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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some substance... and serious style!
I recently read and enjoyed Lauren Kate's Fallen, her second book (by a matter of mere weeks) and one of my favourite supernaturals of the year. In all the Fallen buzz, it would have easy to miss Lauren Kate's debut novel, released in the US in November this year, about a Southern princess who goes a little too far in her bid for high school popularity. Admittedly, the...
Published on 9 Jan 2010 by L

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I read Torment and Fallen...really enjoyed them! Logical next step is to buy another Lauren Kate book, right?

I bought this book because (so far) I have enjoyed Lauren Kate's books. This book however, was very disappointing and even though I read the whole book - just in case it was slow to start or I was judging it unfairly - I didn't enjoy the book so I gave...
Published on 11 May 2011 by Elle


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some substance... and serious style!, 9 Jan 2010
I recently read and enjoyed Lauren Kate's Fallen, her second book (by a matter of mere weeks) and one of my favourite supernaturals of the year. In all the Fallen buzz, it would have easy to miss Lauren Kate's debut novel, released in the US in November this year, about a Southern princess who goes a little too far in her bid for high school popularity. Admittedly, the premise doesn't pop the way Fallen's does, but here's the clincher: Natalie Hargrove's story is a retelling of Macbeth. Yes, that Macbeth.

I'm cautious about retellings in general, and I suspect I'm not alone in that. On one hand, I don't want the retelling to deviate too far from my favourite aspects of the original. On the other, it has to add something new to the story - or what's the point? It's a fine line, and luckily The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove walks it with charm. Lauren Kate has opted not to make Natalie a cold-blooded murderer, but rather a queen bee whose determination to get what she wants sets the wheels of high school tragedy in motion. A fair amount of Shakespearean language and imagery makes the cut, but never in a klunky or cumbersome way. So you have the sophomore wannabes bemoaning the fact that the foul weather isn't fair; Natalie's aptly-named boyfriend, Mike King (get it?); and the symbolism of the Jessamine, South Carolina's beautiful but poisonous state flower and favoured fake-flower corsage of the Palmetto set. The ending is faithful enough to Shakespeare's play that it still reads like a tragedy, but there's a few surprises too.

As a teenage version of Lady Macbeth, Natalie Hargrove is a certainly a character that readers may have trouble warming to. She's self-centred, bitchy, and the kind of girl who would probably torture the kind of girls who read books for fun. The snippets of her past we learn about do explain her ruthless social-climbing behaviour, and she definitely is entertaining. The supporting characters are drawn with varying degrees of success - nemesis J.B. has the potential for bad boy greatness - and on the whole the world of the Palmetto set is suitably juicy underneath its prim facade.

Style over substance? Maybe. But style is fun. And if I'm honest, I'd rather read this than Macbeth. If you're looking for a quick read with plenty of drama, this might be the one for you.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 11 May 2011
By 
Elle (Milton Keynes) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove (Paperback)
I read Torment and Fallen...really enjoyed them! Logical next step is to buy another Lauren Kate book, right?

I bought this book because (so far) I have enjoyed Lauren Kate's books. This book however, was very disappointing and even though I read the whole book - just in case it was slow to start or I was judging it unfairly - I didn't enjoy the book so I gave it straight away. I felt that the characters and the storyline were lacking depth, and the story seemed disjointed at times.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove, 18 May 2011
By 
DaisyDaisy "Daisy" (Coventry) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove (Paperback)
Did the author run out of ideas and just stop writing? Awful way to finish a book that had started off rather well. Characters are introduced for no apparent reason. Others are developed a little, but their story lines are just left to peter out and nothing gets resolved. If Lauren Kate was aiming for a "work it out for yourself" ending, she failed miserably as there is just nothing to go on. I am so let down by this book and wouldn't recommend it, which is such a shame as I loved her other books!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark, Twisted, Delicious Tale, 3 Jan 2011
By 
Jess Hearts Books (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove (Paperback)
Natalie Hargrove has spent years plotting for her and her boyfriend Mike to take the throne as Palmetto high's Prince and Princess. Nat knows better than anyone how to get what she wants having come from the wrong part of town, with a dad in prison and a mother who's notorious for her string of marriages to climb up the social ladder. Natalie's put sweat and blood into becoming one of the most popular girls in school and to be crowned Palmetto Princess is to be accepted. It means that she's made it. So when blast from the past Justin threatens to ruin everything Natalie can't help but pull what should be a harmless prank on him- just enough to insure that his reputation is damaged- but when a prank turns into murder Natalie's plunged into a world of secrecy, deceit and guilt. Natalie soon realises that there are some forces that are not to be reckoned with and that fate and karma always has a way of catching up with you in the end...

