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{April 22, 2012}   {ARC Review} Girl In The Park by Mariah Fredericks

From Goodreads: When Wendy Geller’s body is found in Central Park after the night of a rager, newspaper headlines scream, “Death in the Park: Party Girl Found Strangled.” But shy Rain, once Wendy’s best friend, knows there was more to Wendy than just “party girl.” As she struggles to separate the friend she knew from the tangle of gossip and headlines, Rain becomes determined to discover the truth about the murder. Written in a voice at once immediate, riveting, and utterly convincing, Mariah Frederick’s mystery brilliantly exposes the cracks in this exclusive New York City world and the teenagers that move within it.

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This was a really interesting novel with an ending that I never expected.  Rain is a shy young woman, her cleft palate leaving her less than thrilled to speak aloud, causing her to spend much of her time in silence while observing the world around her.  Wendy Geller, Rain’s former best friend, is just the opposite, loud and outgoing, looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places, and the circumstances surrounding her death leave her upscale preparatory school with mixed feelings.  While some believe Wendy got what she deserved, others, like Rain, knew the real Wendy and want her image cleared—it’s Rain’s last testament to Wendy, and through the enlightening flashbacks, the reader is given insight into both Rain and Wendy’s friendship, giving them a background and personality that sets them both apart from the narrow minded people around them. This proves to be an intriguing murder mystery and Rain sets off to unravel the truth, and though all evidence points in one direction, nothing is as it seems. 

I enjoyed this novel for the most part; Rain’s inner monologue was interesting, especially as she thinks back on all the good times she had with Wendy.  The mix of past and present in novels is one of my favorite elements for developing a story, and Fredericks did a great job bringing this story to life.  While I was expecting a little more of a thrill from this book—more intensity and excitement—it was still a good read, and the ending completely through me off balance.  Fredericks has created a very interesting novel that was highly enjoyable.  Three and a half stars.

Random House Children’s Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read a copy of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on April 24, 2012.

 

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