When Wendy Geller's body is found in Central Park after the night of 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. Written in a voice at once immediate, riveting, and utterly convincing, Mariah Frederick's mystery brilliantly exposes the cracks in this exclusive New York City world and the teenagers that move within it.
The Girl in the Park is a great story that kept me turning the pages to find the answer to the mystery. The story has a good mystery and good characterization as well.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Rain is the protagonist of the story, and she is shy and quiet. Kids at school used to make fun of her because her cleft palate caused speech problems. Though she has taken speech lessons and can now speak correctly, she still is sometimes afraid that her words will come out wrong. When Wendy moved to the school, she befriended Rain. Wendy was a great friend to Rain and boosted Rain's self-esteem. Wendy and Rain eventually drifted apart, and Wendy became a partier. She would plan to hook up with other girl's boyfriends', and she wouldn't be quiet about it. When she is found dead in the park, the newspapers' paint her as a partier who did drugs and drank. Rain knows there was more to Wendy than that, and she becomes to determined to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding Wendy's death.
The mystery in this book is well done. Many of the clues point to Nico being the murderer. Nico is a boy who was dating a girl named Sasha. Wendy posted a video online saying she would get with Nico. Investigation shows Rain that they may have left the party only a little bit after each other, so they could meet in the park. She thinks that Wendy was going to tell Sasha about Wendy's and Nico's relationship, so Nico got angry and killed her. Rain turns Nico in to the police and he gets arrested. Unfortunately, he was not the real culprit. The real murderer was a teacher Rain has a crush on, Mr. Farrell. He and Wendy were having an affair, and she threatened to tell his wife, so he killed her.
If you like YA contemporary mysteries, read this book.