When I read reviews comparing this book to Macbeth and one of my all-time favourite films Cruel Intentions I had a feeling that I was going to enjoy this book and boy was I right! Every so often I love to read a dark, twisted, delicious tale and The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove fit the bill perfectly. Reading this book is a bit like reading a gothic version of Gossip Girl. Natalie's a heroine you'll love to hate and the deadly secrets and betrayals will have you glued to this books pages. The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is such a hard book to review because it's such a topsy turvey read. I'd like to say that I loved the characters but I didn't they were shallow and selfish. I'd like to say that this is a fun enjoyable read but it isn't instead its dark, quirky and packs a punch. Yet all of these things are what makes this book so damn good. It's not your typical young adult read. It's different and scandalous and shows that Lauren Kate isn't afraid to write outside the norm.

I don't think that this is necessarily a book for everyone, but it was just the grim, deadly sort of book that I love to read. It's a story about fate and karma. It's about your past catching up with you and atoning for your mistakes. It's a book where not everything is quiet what it seems. It's kind of like bitter black coffee or dark chocolate your either going to love it or hate it, but if you like your books edgy and grim or are looking for something a little different to anything else out there at the moment I would most definitely recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like it, 28 May 2011
By 
This review is from: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove (Paperback)
For those of you that follow the blog you'll know that I haven't had a great experience with any of Lauren Kate's books. I really didn't like Fallen or Torment but I thought I would give her books one last chance...

I really, really don't want to do any sort of book bashing in this review, but I have to say, I really, really hated this book.

I really am sorry to say that I didn't enjoy a single thing about it. I didn't like the characters, especially Natalie herself, I didn't like the plot, I didn't like the writing....I just.Didn't.Like.It.

There really isn't much to say after that but I did give it as much of a shot as I could. But, at the end of the day, I had to force myself to finish it in the hope it would get better.

So, that's it. I think it has come to the point where I just won't pick up another of Lauren Kate's books again to save anybody from these sort of reviews that I sincerely hate to write. It's disappointing. I suppose some author's styles are just not for me...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the first book where I've hated the main character 100%. Strange how I'll re-read at some point!, 28 Dec 2010
This review is from: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove (Paperback)
I was super excited about this book, considering how much I loved Fallen and Torment. The cover is in a similar style to the others. The precise meaning for using that particular cover is discovered at the end of the book.

My excitement dropped dramatically. Natalie Hargrove is a spoiled, selfish airhead. She embodies everything I hate about airheads. She's obsessed with how she looks. She thinks she looks amazing. She acts like the queen bee. She pushes the younger girls at school around. She gets her way. She is wrapped up in her boyfriend - and what she does is definitely not PG rated. I couldn't find one redeeming feature about her. It got worse when she pulled the prank. At that point when she took it all too far (it was too far to begin with in my opinion) I knew my hatred for her wouldn't change.

Please don't misunderstand me - I really liked this book. It's weird hating a character. I liked all the intrigue with her father, and learning the truth about his fate. I would have liked there to be more involvement of the issue surrounding her father.

Natalie lives in some stranger wonderland all on her own. What possesses her to think she can cover up her evil crime? It's not going to work. There is always evidence. She arranges it so that she will look innocent, but there's a paranormal element that wants to make sure justice is done.

I was thrilled when life started going wrong with her. I felt that at last she was getting proper justice for being a mean person. It got better and better. She lost it. People knew she lost it. She lost her prestige, she lost her standing at school. I loved the scene which echoed one at the start of the novel, where Natalie goes to someone for advice. The first time Natalie is the one in control, she's a self-centred self-styled princess. The second time, she's begging for help and advice.

As for the end - well there was a huge plot twist! Okay, I did feel sorry for her when a moment of her past was recalled. It was a terrifying ordeal. However, by agreeing to the stupid teen get together, she was asking for trouble. The one person I felt sorry for was her boyfriend. She dragged him into a load of mess, and refused to come clean when she had the chance. He would have got off lightly - well more lightly than Natalie. At least he was able to flee from the humiliation at the end.

