Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review of "The Dare Club: Nita" by Laurie Bradach and Kim “Howard” Johnson

Laurie and Kim will be awarding a $20 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so make sure to leave a comment here and visit the other stops on the tour:

Series: The Dare Club
Format: E-book & Paperback
Genre: Contemporary YA, Mystery
Length: 330 pages in paperback


Nita Conroy has relocated to the most boring town on the planet. That is, until would-be boyfriend Brad Keeley spills the beans about a secret group of girls known as The Dare Club. During her subterranean initiation below the high school, Nita overhears a plan by contractors and school officials to embezzle millions of dollars in grant money. When she is betrayed, The Dare Club's pranks become deadly serious.

With the clock ticking, Nita will need the help of her new friends to expose the chilling plot--and hopefully survive long enough to snag a date to the homecoming dance.


At least a dozen of the most popular, meanest students on campus were now spinning manically, twisting and turning, swiping at stains that just kept getting bigger. More students had rushed to their aid, and now those do-gooders were frantically trying to rid themselves of the mysterious goo that seemed to be everywhere. One brave soul put hand to mouth, and a cry went up that the substance was chocolate.

Runny, melted chocolate was extruding everywhere.

The students began to examine their chairs. The dark wood seats had perfectly camouflaged the squishy chocolate bars that had been placed on them. The chairs could be wiped off, the clothing would come clean again, but Lauren Wells might never recover from the humiliation.

“Lauren needs her diaper changed!” someone shouted. “It’s already on YouTube!”

“Epic,” Nita whispered under her breath.

It took several minutes for order to be restored. Mr. Withers excused all of the candy-coated students, while the rest of the class—Nita included—were instructed to remain in their seats.

Mr. Withers began walking up and down each aisle, dabbing at the stains on his shirt, making them larger and more noticeable. “There will be an investigation into this matter,” he said. “And when I find out who is responsible…”

He had just started up Nita’s aisle when the bell rang. The raven-haired girl literally sprang from her seat. As she did, a candy bar bounced from her purse and landed right in Mr. Withers path. Nita heard the sharp intake of breath, and saw the girl’s panicked look. Mr. Withers saw it too, and began weaving up the aisle through a cluster of departing students. For a moment he was buried in the crowd. In that instant, Nita scooped up the candy bar and stuck it in her own backpack.

Then Mr. Withers was there.

His eyes narrowed. “Did I just see what I think I saw?”

My Review:

I was reminded of the serial, teen-girls-kick-butt chapter books I used to read in middle school, so the nostalgia alone was enough to make me enjoy this book. The opening scene, with a streaker in the cafeteria, had me laughing, and the rest of the book maintained my attention. I kept wondering what kind of dare the club would try next, and some proved to be pretty creative (like the melty chocolate bars in the excerpt above). There are a few good twists and turns to the plot that had me guessing, and the teen romance subplot helps round out the narrative. 

I questioned a few things, like why a teenager who'd been arrested for terrorism would be allowed to go home with a friend's dad, no ankle monitor even, but younger readers, with less life experience, would probably overlook issues like that.

The editing could also have been a little more thorough. Commas were missing in some direct address, for instance, as well as a few other errors in punctuation and grammar.

All in all, this is a fun book for readers in the twelve to fourteen age bracket.

Unfortunately, this is not an AR book.

About the Authors:

Kim “Howard” Johnson has written comic books for Marvel, DC, and Event Comics. He is a director of improvisational comedy, an actor, and is rumored to hang around with the Monty Python gang. Howard’s other books include Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday and The Funniest One in the Room.

Laurie Bradach has nearly escaped the world of comics. Currently, she devotes her time to writing action-adventure stories without the use of word balloons. She is active in her local Romance Writers of America chapter, Heart and Scroll, and is a founding member of Random Moon Books. Laurie is also the author of A Good Draw, a romantic suspense novel.

Howard and Laurie are delighted to have written their first book together without killing each other. Be sure to look for the second book in the series, The Dare Club: Lindy.
Buy the paperback or Kindle edition through Amazon:


  1. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing The Dare Club: Nita. We're trying to capture the feeling of a Nancy Drew mystery in our contemporary stories. Each book in The Dare Club series will focus on a different girl in a different type of adventure. Thanks again!

  2. Looks like an interesting series!


  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Very short and sweet review. What does AR mean?

  4. AR stands for Accelerated Reader. It's a program schools use to track students' independent reading.

  5. It sounds like a good book for the younger set. Thanks for sharing it with us, I think it would be a good read for my niece

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  6. SO...How did the co-authoring? How did you share or split the writing duties? I'm always curious about how that kind of collaboration works.

    1. And it's even more muddled when you're married to you co-author!
      But, here's how we did it:
      Howard came up with the basic concept. We both discussed the storylines and the characters (though Laurie did more of the latter).
      Then Howard wrote the first draft and turned it over to Laurie, who did the rest.
      And then Howard did most of the editing.
      That's how it worked out for us! Of course, the second book is looking to be a different process--we'll let you know as soon as we know!
      Thanks for a very good question!

  7. Very nice review.


  8. Thanks so much to Corina for reading and reviewing, to Goddess Fish for setting it all up, and to all of our readers and commenters! And we hope to see everyone back when we return with the second Dare Club!

  9. How many book are there going to be? I love the concept of the books btw.

    galaschick78 at gmail dot com

  10. Some of the dares sound very creative.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  11. This is going to be a fun series I'd say.


  12. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com