Customer Reviews for

The Girl in the Park

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I'm only two-thirds of the way through, so did not read the firs

I'm only two-thirds of the way through, so did not read the first review because of the possible spoilers. So far, I love the character Rain. She's one of the most unique characters I've encountered in YA books. I can feel her speaking problem as if it were my own. ... ...
I'm only two-thirds of the way through, so did not read the first review because of the possible spoilers. So far, I love the character Rain. She's one of the most unique characters I've encountered in YA books. I can feel her speaking problem as if it were my own. ... Must go now to find out who did it.

posted by Willworkforbookmoney on April 24, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A good quick, YA mystery

Rating: PG-13 (partying, underage drinking, strong undercurrent of sex)
Coffee Beans: 3.5/5
Favorite Line: "The sound of her crying is like vomit; you can tell it hurts to let it out." (pg 56, Nook);"Now the whole rotten memory comes back in a rush like vomit." (pg 75...
Rating: PG-13 (partying, underage drinking, strong undercurrent of sex)
Coffee Beans: 3.5/5
Favorite Line: "The sound of her crying is like vomit; you can tell it hurts to let it out." (pg 56, Nook);"Now the whole rotten memory comes back in a rush like vomit." (pg 75, Nook) (Disturbing that they both have to do with vomit)
Spoilers: Yes, a little about a subplot
Disclaimer: I received this ARC free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review

I immediately connected with this book for a number of reasons. Two of them being the voice it was written in and the fact that it reminded me of The Sky is Everywhere, and I absolutely love that book. So well written and interesting, this novel pulled me along at a speed that had me finishing the book in only a day and a half. Now, let's get down to the specifics, shall we?
What I liked:
• The cover's pretty stinkin' sweet. Come on, admit it. Uber mysterious and creepy. Perfect for a book about a murder
• It reminded me of Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere, but not as deep and aching—and with a murder—but still about dealing with the loss of someone you loved and finding out they weren't who you thought they were
• I loved how the plot kept me guessing who the killer was. By page 100, I was certain I knew who the killer was. Then, at least two other times I thought I knew who the killer was
• At first, the writing was a little scattered and abstract with all the breaks and scene shifts and flashbacks. I had to go back a few times and re-read a line or paragraph to understand what was going on, but once I got the flow of it, it was well executed and perfect.
• Lots of good lines in the writing. Good subtleties picked up on to give that extra bit of detail to the writing
• Overall the characters were pretty well-rounded. I didn't get that deep of an understanding for any one character, except for Rain, but I knew them well enough to feel connected with them in the story
What I didn't like:
• When Fredericks reveals the murderer, it was sort of anticlimactic for me. I was expecting them to be a little dangerous or violent when Rain figured it out. Instead, they sort of just cried about it. Not entirely believable for someone who's life is officially over
• Rain's mom. We don't see much of her, which is typical of a YA novel, but when she was on stage, I wasn't impressed. We don't get the impression that she's a "phone in" mom or a deadbeat. She's a famous opera singer and they're pretty well off. Anyway, the first time I got to be unimpressed by her is the very first page when Rain tells us she'd been at a party the night before and her mom was waking her up early and she was irritated by it because her mom knew she'd been out partying the night before and had gotten home late. The second time (SPOILER ALERT!!
IT'S FOR A SUBPLOT, BUT STILL, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW AHEAD OF TIME, DON'T READ THIS NEXT PART!), was when her mom asked if Rain liked the teacher that walked her home and says the teacher likes her back. Instead of protecting her daughter from a potentially harmful situation, she comments that Rain should stay away BECAUSE HE'S MARRIED. Not because it's wildly inappropriate (like any parent should say) but because she doesn't want her SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER TO GET IN THE MIDDLE OF A MARRIAGE. I'm sorry for those of you who don't agree (and that's fine), but that's the ENTIRELY wrong message to be sending to t

posted by RaeLynn_Fry on April 24, 2012

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    I'm only two-thirds of the way through, so did not read the firs

