Saturday, 31 October 2009

The Betrayal Of Natalie Hargrove

Publisher: Penguin US
Pub. Date: Nov 12th 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 248
Format: ARC
Source of copy: from the publisher - Penguin US

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.

To be very brief, The Betrayal Of Natalie Hargrove belonged to the could-have-been-better kind. Steamy, sinful and secrecy, the book had so much potential that failed to thrive.

Lauren Kate's writing was very beautiful. It was indeed elegant, the kind that gave you a satisfied feeling from reading something decent and neat (I know I don't make sense here =.=). However, it was the plot that fell short of the readers' expectation. Half of the book turned out bleak for me because the characters were too obsessed over popularity like it was their oxygen. Snobbery, bitchiness and pointless competition came out as boredom and I kept wondering "when will I get to the exciting part?"

Things that should be elaborated like Natalie's painful past with her abusive Dad, the humiliating memories she shared with Justin or how guilty/freaked out the couple were about their homicide didn't cover as many pages as they should. And it was such a pity.

Moreover, I didn't feel much connection with the characters. I actually found Natalie pretty annoying. All she cared about was getting the crowns, even when she just accidentally killed someone, she didn't seem to be affected much by her guilt. Her romance was Mike was based mostly on popularity and lust, or at least that was how I felt about it. For Justin, I didn't have much chance to learn about him. A few scenes with a flashback couldn't form his full personalities although I could tell that the author did really try.

Anyway, I sort of liked the ending. It surprised me to some extent and the story's message was clearly shown in it.

A suitable book to read to kill time was how I defined The Betrayal Of Natalie Hargrove. I'm still looking forward to other books by Lauren Kate though. Like I said, I don't love the storyline of this one, but I love her writing.

Rating: 2.5/5


Diana Dang said...

Disappointing to hear, it has such a gorgeous cover though!

Annie. said...

Awww, that's sad to hear the book didn't live up to it's potential. I really liked the plot though...maybe it just needs getting use to? I'll give it a try anyway. Sounds really interesting.

debbie said...

great review and a sad novel !! :) can't wait to read this book ;)

Allison said...

It makes me wonder why I actually liked Natalie. I think it was her determination despite everything that was going on. The title didn't make sense to me until the end but it was awesome. I agree with you about the characters. I always mixed them up.