Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book Inspection: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

Plot Sketch: Natalie Hargrove rules Palmetto High. She's the senior girl. What she thinks matters and what she does sets trends. She dates Mike King. She puts people in their places, both socially and verbally with her debate skills. She is a shoe-in for Palmetto Princess. Only thing is, people don't know about her past and what she was before she started as a Freshman at Palmetto. When Palmetto Prince contender J.B. has some unfortunate events happen to him, it's Natalie's past that comes in to play, Natalie's past that drives her actions. Ultimately, is it Natalie's past that determines her fate? Who betrays Natalie Hargrove? Read to find out.

Verdict: I Heart It! I have to say that the ending of this book cinched it for me. Starting out, you think Natalie a shallow, self-centered gold-digger like her mother, but as you go on, Kate does a good job of showing us why Nat acts the way she does. Her backstory comes in to play and a little reflection after finishing the book goes a long way to understanding and appreciating the story. It was unexpected, and well done. It's not uplifting, but it is thought provoking. Parental warnings: SEX!, Drugs, and homicidal themes all occur in this novel, so you'll want to screen it first to make sure it's appropriate for your teen. I don't know much about Southern culture, so I don't know if Kate's cultural references are valid or not, but I can vouch for her geographical references. I was especially impressed with some of her flora references and the accuracy thereof (e.g., venus fly trap native range).

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
Palmetto, SC (which is fictional, I looked it up)

What is the main character's name?
Natalie Hargrove

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
After finishing, I appreciate her, but I still do not like her.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
five hours with interruptions of course

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?

Is this a good read for Monster?

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
I think it's good the way it is.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
"And deadlier than a snake."

How many chapters were in the book?
20 plus a very well done epilogue


Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: November 12, 2009 (TODAY!!)
ISBN-10: 1595142657

Acquire It:

Note: This review is based on an ARC received from Razorbill. Thanks Razorbill.
I am thankful for Blackberry. Thank you for making my whole life fit into a little handheld pink box. You rock.

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