I'm reviewing the seriously awesome YA contempt The Secret Diamond Sisters today. I had an amazing time reading it, and I can't wait for all of you to read it as well!
Paperback, 382 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Format read: Physical ARC via publisher
The Diamond Sisters suddenly get the world handed to them on a platter, but it's up to them to make sure that they suddenly stay here.
Synopsis via publisher:
The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.
So when I heard that she had written a book about hotel heiresses moving to one of my favorite cities, I was desperate to read this book. Fortunately for me, Lisa at Harlequin kindly accommodated my request!
Things that worked:
While I'm generally wary of multiple POVs - it typically reduces the length/room for an author to fully develop a character - Madow definitely doesn't have this problem. Savannah, Courtney and Peyton are introduced to the readers with different voices, different hopes and aspirations, and you can't help but fall in love with them instantly.
While I can't wait for everyone to meet the Diamond sisters themselves, I definitely have to say: I related the most to Savannah. I could understand her eagerness to take full advantage of her new situation, and her quick realization that this is a world that has some strings.
Madow does a strong job of interweaving those relationships with the steady hand of a master weaver. You can see how and why certain people relate to one another the way that they do, and how all of these relationships come together to form the bigger picture.
I was especially intrigued with the relationship that she's developed between the three sisters. They've depended on each other for so long, and have fit into such specific roles, it's going to be interesting to see how they react if/when they start developing their own lives in Vegas.
Her world-building is beautiful, and her descriptions of the Strip and various hotels made me feel like I was driving down the street with the characters. (Also, the Diamond Hotel totally needs to be an actual place).
Her writing was incredibly strong as well; I loved her character development, plotting and just how tightly knit the world was. I felt like I could literally step into the world of the Diamonds, and that's not a feeling I always get when reading.
The romance factor:
I totally loved the relationships and potential relationships that she's cooked up for all three of the sisters and the secondary characters. Not only are they intriguing, but I think readers will appreciate the fact that a lot of these relationships are putting the girls in positions where they can learn new and different things about themselves.
Of special note: Madow introduces a relationship that made me raise my eyebrows a little. However, she fleshes it out so thoroughly, you can absolutely see how the characters got to that point. I loved this attention to detail, and the fact that she clearly knows the motivations of these characters inside and out.
Madow also totally gets bonus points for not having a cliffhanger ending. This makes it far less annoying for me as a reader - I'm looking at you, book where the book literally ended in mid-sentence - and it also makes it easier to wait for the sequel!
I wanted to stay in Savannah, Courtney and Peyton's world, watching their triumphs and failures, as they adjusted to the glittering, sparkling world of Las Vegas. I predict that this will be one of those books where you'll close the book and think:
A) Why can't my life be like this? (Because seriously, who can't use a Centurion card?) and
B) When does the sequel come out?! (October 28th, 2014 - according to Goodreads!)
I highly, highly recommend this for fans of contemporary fiction, especially for fans of Kate Brian's Private series. You're going to love it.
About the author:
She loves connecting with fans online, so be sure to follow her on Facebook (Michelle Madow), Twitter (@MichelleMadow), and Instagram (@MichelleMadow). For more information, visit her website, www.michellemadow.com.