For fans of We Were Liars, Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train comes a powerful psychological thriller with a gripping pace and Hitchcockian twists. Set against the backdrop of New York City, this compelling novel delves into the dysfunctional yet mesmerizing world of the mega-wealthy elite and will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
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 all that. She’s book-smart. She’s street-smart. 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 ranks 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 as head of fund-raising, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s 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. Mark has his own plan for a bright future and never doubts that he can pull it off. How close can Kate and Olivia get to him without having to share their dark pasts?
“Combines a Gossip Girl milieu with the unsettled psychological terrain of Gone Girl.” —PW
“It’s smart, dark, entertaining, and unpredictable.” —Quill & Quire, Starred
Kate O'Brian is a good liar when she has to be, and because of her violent past, that's most of the time. She's also good at making "demented rich girls" love her, which is how she goes from sleeping in a storeroom under a Chinatown market to sharing Olivia Sumner's penthouse apartment during the girls' senior year at New York City's posh Waverly School. Toten (The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B) switches between Kate's first-person account and a third-person look at Olivia, who has secrets of her own. The other plot engine is charismatic Waverly fund-raiser Mark Redkin, who is working on bedding most of the staff and some of the seniors. When Olivia's turn comes, readers realize that he is far worse than just a hound. As the title suggests, the book combines a Gossip Girl milieu with the unsettled psychological terrain of Gone Girl. But while Kate is a strong character and there is no shortage of suspense, Toten's desire to keep readers guessing results in a confusing and rushed climax. Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I LOVED this book! Think Gossip Girl meets Gone Girl.
BEWARE THAT GIRL by Teresa Toten is a dark, creepy, & twisty young adult thriller about two girls from different backgrounds and the unhealthy relationship that develops between the two of them. Not sure I’d compare this to We Were Liars (wasn’t a huge fan of that book)… it’s more like Gossip Girl meets Gone Girl.
I LOVED this book! It’s intriguing and a lightning fast read. The characters were fascinating and richly developed. I was impressed by the way the author explored psychological issues & a variety of abuse within the context of a fancy prep school. These kinds of stories have a habit of coming off as contrived or forced. Not this one. Toten nailed it.
Also: it had a hell of a finish. I did not see that ending coming. Totally disturbing and unexpected. Well done!
Beware That Girl
Holy cow! I thought I had this book all figured out - but I totally didn't. Biggest curve ball I've seen in a long, long time.
Kate will do just about anything to keep her scholarship and get into Yale. Step one, befriending one of the haves by the name of Olivia. She's an easy mark, looking for a new friend. And things seem to go along very nicely. She's managed to become Olivia's best friend. But then things get a little weird.
Enter Mark Redkin, the new employee at the private school that all the girls (student and faculty alike) are head over heels for. But he's more than what he seems on the surface. Kate doesn't trust him, and soon she finds out why. Things quickly spin out of Kate's carefully constructed plan. Mark is out of her league, but she's determined to come out on top.
This is where things took an interesting twist that I never saw coming. I don't want to give it away, but it's a good one. Excellently done Teresa Toten.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*