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  1. Title: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove
    Author: Lauren Kate
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Release Date: Novemeber 12th, 2009
    Source: Library

    Somehow I felt that The Tragedy of Natalie Hargrove may have been a better title for this book. Natalie's story struck me more of a case of tragic circumstances than one of direct betrayal. Natalie would do anything to become Palmetto Princess but a prank gone wrong results in the death of her boyfriend's competition for the place of Palmetto Prince and everything threatens to unravel - her role as an accidental murderer and the past she tried so hard to cover up. Natalie is cruel and manipulative in her need to cover up her secret past of being from the "wrong side of the tracks" from not only her peers but from herself.

    I love Shakespeare influenced works but I didn't feel that the influence was very well communicated here. Kate aimed for Macbeth but the connection was only strongly apparent in the "ghost" scene. Kate could have pushed it further and taken Natalie's unraveling to greater depths. That said, I felt that Kate was much more successful in maintaining a consistent tone in Betrayal than in Fallen, a book which I felt started with so much promises only to lose that atmosphere.

    There are few likable characters in The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove but that is largely Lauren Kate's intent. Natalie is a Queen Bee and a social chameleon, becoming whoever she needs to be in the moment. Focused in her determination to climb to the social peek she can be cruel and manipulative but there is some sympathy to be felt for her as she comes to conflict with her past. Her peers are very shallow and I found it impossible to relate to their vapid twittering conversations.

    I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. Give this one a go if you are a fan of Lauren Kate's other works or teen queen bee conflicts.

    Also Check Out:
    Fallen by Lauren Kate
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