Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 5268
Unrivaled
(Updated: March 29, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Dark, gritty view of LA celeb scene and the true cost of fame. Unrivaled introduces readers to three protagonists, each wanting to become famous. Layla, wants to go to journalism school, and accepts an invite to Unrivaled in hopes that it'll help with the cost of college; Aster, wants to be famous but her over protective parents stand in the way; Tommy, wants to be a famous musician like his father who knows nothing about him. All accept the invite. All face the idea that they might have to bend the rules in order to win. But at what cost?

What worked: This totally reminded me of LA Gossip Girls meets The Apprentice. Only in this case, the participates are given the responsibility to manage nightclubs and bring in important celeb clientele. Ira is the one in charge of this operation. He's ruthless to the point of encouraging the participates to do everything they can in order to win a chance of being in charge of one of his night clubs. I was hooked right at the start! Only after I really got into the story did I realize this story was more Pretty Little Liar with it's own A. Readers are kept guessing what mystery is behind teen celeb Madison and her 'disappearance'. Plus, there's more going on here. Lying, cheating, and scheming are nothing when it comes to getting fame.

The chapters alternate between the three main players. Layla has the heart of a journalist and hates that she has to lower herself to paparazzi level by reporting on celebs. In this case her anti-Madison comments in her blog end up getting her viewer hits but it's not until later, when she realizes she really wants to win the Unrivaled spot, does her true character come out.

Aster at first comes across as a spoiled, entitled teen. I think out of all the main characters, her portrayal has the most growth. Not saying she's that likable, because really she's not, but readers see her weaknesses and vulnerabilities that make her not so much of a Mean Girl.

Tommy's vulnerabilities revolve around his 'secret'. His nice Oklahoma guy personality is tested more than a few times.

There's a huge mystery involved too. Who exactly is Madison? What is she hiding from? And what part does she in fact have in her own disappearance. Nothing is what it seems. It's like a Hollywood reality show that has gone terribly wrong.

Dark, gritty, and highly addictive, this series is sure to wrap it's tale around readers. Pretty Little Liar meets The Apprentice set in the dark underside of Hollywood. How far would you go to get a piece of fame?

Good Points
1. Pretty Little Liars meets The Apprentice
2. Gritty view of LA
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