[description from goodreads]
A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake
Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school’s Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn’t share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie’s nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party—when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.
From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should’ve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.
Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth in this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence.Review:
Lauren Kate is also the author of the upcoming Fallen, which has been getting a ton of buzz, and everyone thinks it will be a hit. Because of that, I'm sure The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove will get somewhat lost among all the Fallen talk, even though this book is Lauren's debut, and from what I gather, it's whole lot better than Fallen. (I still haven't read Fallen, but from what I've heard...eh.) The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is by no means spectacular, but I did enjoy really it and would be sad to see it get lost in the shuffle.
Going in to the book, I really didn't know what it was about because the summary I read was definitely not as detailed as the one above. Because I was so uninformed, the twists and events were that much surprising. Many of the more twisted events, such as the one mentioned in the summary came as a surprise, while other things were insanely predictable, such as the result of Natalie running for Palmetto Princess. But the predictable things were minor compared to the unexpected ones- especially the twist at the end. The ending was completely shocking and unlike anything I have read before. The ending did leave many things unresolved, but I was too busy making a ":o" face to be concerned with the loose ends.
Natalie was a very interesting character- I got sick of her never-ending Palmetto Princess talk early on but was fascinated by her actions. She is horribly selfish and her actions are insane, but the way she explains her motivation makes it seem like her awful actions were right, that they were the best things she could have done in her situation. Unfortunately, I was less satisfied with the other characters. Justin was gone before I even knew much about him, Natalie's boyfriend, Mike, seemed to be more of a sidekick, and other characters just came and went as needed. Natalie's dad and old friend in particular seem like they are only plot catalysts instead of characters. They show up, move the plot along, and then they are only mentioned a few more times.
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove does have many undeveloped parts and unresolved ends, but it's still a delightfully twisted and shocking read.
Links: Lauren's website/blog/twitter
Book details: Razorbill/Paperback/$9.99