    I'm only two-thirds of the way through, so did not read the first review because of the possible spoilers. So far, I love the character Rain. She's one of the most unique characters I've encountered in YA books. I can feel her speaking problem as if it were my own. ... Must go now to find out who did it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2012

    I really liked The Girl in the Park. I think I was initially exp

    I really liked The Girl in the Park. I think I was initially expecting
    something lighter and more just a story about a girl coming to terms
    with what happened to an old friend, but it is very much deeper than
    that. This novel grabs you and doesn't let go until you find out what
    happened. I really love how raw and real this novel was. The characters
    don't feel phony and you are really figuring everything out with Rain
    instead of being one step ahead of her. This novel has a lot of feeling
    to it and I think if you are looking for something real and different
    then you will like this novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This book was intense, and had a more bittersweet ending than my

    This book was intense, and had a more bittersweet ending than my usual preferred happy one, but I really liked it in the end. It explores friendship and belonging, betrayal and murder, all in the setting of an exclusive high school in New York City. Rain and Wendy, both on the fringes of the popular crowd at school, used to be friends--once. Times have changed, though, and they've turned into the kind of acquaintances who might only exchange a few words at a party or in the halls at school. The morning after one of those parties, Wendy is discovered in Central Park, murdered. Rain, for reasons even she isn't clear about for much of the book, feels compelled to uncover the truth of her murder.

    Mariah Fredericks really wrote a page turner with this one! I, along with Rain, kept taking her cleverly disguised wrong plot turns--and though I did pick up on an early clue that Rain missed, I didn't quite understand the motivation until later on(and was actually relieved to be proven right on the whodunit part, because it solved the one rather big part of the story that I was extremely uncomfortable with). Due to certain aspects of the story, I'd say this is definitely more of a high school on up story, but well worth the read. I'll be looking for more from this author for sure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Girl in the Park

    I am not going to lie.... the cover of the book gives me chills. The book sat on my bookshelf for a really long time because I could not get past the cover. Many of you know that I am a sucker for covers. Sometimes, when I see a cover that just doesn't spark my interest I will by pass it and not even give it a chance. I know that I should not do this. You know, "never judge a book by its cover...blah blah blah..." But I can't get past them. :( And this book was a victim to this very reason. And I should have listened to all of you that told me in the past hey....don't judge a book by its cover.....

    This book was beyond good. I started writing this review about a week and half ago but I could not find the words to express this story. The story is more then a few hundred pages in between two covers. It is a heart felt story that makes you appreciate every single one of your friends. It makes you want to reach out to those long lost friends that have drifted away and try to make your friendship work because you don't know when you will be able to talk to them again. I personally have never read a book that made me feel that way before. It definitely makes you think, what would you say if you never saw that friend again???

    Rain has this one friend who is always there. She has been friends with her since forever and they are drifting apart. But she is trying her hardest to still be friends with her. See she doesn't always understand the decisions that she has made. But sometimes you just have to just be there for moral support. Well when they go to party with their classmates, Rain leaves Wendy at the party because Wendy claimed she was fine. Well now it is the next day and Wendy's body was found in Central Park.....dead. I don't know how I would ever recover from this. It would take a really strong person, and I just don't know if I am that strong.

    This book showed how such a young girl takes the heartache and how she tries to deal with it. It was more then a page turner. It made you want more. It made you want everything to be okay for Rain, for her to be in peace with what happened. The author did something that not many author can do. She made you feel sorry for the characters. Mariah did an amazing job! I will read anything that she ever writes because she is truly a great author! And I could not believe when I heard that the author got the inspiration for this book by seeing a news story about an actual girl being found in Central Park. That is just heart breaking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    In The Girl in the Park, Mariah Fredericks has combined the heir

    In The Girl in the Park, Mariah Fredericks has combined the heirarchical maneuverings in a high class New York high school with a murder mystery and emerged with a winner.

