Thursday, May 3, 2012

ARC Review: The Girl in the Park

The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks, April 24, 2012. 224 pages. Published by Random House Children's Books. Source: Random Buzzers.

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.

First Sentence:



Let's try this again. My first attempt at reviewing The Girl in the Park seems to have vanished from my drafts. Fail.

The Girl in the Park ended up being completely different from what I had expected it to be...but in a totally good way.
When I first started reading The Girl in the Park I knew it was going to be a mystery about the murder of Rain's former friend, Wendy. What I was not expecting was a cast of complex characters whose stories pulled me and left me wondering if what was going to happen to them in the end, especially since some of them had reason to want her gone.
Even though I did not like some of the characters that were in the book (namely the rich girls and the bad boy whose name escapes me), I thought all the characters were written quite nicely.

What did I think about the mystery aspect of The Girl in the Park, it was good, but I had the motive and killer pegged early on. Even though I figured things out pretty early on in the book I loved the way the plot thickened with each day that passed as more reasons and potential suspects came to Rain's mind. 

At first, I was not sure I was going to like Rain, but as the book progressed and she started to push for answers about what happened to Wendy I could not help but like her. While she at first she was shy, to the point were others took advantage of her, I found her character to be one of the best in the book. I liked how she finally found herself and the courage to stand up for herself and to find out what happened.
Wendy, the party girl with an unhappy home life. Her story was perhaps the saddest...and not just because her life came to a brutal end. It was just sad, and I won't say anymore because my thoughts on her are kind of spoiler-ish.

So, what made The Girl in the Park such an excellent read? Well, that would have to be the way the story was laid out and how you got to learn more about Rain and Wendy through short recollections of the past. I thought it was interesting was to show the connection between Rain, Wendy and the rest of their classmates, as well, as the little insight it gave in to why Wendy died and who could have killed her. It was just very well done and definitely gave an interesting view on the way things were in the book.

If I had to name one thing that I did not like about The Girl in the Park, it would have to be that the beginning was a little slow and it took a bit to get to the meat of the story. While the beginning was a little on the slow side, Ms Fredericks' writing is captivating and will keep you invested till things really start.

Final Verdict: The Girl in the Park, the perfect blend of flawed characters and suspenseful mystery.

The Girl in the Park earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

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