6th January 2011, Corgi Books
288 pages, Paperback
High school life, teen relationships - moderate romance, drinking, deceit, lies, selfishness, pranks, prom, attempted perfection, airheads,
Summary from Random House Children's Books
Lauren Kate's irresistible first novel, THE BETRAYAL OF NATALIE HARGROVE, features the most ruthlessly ambitious heroine since Lady Macbeth. Natalie is utterly determined to cement her position at the top of the high school social ladder by becoming prom queen. When it looks like an interfering ex-boyfriend might get in her way, she devises a little prank to humiliate him. But when the prank goes devastatingly wrong, Natalie starts to lose control of her life. Caught in a web of dark secrets, shame and abuse of power, it's not guilt that eventually defeats Natalie. It's fate: the only thing she can't control
I was super excited about this book, considering how much I loved Fallen and Torment. The cover is in a similar style to the others. The precise meaning for using that particular cover is discovered at the end of the book.
My excitement dropped dramatically. Natalie Hargrove is a spoiled, selfish airhead. She embodies everything I hate about airheads. She's obsessed with how she looks. She thinks she looks amazing. She acts like the queen bee. She pushes the younger girls at school around. She gets her way. She is wrapped up in her boyfriend - and what she does is definitely not PG rated. I couldn't find one redeeming feature about her. It got worse when she pulled the prank. At that point when she took it all too far (it was too far to begin with in my opinion) I knew my hatred for her wouldn't change.
Please don't misunderstand me - I really liked this book. It's weird hating a character. I liked all the intrigue with her father, and learning the truth about his fate. I would have liked there to be more involvement of the issue surrounding her father.
Natalie lives in some stranger wonderland all on her own. What possesses her to think she can cover up her evil crime? It's not going to work. There is always evidence. She arranges it so that she will look innocent, but there's a paranormal element that wants to make sure justice is done.
I was thrilled when life started going wrong with her. I felt that at last she was getting proper justice for being a mean person. It got better and better. She lost it. People knew she lost it. She lost her prestige, she lost her standing at school. I loved the scene which echoed one at the start of the novel, where Natalie goes to someone for advice. The first time Natalie is the one in control, she's a self-centred self-styled princess. The second time, she's begging for help and advice.
As for the end - well there was a huge plot twist! Okay, I did feel sorry for her when a moment of her past was recalled. It was a terrifying ordeal. However, by agreeing to the stupid teen get together, she was asking for trouble. The one person I felt sorry for was her boyfriend. She dragged him into a load of mess, and refused to come clean when she had the chance. He would have got off lightly - well more lightly than Natalie. At least he was able to flee from the humiliation at the end.
All in all, this was a fun read. Yes I hated Natalie with a passion. But she really gets what she deserves, and then some. (It takes a lot for me to hate someone that much).
This is the first book where I've hated the main character 100%. Strange how I'll re-read at some point!
Be sure to check out Lauren Kate's website, with all the latest info about her books.