Beware That Girl
Author: Teresa Toten
Series: Stand-alone Novel
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Publication Date: 5/31/2016
Source: ARC from BookCon 2016
*I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
Read All About It:
The Haves. The Have-Nots. Kate O’Brien appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. Oh, and she’s also a masterful liar.
As the scholarship student at the Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.
When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives—becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal—and can’t afford to ignore. How close can Kate and Olivia get to Mark without having to share their dark pasts?
I did not have any problems imagining the eye-rolls and hair flips that go along with Kate’s “I can rule them all” attitude. With similar ways of thinking, Olivia and Kate develop a friendship that is muddled with manipulation and keeps the reader guessing who is playing into whose hand. At points I found their personalities amusing, much like the dramatic flair displayed by the characters in Pretty Little Liars, but at other points I was reminded that the characters fit many expected stereotypes. This includes Olivia’s parent-free penthouse that has a foreign housekeeper and cocktail of pills to help Olivia outside of therapy.
The story switches back and forth between Kate and Olivia’s perspective each chapter. Kate’s portion is told in first person, while Olivia’s is told in third person. I found the jarring switch between point-of-views a bit distracting from the plot, but I understand why Olivia’s section needed to be in third person.
While it took a while to reach, Olivia and Kate’s secrets were both a shocking reveal. The flashbacks had prepared me for Kate’s secret, but Olivia’s past is what had me tearing through the pages to know what happened in the end (and I never would have guessed it). Just when there was one unforeseen plot twist (that seemed unrealistic) the true plot twist was revealed – the ending.
When I finished the book’s last page I knew it had been worth it. It may not be added to my favorites list, but it was worth the read.