Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

There’s nothing more twisted than fate, unless you count Natalie Hargrove...

Ever since she left the small-town caravan park for the richer and better side of town, Natalie has been plotting her ascension to the position of Palmetto Princess for as long as she can remember, willing to do anything, and everything to ensure that she and her boyfriend assume the role of Princess and Prince. She’s clawed her way up the hierarchy and has finally won the respect, popularity and power that she deserves.

Natalie’s boyfriend Mike, doesn’t share her desire on becoming the Prince of Palmetto high, and when it becomes clear that he may lose to her nemesis, Justin Balmer, Natalie’s just about ready to risk everything.

In a spur of the moment decision, Natalie takes an opportunity that presents itself and uses it to her advantage. Together with her boyfriend, Natalie leaves a drunk and delirious Justin in front of a church, hoping to humiliate him. What she doesn’t tell Mike, is that she’d also tied Justin to a tree, and taken away some of his possessions, after all, she’s only ensuring that he doesn’t wake up and leave before he can be humiliated, no harm done right?

Or that’s what she tells herself when Justin is discovered dead the next morning... Suddenly she finds herself with a murder on her hands, not exactly what she wanted to deal with. Natalie finds herself plunged into a world of dark secrets and even darker deeds.

This is what happens when you cross the fine line between ambition and obsession...

Well, let’s just say that The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is not exactly what I expected; I can’t say that I love the book, but I can’t exactly label it as terrible. For the first quarter or so of the book, I was very interested, yet as the book progressed, I found myself wandering from the story; I didn’t exactly feel the deep desire to finish the book. Towards the end, I was drawn back in, only to be disappointed by the ending. I really expected something with more... flare from Lauren Kate. I’m not saying that the book is bad; I’m just saying that the book doesn’t really live up to the standards of Fallen.

The story, though quick and easy to read, is very confusing, at first it feels like you’ve opened a book in the very middle and then started reading with absolutely no idea what’s happened. Only when you are right at the end do you really understand the story and Natalie’s motivation.

I find that I slightly dislike the main character, Natalie Hargrove. She is very single minded about life, judging by what I’ve heard from her in the book, all she wishes to accomplish in life is becoming the Princess of Pametto. She’s a bit like a broken record, repeating the issue over and over again. In some parts of the book I find that she over reacts. I have to acknowledge her determination and ambition though, she doesn’t ever really doubt herself, though she tends manipulate others around her to get what she wants. When you find out all that she’s been through and what life has thrown at her, you do slightly feel sorry for her though... and you also understand why she’s become the person she is.

Underestimate of the year..They’ll actually ruin the book for you!!! Yep... I’m serious! Dead serious!!!

I personally find the ending completely and utterly pointless and unsatisfying; It’s the coward’s way out! So she runs away, yeah, like that’s actually going to resolve anything and then a sudden death?!? Honestly, I really don’t think that is a very original way of ending the book...

Over all, The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is... different, but I just can’t say that I found the book as engaging as I first expected. Maybe Lauren Kate should focus on completing the Fallen series instead, so that we don’t have to wait so LONG!!! :D

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