November 12, 2009
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.
I started reading this book thinking that I was going to flat-out hate it, mostly due to the fact that just by looking at blurb, it didn't sound like a story I could enjoy. I'm glad I was sort of wrong. Let me explain - Natalie is every Senior Princess you've ever met - the pretty one with the hot boyfriend and the money and all the friends and every door opened for her, etc. You know which ones I'm talking about. We went to High School with them. They're the ones who think that they're entitled to everything because they're just so used to getting whatever they want. Natalie learned the hard way that's not true.Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth in this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence.
She's determined to win Palmetto's Princess and Prince along with her boyfriend, Mike, this year. But before she can do that, she needs to kill the competition - Literally. Not for her though, for Mike, because let's not forget here, she pretty much has the Princess title in the bag. The competition goes by the name of Justin Balmer and she'll do anything to make sure that he isn't crown Prince. So, one night when the opportunity presents to embarrass Justin and make him lose face in the front of student body, along with pretty much everyone in town, she more than takes it.
What soon started as a mean prank ends with a horrible murder. Justin is now dead. Everything soon starts to unravel and Natalie founds out that getting everything you ever wanted comes with consequences and sometimes, fate is just a bitch.
I didn't want to like this book, actually for the first quarter of it, I didn't. It was boring, I wasn't remotely interested in seeing Natalie being all high-handed to her "subjects" and scheme, scheme, scheme. But at one point, I'm fairly certain it was when Justin died, I found myself with my nose buried in the book. Seeing Natalie slowly become apart was like a car accident - You want to look away but you can't. Morbid curiosity at its best.
I finished the story in one setting. I admit that it does have a certain Gossip Girl feel to it, that for the first few seasons I was a devoted watcher of, which is probably why I liked The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove in the first place. The plot is certainly engaging, and while you don't want to like the characters (at least in my case, I didn't), Kate totally tricks you into it. I admit to having a soft spot for Justin, the others could be ran over for all I cared but I felt bad about him! Anyway, I really liked this story, surprisingly enough!And I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Kate's future books.