Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
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.
After reading The Night She Disappeared by April Henry, I was dying to get my hands on anther YA mystery and/or thriller, so when I realized I had a copy of The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks, another seemingly intense book, on my Nook, I dove right in. Luckily, The Girl in the Park turned out be an eventful, interesting, and heart racing read, one that I enjoyed from the beginning all the way to the haunting and bittersweet conclusion.
The Girl in the Park begins the story of Rain, a senior in high school who has recently learned of the brutal death of her fellow classmate and former best friend Wendy Geller. Wendy was always one of the wildest and daring girls in her grade, someone that all the girls hated and all the boys seemed to like. Everyone in Rain and Wendy's high school chalk up the death to nothing more than "in the wrong place at the wrong time" situation. However, Rain feels like there's more to the story, because while Wendy was impulsive and crazy, she never seemed stupid enough to wander into a deserted part in NYC on her own, especially while intoxicated. So Rain begins the search, hoping to discover the pieces that tie everything together. Is Rain ready, though, to learn more about her classmates as well as Wendy than she ever thought possible? Is she ready to dig into her own pass as well and come to terms with it? Only time and more pages can tell in this thrilling and eventful reading that will have nearly anyone dying to know what happens next!
The Girl in the Park is told from the POV of Rain, a girl who really managed to win me over over the course of the book. Rain is always the girl that's been in the background, especially when she was friends with Wendy. She's the one who always makes things better as well as comforts people, even when no one seems to be doing the same for her. So it's no shock that she would attempt to make sense of Wendy's death. Rain was someone I rooted for throughout, especially when she truly managed to gain her own voice. And while Rain seemed like a mousy girl on the outside, she truly was daring and dauntless on the inside, and those two traits among others really began to come out during this ready. One of the most interesting parts about her character, though, was her friendship with Wendy. Like most friendships, it had its good and bad points, and while Wendy was the character that probably should have been hated, I felt nothing but sorrow towards her, because she was a sweet girl deep down...she just had a lot of covers and layers over it all.
The plot of this was book was truly one of the best parts about it! I enjoyed seeing Rain piece together the mystery clue by clue, especially when something shocking managed to come out of the wood work. I also liked how Mariah really dug into the plot with this one. There never was an easy explanation behind anything, and just when I thought I figured out who the murder was, I was introduced to a new trail as well as new possible murder suspect. The private school setting worked well with this novel as well. It managed to add an extra suspenseful tone behind it as well as hundreds of possible motives and the suspects behind them.
Prior to reading this one, I had read one other book by Mariah, and while I liked that one well enough, this one was so much better! She's really grown as an another with not only character but plot, and I especially loved how well she developed the mystery. She's definitely an author to keep an eye on.
Thrilling as well as daring, The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks is anther fabulous addition to YA lit...one that I highly suggest you pick up!
Source: Publisher via Netgalley (Thanks Random House!)
More about the author/book: website