All in all, this was a fun read. Yes I hated Natalie with a passion. But she really gets what she deserves, and then some. (It takes a lot for me to hate someone that much).

The book is a review copy from the publisher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 31 Dec 2009
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
There are a few things that Natalie Hargrove wants out of her time at Palmetto High School, but the big one is becoming Palmetto Princess and her boyfriend, Mike, to be Palmetto Prince. And Natalie Hargrove will do anything she has to do to make sure this happens.

When Natalie finds that Mike is at major risk of losing the battle for the crown to the one person Natalie hates, Justin Balmer, we find out just what she will do to make sure that her dreams come true. But what's the cost of fame within the high school setting? And what's that cost when the person she's battling is the one person who has the power to take her down?

Now, when I got this book I hadn't actually read the synopsis about it. All I knew was that it was Lauren Kate's debut novel, I loved the cover, and I wanted to read it before I read FALLEN (out now). But I'm glad. I was totally shocked and surprised at the twists and turns in THE BETRAYAL OF NATALIE HARGROVE - and I loved it!

It was a shocking and fun ride to take with Natalie, and let's just say the ending shocked me even more. This is a very Cruel Intentions (1999 Reese Witherspoon/Ryan Phillippe/Sarah Michelle Gellar movie that was totally awesome, which ironically contained a character with the last name Hargrove) kind of story, and that made it even more enjoyable.

The main thing I fault this novel for is that it seemed like some of the characters were just around to move the story along, and then once their job was done you didn't really see them again, or they just got a side mention. But this being a quick read, I can understand why it was like that, so I don't hold that too much against it.

It seems like with all the talk surrounding FALLEN that THE BETRAYAL OF NATALIE HARGROVE has been lost in the shuffle, or will be, but I hope that doesn't happen. I really enjoyed Natalie, Mike, the Bambies, and even JB, and the journey they took me on, and I think other people will, too. It's a story of blackmail, desire, darkness, and deeds that are so dark it would make Nyx shiver.

Natalie messed with the Fates - and you just don't mess with the Fates!

Reviewed by: Samantha Clanton, aka "Harlequin Twilight"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 2 July 2011
Started this with high expectations as I enjoyed Fallen, but was so disappointed. I found the main character really annoying and didnt care about her at all. Boring book that I couldn't be bothered to finish, and gave up half way through. Dont think I will be reading any more Lauren Kate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly dark & twisted!, 11 Feb 2011
By 
This review is from: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove (Paperback)
I was expecting this book to be an easy light superficial read. A cross between Gossip Girl & Cruel Intentions. But it was oh so much more! I could not put the book down, I literally read the entire thing in one go! It was deliciously dark and twisted and had me gripped the whole way through. Unlike the other reviews I read, I actually found myself rooting for Natalie to find a way out of the mess she was in. Despite her being somewhat the 'villain' of the piece, I was urging her to come up with some deviously masterful plan to get back on top again. I felt very much along for the ride with her & was willing her to succeed no matter how twisted her plotting became, and that is the genius of Lauren Kate. She has you so hooked that you find yourself on the wrong side and loving it.

This is definitely not a book for the light hearted, and if you want happy endings and schoolgirl gossip look elsewhere. However if you're in the mood for a brilliantly written, well crafted, dark & seductive book, this is the book for you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A serious dissapointment after reading the Fallen series, 3 Mar 2011
By 
Loobizaz (North Yorshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove (Paperback)
Having read the first 2 books in the Fallen series, which had me gripped - I was seriously dissapointed with The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove.
Although I am above the targeted reader age for these books, I found this particular story severley lacking in substance. I was constantly waiting for something to make me want to pick it up and not stop reading......but it did not happen...ever....
In my opinion it was a wishy washy non story without much point and I could not even see how it would appeal to the teenage audience that it was so obviously written for.
My 19yr old daughter read it also and is of the same opinion - only she was the one who paid for it, so it made her extra peeved that the story was not written in the excellent style of the Fallen books.
I would not recommend this book to anyone of average reading intellingence or above - but Lauren Kate's Fallen series is excellent....Passion is on pre-order and I cannot wait!
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The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate (Paperback - 6 Jan 2011)
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