    Rain has always been told to "speak up," to put herself out there more, to participate, but she was born with a cleft palate, and all the speech therapy in the world can't cure a nature that is more inclined to stand back and watch...to observe and listen. So no one is more surprised than Rain when she puts herself forward to befriend the loud Long Island transfer, Wendy, who tries too hard to fit in with the children of famous actors, singers, dancers, etc. But Wendy has a way of getting back at the snobby girls who snub her...she hooks up with their boyfriends in a very public way with no apologies.

    However, that was a couple of years ago, and Rain and Wendy's friendship did not survive that sort of behavior. But when Wendy promises publicly via the internet that she's going to get the popular boyfriend of the most beautiful girl in school, then disappears only to be found dead in the park, Rain decides that Wendy deserves better than the character assassination she's receiving in the press. Rain speaks up and puts herself out there in an effort to find Wendy's killer, and in doing so, finds herself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A good quick, YA mystery

    Rating: PG-13 (partying, underage drinking, strong undercurrent of sex)
    Coffee Beans: 3.5/5
    Favorite Line: "The sound of her crying is like vomit; you can tell it hurts to let it out." (pg 56, Nook);"Now the whole rotten memory comes back in a rush like vomit." (pg 75, Nook) (Disturbing that they both have to do with vomit)
    Spoilers: Yes, a little about a subplot
    Disclaimer: I received this ARC free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review

    I immediately connected with this book for a number of reasons. Two of them being the voice it was written in and the fact that it reminded me of The Sky is Everywhere, and I absolutely love that book. So well written and interesting, this novel pulled me along at a speed that had me finishing the book in only a day and a half. Now, let's get down to the specifics, shall we?
    What I liked:
    • The cover's pretty stinkin' sweet. Come on, admit it. Uber mysterious and creepy. Perfect for a book about a murder
    • It reminded me of Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere, but not as deep and aching—and with a murder—but still about dealing with the loss of someone you loved and finding out they weren't who you thought they were
    • I loved how the plot kept me guessing who the killer was. By page 100, I was certain I knew who the killer was. Then, at least two other times I thought I knew who the killer was
    • At first, the writing was a little scattered and abstract with all the breaks and scene shifts and flashbacks. I had to go back a few times and re-read a line or paragraph to understand what was going on, but once I got the flow of it, it was well executed and perfect.
    • Lots of good lines in the writing. Good subtleties picked up on to give that extra bit of detail to the writing
    • Overall the characters were pretty well-rounded. I didn't get that deep of an understanding for any one character, except for Rain, but I knew them well enough to feel connected with them in the story
    What I didn't like:
    • When Fredericks reveals the murderer, it was sort of anticlimactic for me. I was expecting them to be a little dangerous or violent when Rain figured it out. Instead, they sort of just cried about it. Not entirely believable for someone who's life is officially over
    • Rain's mom. We don't see much of her, which is typical of a YA novel, but when she was on stage, I wasn't impressed. We don't get the impression that she's a "phone in" mom or a deadbeat. She's a famous opera singer and they're pretty well off. Anyway, the first time I got to be unimpressed by her is the very first page when Rain tells us she'd been at a party the night before and her mom was waking her up early and she was irritated by it because her mom knew she'd been out partying the night before and had gotten home late. The second time (SPOILER ALERT!!
    IT'S FOR A SUBPLOT, BUT STILL, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW AHEAD OF TIME, DON'T READ THIS NEXT PART!), was when her mom asked if Rain liked the teacher that walked her home and says the teacher likes her back. Instead of protecting her daughter from a potentially harmful situation, she comments that Rain should stay away BECAUSE HE'S MARRIED. Not because it's wildly inappropriate (like any parent should say) but because she doesn't want her SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER TO GET IN THE MIDDLE OF A MARRIAGE. I'm sorry for those of you who don't agree (and that's fine), but that's the ENTIRELY wrong message to be sending to t

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 28, 2014

    2.5 stars For a while I was stuck between a 2.5 rating and a 3

    2.5 stars

    For a while I was stuck between a 2.5 rating and a 3 rating. Unfortunately, even though Maria Fredericks talks about series topics for the YA crowd, the formulaic plot couldn't raise this book to a 3. 




