Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 14 to 18
- Grade: 9 to 12
Perfect for summer reading, this powerful and twisted psychological thriller will draw comparisons to We Were Liars and Gone Girl, and rightly so. As Quill & Quire states, "smart, dark, entertaining, and unpredictable," Beware That Girl will keep readers guessing until the very last line.
The Haves. The Have-Nots. Kate O'Brien appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she's had to snake her way out of--some more sinister than others. But she's determined to change that. She's book smart. She's street-smart. Oh, and she's also a masterful liar.
As the scholarship student at the elite Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She's already found her "people" among the senior class "it" girls--specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she's always needed, the sister she never had.
When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty and students' lives, becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she's intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can't reveal--and can't afford to ignore. How close can Kate and Olivia get to Mark without having to share their dark pasts?
About the author
TERESA TOTEN won the Governor General’s Literary Award in Canada for The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, which also won the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award, and was chosen by the International Board on Books for Young People as one of its Outstanding Books for Young People With Disabilities in 2015. She is the author of the international bestseller Beware that Girl and the acclaimed Blondes series, as well as The Game, The Onlyhouse, and, with Eric Walters, The Taming. Teresa lives in Toronto, Ontario. Visit her online at www.teresatoten.com and on Facebook, and follow her at @TTotenAuthor on Twitter.
Listed, 5 Best Kids' Books of the Year (2016), Quill & Quire
"Combines a Gossip Girl milieu with the unsettled psychological terrain of Gone Girl."--Publishers Weekly
"Has all the makings of a crossover hit. It's smart, dark, entertaining, and unpredictable."--Quill & Quire, Starred
"A sharp narative whose twists will demand an instant reread. Beware That Girl is a terrifying chess game, and Toten is the ultimate player."--National Reading Campaign (Canada)
"A tense teen thriller."--Kirkus
"The author skillfully reveals gritty and tantalizing details in meager bites, keeping readers captivated. A must-have for teen fans of psychological thrillers such as Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl."--SLJ
Praise for The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B:
"Toten masterfully portrays the turbulent emotions and deep-seated fears of someone suffering from mental illness. . . . Ultimately, the book draws the reader in with its emotional intensity and sophistication. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of life, loss, love, brokenness and the purest form of bravery: giving in and asking for help." --Quill & Quire
"Hazel and Augustus need to move over because Batman and Robyn are about to take their place in the annals of YA literary romantic couples. A definite next read for teens who loved John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and Cammie McGovern's Say What You Will." --School Library Journal, starred review
beach read materialThis fictional YA novel shares the tale of Kate O'Brian and Olivia Sumner, the unlikely of friends. One hails from the elite, the other does not. Both have their hearts set on Yale, with strong determination and drive to succeed. Both have life secrets, both want these to remain in the past.
The duo is soon intrigued by Mark Redkin, the new head of fundraising at their private school. He is charismatic and mysterious with his own aspirations to win over the hearts of staff and students. Trepidation looms, there is more than meets the eye.
I yearn for fantastic psychological thrillers that can keep me racing through to the end, this one just didn't make the cut. Although it was a quick read, the suspense factor was simply not there for me. I was left disappointed, more so as it had potential but did not live up to expectations.
A little beach read perhaps? 3 generous stars for this one.