Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Unrivalled by Alyson Noel: Book Review


Everyone wants to be someone.

Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch 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 glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. 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.

SPOILER FREE REVIEW
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I went into this novel thinking it would be another type of Gossip Girl novel and that's the main reason I was aching to read it so bad. However, that did not prepare me for how gripping and entertaining the characters and plot line would be! This was completely it's own story and it didn't replicate GG in the slightest! New scene (Los Angeles), diverse characters, and a whole new way of seeing the rich and famous will have you pining to read more and more and MORE! I haven't read much of Alyson Noel but I can tell you now that I definitely plan on it!

The story starts off with pretty, little, innocent, Madison Brooks who is currently living it up in her dream life with a perfect acting job, a perfect-ish boyfriend and a perfect cover for her past. It isn't until three little nobodies by the names of Layla Harrison, Aster Amipour and Tommy Phillips who start to make things go terribly wrong for Madison, and it's all because of a competition where she's the golden trophy that everyone wants. Her boyfriend, Ryan Hawthorne obviously manages to get himself caught up in this mess which is where things get pretty interesting and steamy. The multiple point of views give you a 360 angle of everyone's lives so that you get to know each and every one of these fame suckers and their reasons for intertwining themselves in a dodgy LA nightclub promotional competition with the infamous Ira Redman. Unfortunately, no one trusts this guy but everyone is desperate for something and this gig seems to be the only way out for most of the contestants. Every character in this novel has a distinct reason for needing this competition which makes it so much more of a riveting read. Something about all the gossip, lies and greed seems to weave its way into your mind and tug at it so much that you just don't want to put it down! To be fully honest, I was a little confused at the end about how it had ended. Although this was the case, I thought about it a little more after I had finished and then I finally put all the pieces together as if I were a character myself trying to realise the culprit. This novel will definitely send you on a journey through the planning and scheming just so that one person can be on top - whether it be for money, fame or ego.

Things I LOVED about Unrivalled!:

* Being a blogger, I absolutely craved the idea of Layla Harrison being a gossip-junkie! She starts her own blog called, Beautiful Idols where she posts latest news about celebrity downfalls so that she can try use the revenue to live off in New York where she hopes to study. Having grown up admiring the anonymous bloggers in movies writing about gossip or just their basic everyday lives to give guidance to others, this part definitely hit me in the feels!

* In my mind, I pictured Madison as Blair Waldorf, Layla as Serena Van Der Woodsen, Aster as Vanessa Abrams and Tommy as Dan Humphrey. Disagree? Well it doesn't make it any less of a read. It just excites me because I'm currently marathoning GG on Netflix and I just can't seem to get it out of my head.

* Could the drama have gotten any more heated? I couldn't bear to put the book down at certain points! And the ending! God help me if I have to wait another whole year for the sequel! More GG on Netflix? I think so!

* The nightclub promoting competition was more than lit and I want to know if this happens in real life! If anything could get more catty than two girls and a guy trying to win a competition by using the hottest stars in LA to beat each other, it would be a high school or college with pretty similar personas in New York. Don't tell me you aren't itching to read another contemporary novel like this one.

* Like I haven't been able to stop mentioning (probably because I'm obsessed all over again), it's bringing the Gossip Girl world back with more heat and game so you better get out your glitter headbands and pick a spot on the Walk of Fame to sit because it's about to bring the hate-game to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL!


So if you just need that new type of gossip based drama novel or you just want a good read in general that you won't put down (unless you have to of course) then pick up Unrivalled and I promise you that you will not be disappointed! I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars!




Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for the review copy! Go like their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Harpercollinsnz

Go add Unrivalled to your Goodreads list HERE


Go buy it on MightyApe with 1 day delivery in New Zealand HERE


Buy it on Book Depository with free shipping world wide HERE