Monday, 22 August 2016

Bask in someone else's fame, live off of the family name, and who you are is all that matters.

Publication Date: May 10th 2016
Publisher: MIRA Ink
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël comes the first book in the Beautiful Idols series. With mystery, suspense, and an insiders-only look at Los Angeles that echoes Gossip Girl’s racy and real New York, fans of Pretty Little Liars and readers who crave pulse-pounding romance will love Unrivalled.
EVERYONE wants to be someone.
Layla Harrison wants to be a reporter.
Aster Amirpour wants to be an actress.
Tommy Phillips wants to be a guitar hero.
But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her own a long time ago.
She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.
That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and are lured into a competition. The prize, or rather the target? Madison Brooks.
Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

Unrivalled, the first in Alyson Noels Beautiful Idols series, wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but in some ways, I got exactly what I was expecting.

 While it's hinting at a mystery, Unrivalled at the core is more of a character driven story centred around Young Hollywood - as the mystery aspect doesn't start until over half way, and what I loved about it, and the part that I was expecting, is the darker and seedier side to Hollywood as three young people want and try to make it, and one who has reinvented herself to make it and try to hang onto it.

We have four perspectives (well, technically five, but there's only a few chapters of the fifth perspective towards the end of the story), our opener prologue belongs to Madison, the one that made it, Layla, an aspiring reporter, Tommy the musician who wants to prove himself to a father who doesn't know he exists, and Aster, an actress who will do anything to make it.  The characters are easy to distinguish and have their own voice and characteristics, which usually seem to disappear when it comes to third person, but didn't with Unrivalled. Some characters stood out more than others, and Madison by far is the most interesting, considering she's already made it and changed, we have the mystery of who she used to be and get little glimpses at that. Whereas the other characters are who they are, and we get to see how they start to change and conform into a certain standard person you need to be to cut it in Hollywood. 

Sadly, when it comes to the romance, that's where I started getting exasperated *some of the consistency in some character’s characteristics become inconsistent, especially Layla's, seeing as it was a little early on, but with Aster's show how dignity is something to be played with when it comes to how far you'll go to get what you want.

For me, Unrivalled is the kind of read in the way that it's so trashy it’s so good in the best way because it's compulsive and addicting and I couldn't put it down and let's admit it, you'll eat your way through it like you're going to want to eat the cover.

Rating: 3.5 - 4/5


* Thanks for the word, Verushka!  Anybody want to give me a word to include in my next review?