Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks

*photo courtesy of Goodreads*

Title:  The Girl in the Park  
Author:  Mariah Fredericks
Genre:  Young Adult Mystery/Social Issues
Publisher:  Random House Children’s Books
Format:  NetGalley Digital Galley
Release Date:  April 24, 2012

When Wendy Geller’s body is found in Central Park the night after 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 (Summary courtesy NetGalley).

The Girl in the Park is a quick, interesting read, pulled directly from today’s headlines. This could be the story of any girl, anywhere. It is also a story that shows how gossip, innuendo and assumptions can affect everyone.

Wendy Geller has a reputation as a party girl. She isn’t well liked at her elite private school, Alcott Academy. And it’s no wonder; she is demanding, bratty and she has a tendency to go after the things, and the people, she can’t have. After Wendy is found dead in the park, the rumors just get worse, often times fueled by the media. The only person who seems to be a voice for Wendy is her former friend, Rain, who is determined to find out who really killed her friend.

Mariah Fredericks manages to write a taut mystery, while also telling the story of girl that no one seemed to understand. She weaves all this together with a lesson in how gossip, and everything that goes along with it, can destroy a life. Fredericks definitely knows how to tell a story and keep it interesting. I was constantly trying to guess who the real murderer was. Every time Rain moved on to a new suspect, I was right there with her, agreeing with every assessment she made and convincing myself that this time she had to be right. Fredericks is a clever enough writer that you can’t help but agree with Rain’s thought process.  She is also quite effective at keeping the story moving, rather than going off on unnecessary tangents, which would have been very easy to do with this story.

I did find there to be a lack of characterization in the story. Even the main character, Rain, and the dead girl, Wendy, were not fleshed out well. It was difficult to understand Rain’s motivation in discovering Wendy’s killer when she had not been friends with Wendy for quite some time. I really felt that if Fredericks had spent some additional time allowing the reader to get to know her characters, those character’s motivations would have been a bit clearer. That’s not to say that the lack of characterization takes away from the story, I just like to really get to know the characters in the books I am reading.

Overall, The Girl in the Park is a good read. It is definitely worth a look, especially if you are a fan of a good mystery.

My grade for The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks:


  1. I've been really interested in reading this book. Great review! Despite the character flaws, I think I will still check it out as I do love a good mystery!

  2. I have this one for review. I thought that the premise sounded interesting and am trying to make room to read it. Thanks for the informative review.


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