3.5 of 5 stars.When Wendy Geller's body is discovered in Central Park, the newspapers dub her "Party Girl" and the rumors about Wendy's personal life start flying. Her former best friend, Rain, has lived her life by the motto "listen, don't speak." But when it becomes apparent that there's more to Wendy's death than the papers - and her classmates - are letting on, Rain realizes that it's time she stood up and let her voice be heard.I am a big fan of the well-written mystery, and that's exactly what this was. From the start, I was engrossed in the story, desperate, like Rain, to discover the truth about what happened to Wendy. I also found myself drawn to Rain herself; she is a very real, flawed character, and she was really wonderfully drawn. Rain was born with a cleft palate, and as such, had to undergo years of speech therapy. She doesn't like to talk, because, during those times when she was taking speech, she was ridiculed by her rich classmates, and still feels that lingering sense of, "I'm going to say this wrong," every time she goes to open her mouth. But she loved Wendy, and can't stand to let the version of her that's being painted in the papers and news stories be the only side of her people see. Rain becomes determined to figure out exactly what happened the night Wendy died, and I really appreciated her unyielding search for the answers.As for the mystery itself, it had enough twists and turns that it kept me thoroughly engrossed; I was finished with this book in two sittings. I liked how Rain kept discovering new information, and how her gift for listening to others helps her figure things out. As someone who's quiet herself, I liked that the main character of this book wasn't out there and in your face. She was very deliberate in the way she went about gathering information, and while she ends up making mistakes, she does her best to correct them and try to undo the things she's gotten wrong. I just really enjoyed Rain a lot.The reason I took a star and a half off, however, was the way the book itself was written. While the characters and plot were fully fleshed out, the writing was a bit clunky in places, particularly in the sentence structure. The author used a lot of interjections in the sentence, which made everything kind of jerky and not run as smoothly as I would have liked. Also, there are no contractions used in this book, which really threw me off. I mean, we all speak with contractions all the time - they help shorten sentences and make them flow more easily. Without them, the sentences just didn't move as fluidly as I would have liked, and it made me think, more than once, "why didn't she just say 'I'm' or 'hadn't', etc," which pulled me out of the narrative. It was disruptive enough that I had to mark off for it. I know this is a style thing, and it's the author's preference, and everyone is allowed to write the way they want to. But for me, personally, it just really didn't work.The Girl in the Park is a really great read, nonetheless. The mystery is solid, the characters well constructed, and the story itself quite satisfying. I would definitely recommend it.An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.