Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Review: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
Title: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Publication Date: 6 Jan 2011
Source: Publisher - Thank you
Synopsis: From GoodReads
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.
As you can see from the synopsis this book has been branded as a cross between Macbeth and Cruel Intentions well let me tell you Lady Macbeth and Kathryn have nothing on Natalie Hargrove.
High school cliques and politics are shown in microscopic and unflattering detail. Easy to relate to but uncomfortable on such a close inspection. I had the feeling that for some reason the cliques in the 'South' are perhaps the worse on the planet. Maybe someone can explain why this is the case to me.
The prologue starts with a direct address to the reader in first person narrative, I wasn't sure who was doing the address at first until later in the book when all the pieces fall into place. When the pieces clicked, (perhaps it was just me being silly about not completely getting it in the first place), the sporadic placement of direct address to the reader gives the narrative an intimate feel, almost like reading someones diary.
Written in first person narrative from Natalie perspective. Totally obsessed with status and position without a thought to anyone but herself. To say that Natalie is not the most like-able of protagonist would be an understatement. However, through flashbacks and plot hints regarding Natalie's background/upbringing/past I did feel sorry for her and was able to understand her motivation/drive to some degree.
I can't go into the detail of the plot without giving away spoilers, so I will leave it to your imagination, let me just say that the way in which the events are handled leads to repercussion and consequences far beyond anything 'normal'. Remember: honesty is always the best policy [ ; D ]
The wonderful vocabulary used within the prose added the extra element of educational purposes. I will say that I was not all that comfortable with this book due to the concepts of a 'dog eat dog' world. The image of the High School being like a swim through a shark infested cesspit does nothing for my escapism but is *sadly* relatable working in a school myself.
Saying that I did think Natalie provided a great way of giving an additional perspective into the character/motivation of Lady Macbeth and I will be recommending it to the English Department as such.