Author: Alyson Noël
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, mystery, young adult
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.
Unrivaled is #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël’s first book in a thrilling suspense trilogy about how our most desperate dreams can become our darkest nightmares.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: Blogging
In spite of seeing quite a few rant reviews on Unrivaled (as well as some gushing ones), I was ultimately intrigued by the synopsis, so I decided to give it a go. California? Models? Mystery? What could be better?
Unfortunately, as with many of my reads lately, this one didn’t particularly meet my expectations. I found it to be rather long and boring with many undeveloped characters.
For a brief summary, Unrivaled revolves around models Layla, Aster, Tommy, and Madison, who is the most well-known model in Hollywood. When the other three models receive VIP invitations to the nightlife in LA, they take advantage of them right away as they enter a competition against Madison to replace her as the hottest model in LA. But then Madison goes missing, and now it is up to them to chronicle what happened.
I felt like the four main characters of this book just weren’t developed enough. They were all stuck-up in their own ways, but that is a trait I can assign to all of them. They just weren’t memorable, and they had no traits that helped me distinguish them from each other. If I hadn’t been writing this review right now, I doubt I’d even be able to remember their names.
This book’s plot was also not very up to par. A whole lot of nothingness happened for the first 80% of the book, which surprises me because there is supposed to be such a big mystery aspect to it. By the time the plot *finally* sped up by the end, it was kind of too late for me to be excited since I had already been sitting through over 300 pages of boringness!
All in all, I was expecting a fun, flashy story about the real struggles teen models in Hollywood face, but basically, all I got was blah. This book had such a captivating premise and the writing was amazing, but all the other more important elements that make for a good story were lacking. This book did end with a cliffhanger, though, so I still want to continue on with the series and see if things get better.
If you’re curious about how teen models really live their lives, then Unrivaled is the book for you. It paints a great picture of what they actually go through every single day, but just don’t expect the characters and the slow-moving plot to wow you.