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Beware That Girl    by Teresa Toten order for
Beware That Girl
by Teresa Toten
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Teresa Toten's Beware That Girl is a rather dark YA psychological thriller, most suitable for older teens and even adult mystery readers. It stars Kate O'Brien, a determined scholarship student at the elite private Waverly School in NY city, who plans to work the system - and her fellow students - to end up at Yale.

The story's opening raises a question that stays with the reader all the way through - a blonde in a hospital bed; another in a chair beside her; and cops asking questions. What's it all about and who are the girls?

Kate has always lied because she wants a big life, which would not normally be in the cards for her, given her background. She needs the right ally at her new school so she targets mega-wealthy, damaged Olivia Sumner for her meal ticket. Kate quickly becomes Olivia's new best friend and even gets invited to move in to her home - Olivia's absentee dad thoroughly approves. They even buy a dog together.

The school acquires a new fundraising head, handsome Mark Redkin. He zeroes in on Kate, the Waverly Scholar, to head a small student advancement committee. Mark likes touching its members. Gradually, he targets Olivia and soon has her totally under his thumb, while she becomes jealous when he looks at Kate. Kate becomes convinced that he's an abusive sociopath, just like her old man. She genuinely cares for Olivia and feels impelled to do something.

They take action together, but it ends badly for one of them. Still, there is room for interpretation of what might follow - the reader can choose.

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