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The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate. Pub.  Corgi Books 2011.

It was the cover that attracted me to this novel by Lauren Kate author of the best selling Fallen series, but it wasn’t the cover that kept me reading it till it’s astonishing ending when I realised that the one force in life that none of us can control, fate, was at the heart of the story.

Natalie Hargrove is from the wrong side of the bridge in this novel set in the deep south of America. Her mother used her talents to snag a rich man with a comb-over and decadent desires and Natalie’s life changed forever. The past was swept under the table never to be mentioned again, until fate takes a hand.

Natalie goes to a select school called Palmetto, and her main desire is to become the Palmetto Queen at the school ball. She has snaffled the top boy with a family who have tradition and a history of success, and has lobbyed heavily with the Palmetto elite to win the top social prize. How can she fail?

A boy called Justin Balmer holds the key, but when he dies in mysterious circumstances after a school party, all hell breaks loose.

I didn’t think this novel would be my cup of tea, but I was sucked in and seduced by all those southern belles and beaux and their relationships. You can’t help escape the fact that the characters lives are so involved with mindless trivia and Lauren Kate uses the tool of satire well. But it was fun to read.

Secondary school students who like Gossip Girl and films such as Dropdead Gorgeous, will love this title.

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