the risks?

Writer Eric Devine, a high school English teacher based out of Waterford, NY, has written a tale that explores the extremes of standing out from the crowd and the costs of doing so, the nuances of our social media-driven culture, and, most importantly, what it takes to stay true to one’s self in the face of relentless pressure.