Sunday, April 24

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336

Summary: What if your worst enemy turned out to be the best friend you ever had?

Meet Brooke: Popular, powerful and hating every minute of it, she’s the “It” girl at Douglas High in Lake Champion, Minnesota. Her real ambition? Using her operatic mezzo as a ticket back to NYC, where her family lived before her dad ran off with an up and coming male movie star.

Now meet Kathryn: An overachieving soprano with an underachieving savings account, she’s been a leper ever since Brooke punched her at a party junior year. For Kath, music is the key to a much-needed college scholarship.

The stage is set for a high-stakes duet between the two seniors as they prepare for the prestigious Blackmore competition. Brooke and Kathryn work toward the Blackmore with eyes not just on first prize but on one another, each still stinging from a past that started with friendship and ended in betrayal. With competition day nearing, Brooke dreams of escaping the in-crowd for life as a professional singer, but her scheming BFF Chloe has other plans. And when Kathryn gets an unlikely invitation to Homecoming, she suspects Brooke of trying to sabotage her with one last public humiliation.

As pressures mount, Brooke starts to sense that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had. But Kathryn has a decision to make. Can she forgive? Or are some rivalries for life?

My Thoughts: I did not know what I was going into as I started this. Backstabbers? Check. Hot guys?Check. Best friends turned rivals? Check. Music? Check. High school? Check. Guy best friend? Check. As you can clearly see this book had it all and was everything I was looking for. We are introduced to Kathryn and Brooke. Brooke was always Queen B and popular while Kathryn just kept to herself and was a loner. That is until Brooke befriends her and introduces her to her clique and the world of popularity. Brooke has another best friend named Chloe and soon Chloe starts to get jealous over Kathryn. Kathryn is so much different than Chloe and she really gets Brooke so her and Brooke become super close really fast.

Kathryn and Brooke are also really into music and are both great singers. They both excel in music and always feel like they are on the same level and one could easily beat the other.

Basically, we are swept away in past memories and flashback chapters than jolted right back to the present. We discover how two great friends went from best friends to bitter rivals. How they went from helping one another out with music and loving it to competing against each other in the same competition. Each wants to win the competition and knows what they will lose if they do not beat the other.

Kathryn has spent the last year getting over the horrible episode that went down between her and Brooke. I won't tell you what exactly happened, read the book to find out! Kathryn never really quite understood what happened. But she does know how she's had to suffer through major loads of embarrassment. She went right from the top to the bottom as quick as humanly possible. Brooke's crew basically tormented her the past year and she's been left to face it every day since.

Lets talk about some of the other characters for a minute. First, there is Matt. I really liked Matt. He was always there for Kathryn, to listen to her problems, to help her along the way. Next came Brooke and Kathryn's families. Each girl had a very different family. We come to know their parents and how they operate, which roles the girls play. Than came Brooke's brothers. You could tell instantly they would be the life of the party and out to have a good time. Next was Miles, whom Kathryn dated for a while during her popularity spurt. I clearly hated him from the get go. haha. Than there was John who seemed to take an interest in Kathryn while Brooke had the hots for him. I actually really liked him. He did seem different and I came to respect him. As for Chloe and Brooke's other friends, I could tell how fake they really were, and they were just out for themselves, to stay popular and on Brooke's good side.

Honestly, I really liked both Brooke and Kathryn. Usually I would be rooting for one or the other but I actually thought they were both decent girls. They both had great personalities and were unique and lovely in their own way.

Rival was an enjoyable read. I loved the different prospectives from each girl. And how both girls made me feel as though I was experiencing life in their shoes. The flashbacks were awesome. It told the story perfectly. The plot of best friends who realized the truth and were left to deal with the aftermath of what went down was remarkable. Rival had an enjoyable voice and left me wanting to read more from Wealer. Since it wasn't a book purely based on romance, it had just the right sparkle of romance dabbled into it.

Overall: Really enjoyed it. One you should definitely read this year. Rival was a memorable experience for me and I will be recommending it to others!

Cover: Love it! I love the flowers and how the petal has fallen off. Neat cover.

What I'd Give It:


Unknown said...

I love the cover for this book.

It sounds like a great read!

F.A.Ellis said...

Interesting,I'll to check that one out.Nice blog!

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I thought the alternating perspectives and flashbacks were handled very well; I thought there was plenty of opportunity for confusion but I didn't feel any. I also loved Matt and I thought there could have been more romance...especially if it involved him.

Alex Bennett from Electrifying Reviews said...

This one looks so great! I've heard really good things.

Aleetha said...

I loved book when it gives the thoughts of each characters. It's nice to read such books.


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