    Plot: A young girl goes missing after a house party one night and she is found strangled and sexually assaulted the next day. I chose this book because it's the classic YA murder mystery, especially when it involves a strained relationship. The novel starts right in the action; our MC, Rain, receives a call early one morning from her ex-best friend's mother wondering if she knew Wendy's whereabouts. The novel progresses as Rain finds clues that leads her to believe that the culprit was a fellow classmate and she does whatever she can to bring justice to Wendy Greller. I really liked that Rain was a fragile creature with insecurities. This novel is as much about Rain's attempt to find herself as it is to find Wendy's killer. I also liked that Fredricks brings addresses the issue of victim-blaming and slut-shaming. These are very serious issues in the media and it was good to see it addressed for the high school crowd. Unfortunately, the mystery was too easy to solve and I felt like I was reading just to confirm my theory (it was confirmed). There were no new developments, just waiting for Rain to realize what you, the reader, had already realized. 




    Characters: Rain is a very interesting main character. She was born with a cleft palate which made her the target for most of her young life. As the book is fairly short (just 224 pages) and was not enough to get to know the characters. We meet Rain who has the most development, Taylor who is Rain's best friend, and Nico who is the prime suspect. I didn't make a connection with any of the characters, I barely made one with Rain. There are hints about Rain's personal life situation, but not enough to form a full picture. 




    Setting: The Girl in the Park takes place at an upper class New York high school. There isn't much to say about it. Rain moves mostly between her house and school, and I couldn't really make a clear image of what everyday life was for the residents. Many of characters allude to the socioeconomic status of the neighborhood and how there are outsiders, but I didn't get that. From anyone. 




    Short n Sweet: Maria Fredericks' The Girl in the Park is a stereotypical "party-girl-found-dead whodunnit with no surprises or loops. The characters are mostly one dimensional but Fredericks does make the issue of slut shaming a focus and how people are eager to blame the victim rather than the true culprit.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    Would Not Read it Again

    I have read many murder mystery books, and this on was one of the worst ones I have read.

    I kept finding myself frustrated with Rain. I felt like her speech problems and insecurites drove the whole novel. She was a static character. Actually, all of the characters seemed static.

    It seemed like the author had to force the story so that Rain could have memories of Wendy. The memories came out of nowhere. They did not make sense right away.

    All of the suspects were the typical suspects. I wanted one original thought out of this book, but I never got one. It was like the author borrowed ideas/concepts from better murder mystery books.

    I had to force myself to keep reading because it was so boring. I was extremely disappointed with the entire book. I was excited when I read the blurb, but was bored after the first 30 pages. The book had potential to be great, but just ended up sucking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Sjf

    This book was really good. I read this book in 5 days.

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  • Posted May 4, 2012

    I was pleasantly surprised by this mystery. The main character,

    I was pleasantly surprised by this mystery. The main character, Rain, is easy to relate to and the plot itself could happen in any town. Rain has a cleft palate and avoids speaking because she believes that she embarrasses herself. She isn't the type of person to speak out, but when her friend, Wendy, is found dead, she knows she must try to hunt down the killer. Rain was a good friend. She and Wendy did not always see eye to eye and were more acquaintances than friends in the end, but she knew Wendy very well and knew that what the police were suggesting happened was unlikely.



    The reader will get to follow Rain throughout the story as she acts a bit like a Nancy Drew. She recruits some friends and the story progresses as one might expect from a mystery. The mystery remains tame through much of the story, but the reader will be pleased that there is a rapid upsurge in the middle that continues to the end.



    The ending of this book was perfect. The reader may or may not see what's coming, the author definitely surprised me. Overall, this book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.

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