"Beware That Girl" by Teresa Toten

Her whole life Kate O’Brian has been the odd girl out.  As the scholarship student at a succession of elite private schools, she’s had to prove she is worth her place all while keeping her past a secret. She’s book-smart and she’s street-smart and she can stand her ground no matter what life throws at her and no matter what she has to do.

Now she is in her final year of high school and she’s attending yet another new school. But she has a plan. She will climb the social ladder and achieve her ultimate goal - a spot at Yale. She just needs to find the right “it” girl who she can use to her advantage. That girl is Olivia Sumner, a wealthy yet troubled teen. She is back at Waverly School to repeat her last year of high school after mysterious circumstances prevented her from finishing. She’s in desperate need of a best friend, and Kate may be the one for her.

But when the handsome Mark Redkin joins Waverly as part of the administration, their world is turned upside down. Mark immediately charms both students and staff alike, becoming closer to some than others. But Kate soon realizes that Mark is on to her secret and if he doesn’t get what he wants from her, he may reveal everything she has worked so hard to keep hidden.

Beware That Girl, by Teresa Toten, is a Young Adult thriller that easily takes it place amongst the other thrillers that are currently heating up the market. Engrossing and fast-paced, this book takes readers inside an elite yet dysfunctional world of wealthy New York City teens.

This is a YA thriller that I quite enjoyed. There was definitely enough “thriller” to make it an enjoyable book for adult readers while the YA part keeps it a bit lighter. I have read quite a few books that take place on the Upper East Side of New York City but not many from the perspective of teenagers and I thought this was a nice change. Sometimes when I read YA, I wonder if this is really how teens would behave in these situations and while I found the way the book was resolved was a little far-fetched, I never questioned the age or behaviour of these characters.

If you have read and enjoyed Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia then I think you will enjoy this book. Throughout this book I often found myself reminded of that book as the two worlds are very similar. And it’s nice to have the thriller element of both books rather than it just being a book about the world of wealthy teens.

Overall, this was a nice read. The plot was good, the pace was fast enough to keep my interest the whole way through, and I certainly wasn’t expecting the ending.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher. The opinions expressed above are my own.


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