Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

Release Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

The Haves. The Have-Nots.

Kate O’Brian 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?

Okay. I wanted to like this book. I really did. I mean, I enjoyed The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (read my review). And I love–and I truly mean love–psychological thrillers. I live for the stuff. The genre keeps me on edge and gets the brain working, people. And this one was set up so perfectly too! Two perspectives, two girls from different economic backgrounds who've both got secrets, one guy thrown into the mix...what could possibly go wrong? Answer: quite a bit, unfortunately. A lot of it was good, but there was just some things that didn't do it for me. 

Okay, let me tackle this piece by piece. First of all, our two main characters Kate and Olivia. I loved the fact that both of them were different, as I previously mentioned, because we have one character who moves around from school to school on scholarships, has to room in Chinatown, and has no money, and another character who is super rich and has everything she wants. And then of course–the secrets. 

Olivia Sumner and I shared only one class, AP English, but that's all it takes.
Watch me now.
Pay close attention.
Survival of the fittest, baby.
–p. 4, ARC*
*text is subject to change

I liked the reveals. Kate's was slightly more obvious, but Olivia's took me by surprise. Books with two perspectives in this genre tend to work out well when it comes to reveals, and thankfully it did. And I'm not forgetting Mark's character–the slow build up was done pretty well. I definitely did not see a lot of it coming, and the last third of the book had a pretty dramatic shift in tone.

Butttttt....oh, the but. There was a lot about this one I sadly did not enjoy, which, again, is a shame because Toten's writing is amazing and I loved her other book. The two characters were really unlikeable. Actually, all of the characters sucked. Except for maybe Anka and Olivia's dad. And (of course) Bruce. This is probably what made reading this not such an enjoyable experience. There was also the romance, and while I liked that it took place in the background of whatever was going on, I seriously didn't get it. Like, how it started, what actually happens–it was sort of just thrown in without any serious consideration or development.

And then...there's the end.

It fell flat for me. I was expecting this huge twist to happen, but nope, it seemed rather anticlimactic. The events leading up to the very end were kind of so-so, in the sense that there was quite a bit that happened and some of it was kind of thriller-y, but eh. I was hoping better, especially with a promise that things sort of flip at the end. So yeah, I was just left confused at the end and unsatisfied.

Suspenseful and promising, Beware That Girl–despite an excellent set-up–tragically didn't live up to my expectations. I would give it a try though, because it really is a Gossip Girl-esque thriller. While this one wasn't for me, I will absolutely be reading more of Teresa Toten's books in the future, because she is a wonderful writer, and I'm looking forward to what she comes up with next!

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Julia at Penguin Random House for a sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

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