Genre: Young Adult - Mystery/Thriller
Publishing Date: April 24th, 2012
Page Count: 224
Description from Goodreads.com:
When Wendy Geller's body is found in Central Park after the night of a rager, newspaper headlines scream, "Death in the Park: Party Girl Found Strangled." But shy Rain, once Wendy's best friend, knows there was more to Wendy than just "party girl." As she struggles to separate the friend she knew from the tangle of gossip and headlines, Rain becomes determined to discover the truth about the murder. Written in a voice at once immediate, riveting, and utterly convincing, Mariah Frederick's mystery brilliantly exposes the cracks in this exclusive New York City world and the teenagers that move within it.
I don't really know what I was expecting from The Girl in the Park, but I do know I was expecting something lighter. I thought it would be your typical YA with mystery/thriller darkness added, but it really was much more mature than that. Im not saying it isn't "appropriate" for young adults, I am just saying its not all fun and games, its real and unwavering. The Girl in the Park really makes you feel something. I had one of my friends die in high school and this novel really made me kind of re-live it. I didn't forget about her, but I definitely forgot about the pain I went through and this novel definitely made me remember. I really had a connection with Rain, because I knew exactly how she was feeling. If you haven't gone through any kind of trauma like that before I think you will still be able to connect with Rain, because she is a really easy character to understand and want to learn more about.
I think the number one thing I liked most about The Girl in the Park was how raw it was. Nobody is perfect in real life and Mariah made that true with her characters. There wasn't a single "perfect" character in this novel. They all felt like real, every day people that you could easily run into. What I also liked was how mysterious the novel was. Yea I know "DUH, its a mystery novel!", but the mystery's I've read before are usually a one track story. They give big hints to who the bad guy is and then they throw you off a bit, but then its them all along. This novel didn't do that. It was thousands of tracks, I think Mariah found out who the killer was WITH Rain instead of knowing initially, or at least thats how it feels. This novel isn't predictable and I love that about it. I think if you are looking for something very different in the YA world and you want something that feels really real then you should check out this novel.
I really liked The Girl in the Park. I think I was initially expecting something lighter and more just a story about a girl coming to terms with what happened to an old friend, but it is very much deeper than that. This novel grabs you and doesn't let go until you find out what happened. I really love how raw and real this novel was. The characters don't feel phony and you are really figuring everything out with Rain instead of being one step ahead of her. This novel has a lot of feeling to it and I think if you are looking for something real and different then you will like this novel.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 4/5