Wendy and Rain used to be best friends, but Wendy started to hang out with a wilder set, and became obsessed with boys. Rain is at a party with Wendy, and talks to her a little bit, but Wendy has decided to set her sites on a boy -- one who of course has a girlfriend -- and Rain has no idea that this will be the last conversation she and Wendy will ever have.
The news media is painting a picture of Wendy as a slutty, wild girl. Rain knows that there is more to her one-time friend than this picture. Rain recalls some of the times that Wendy was a true friend, especially when she helped her feel more comfortable speaking. Rain was born with a cleft palette, and since she still speaks with a lisp, she rarely speaks at all. Rain has been the victim of bullying, and Wendy used to help her through that.
The only way the Rain can come to terms with Wendy's death is to find out who did this and why. Rain becomes an amateur detective, confiding her suspicions to a teacher and then to the police.
The Girl in the Park has a lot of twists and turns, and even though I suspected who the perpetrator was, I really wasn't certain until the end. The Girl in the Park did contain some convenient plotting, one thing in particular that was missed by the police, but Rain was such a sympathetic character that all I really cared about was her well-being and her success in finding the killer.
Fredericks' secondary characters filled out the story nicely, but really Rain was the focus. I got some of the other names mixed up a few times. The pacing was excellent, and I found it easy to keep reading The Girl in the Park to the end. I think teens will enjoy this well-crafted mystery, and will enjoy the twists, turns, and surprise ending.
Published by Schwartz & Wade, April 24, 2012
eBook obtained from NetGalley
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