Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BEWARE THAT GIRL BY TERESA TOTEN - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, today it is Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten. Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me this book in their Blockbuster Books Binge Box. A review was not requested, however I am providing one as a complimentary copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.


This book was not what I was expecting. Although, to be completely honest, I'm not sure what I was expecting. I knew there were some girls at a boarding school and some secrets they didn't want revealed.

I will say I did really enjoy this book though. The characters were interesting and the plot was enthralling. The story is written with an enchanting tone, and with the short, 2-4 page chapters, you can't help but be sucked in, much like the women in this novel.

Let's start first with Kate. While her friend Olivia is a major part of this story as well, Kate is the main character, I would say. It is her perspective that we get in first person, Olivia's are all third. We get a glimpse of Kate's past, through her flashbacks, and we see how she is processing things, becoming a bit of a con artist herself. When she first meets Olivia, it was unclear as to whether or not she wanted to be her, or just be in her life. There were times when Kate's actions were questionable, and I think Olivia's dad caught on to those. They had the same favourite dessert, they both wanted to go to Yale, they were just so frighteningly similar.

Olivia, on the other hand, struggled even more than Kate did, especially with the demons in her mind. I won't give away too much, because Olivia works hard to bury her secrets and I don't want to spoil them. All we are really told about Olivia in the beginning is that she was at a hospital in the previous year. It's not until later that we find out why. And part of me wonders why it happens. Was it because her mother died? The stresses of the mega-rich lifestyle she lives? The reasoning behind her illness is never really talked about, perhaps because she only talks to Kate about it, and her father is pretty absent.

The other major character in this book is Mark Redkin. He is a school administrator type person who instantly woos all the women in the all-girls boarding school, students and staff alike. Mark was super messed up, and I feel like once you read this book and see what his deal was, you won't be offended by me calling someone with a very clear mental illness, such as he, "messed up." My skin was crawling reading it, and even now, re-thinking it, I'm getting chills. There were times when he was so like Kate's father, part of me thought he was, even though Kate would have recognized him and he was too young.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the beginning, how we open with two blonde girls, one in a hospital bed, hooked up to machines, and the other sitting beside her, waiting to be questioned. It's a little cliche, but it had just enough details to hook you in, but not enough to give everything away. Within each chapter title, there was the date. It started at the end, March 22 and then jumped back to September. Each chapter was counting down the months, weeks, days, until the end, and you could feel the suspense building as things got closer to the end.

I think my main issue with this book, and why I didn't give it a full five stars, was the fact that everyone in this book it seemed, had some sort of mental illness. And don't get me wrong, I totally understand, on a personal level, what an issue mental illnesses are, and how much more common they are becoming, but I just felt like there wasn't one character in this book that didn't have one. Kate had borderline antisocial sociopathic tendencies, Olivia dealt with anxiety, and others I won't mention and Mark was a full blown sociopathic sexual predator. It seemed like every girl at the school was medicated for something, maybe that's just a comment on today's teenage population. I mean, I understand why the author chose to make mental illnesses so prominent in this book, but by the end, I just thought it was a little over-dramatic and unoriginal.

Overall, a very good psychological thriller with a twisted ending that will definitely shock you.