Review: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate (Author of the Fallen series) was released in the U.S. in November 2009 and recently released in the U.K. It is available in print and eBook formats.

Amazon description:

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.

“When our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.” — Macbeth. ACT IV Scene 2.

One night changes everything. It starts with a party and a prank that goes very, very wrong. It ends in a death and a cover-up that begins to unravel everything that Natalie Hargrove has worked so hard to build. It threatens her only dream of becoming royalty, a Princess of the Palmetto Court alongside her boyfriend Mike King.

Natalie, who already reigns over her school, will stop at nothing to achieve her heart’s desire. But will her plotting and scheming and secrets and blackmail be enough for her to keep her crown? Or will the ghosts from her past resurface to cause her to come tumbling down?

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is not just another “mean girls” story. What first appears as simply another tale about a bitchy, popular and privileged high school diva, this account is anything but. The plot is intricately interwoven with the subtleties and nuances behind many of characters’ actions, but especially those of Natalie, as they get caught up in this tragic tale. And the reader becomes the voyeur as Natalie’s conscience becomes corrupted by her acts.

This is really a rather masterful debut story from author Lauren Kate. Upon first read, not all of the complexities may be apparent, but this story is dark and rich with detail that may require a second read to discover.

As the reader delves further into the story, they will learn of the actions that set this chain of events into motion and see that just one moment from our past can mold our future and seal our fate.

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is a “must read” for anyone who is a fan of Lauren Kate or looking to read a story that on its surface is a wicked tale of power and greed, but at its depths is one that speaks of the inevitability of fate and that actions, even the most insignificant, do have consequences.

“Once, you imagined you could be anyone you wanted to be. That you could make the right guy love you and rescue you from your fate. That you could outsmart everyone and leave your past behind for good. How hard you worked for what you wanted. How cruelly fate betrayed you in the end.”

Reviewer gives this book [rating=4]

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