Author: Alyson Noel
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: Beautiful Idols, book one
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
I'll be honest: Alyson Noel is one of my favorite authors, and I've been looking forward to Unrivaled since I first knew of its existence. I had a space free in my library stack, so I picked it up a little over a week ago. God, I really wanted to love this book. And I did enjoy some parts of it, but overall, as a whole, this book just really fell short for me. I loved the concept--something like The Apprentice and a secret, glamorous celebrity party, all mixed together--but the execution really left a lot to be desired.
Three teens, all with vastly different goals: Layla longs to be a journalist, reporting the biggest stories, Aster longs for stardom, and all the benefits and trappings that come with it, and finally, Tommy yearns for a stage, a guitar, and thousands of screaming fans. When the infamous Ira Redman recruits all three of them to work as promoters for his clubs, the teens must decide just how far they will go for what they want. And then there's Madison, Hollywood's hottest young starlet. When she mysteriously disappears, suddenly no one knows who to trust, and soon the teens risk everything to start digging toward the truth...
Like I said, there were some parts of this book that I loved, and others that really fell short. I loved the writing, and I really enjoyed the whole Madison aspect of the book. If I'm being totally honest, that was my favorite part. I enjoyed the playful, snarky tone of the prose as well. I liked Tommy; frankly, of the three teens, he was the one who seemed the most authentic. Layla and Aster almost felt like thin, barely-there cariactures. Honestly, it was the shocking, surprising ending that saved the book, and I enjoyed that part, but I don't think I'm going to be pursuing this series any further. The bottom line: A new series debut from one of my favorite authors, Unrivaled was woefully disappointing; it just wasn't that good. Definitely in the 'meh' category of 2016 for me. Next on deck: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills!