The Secret Diamond Sisters
by Michelle Madow
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: Feb. 25, 2014
Page Count: 382
Source: From publisher via NetGalley
(A HUGE thank you to Harlequin Teen for accepting my request to review this book.)
Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.
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.
Review: When I first saw this book on NetGalley, it was the cover that drew me in. I had seen it reviewed on a few other blogs at that point, and there was something very intriguing about the colors on the cover. I think it definitely has to do with the diamonds that go down the center. After finding it on NetGalley, I read through the synopsis and liked it a lot as well. I usually really enjoy contemporary, and it seemed like it had some things that would make it pretty exciting. Unfortunately, it just didn't end up working out for me.
It was not a horrible book, let me start by saying that. It was an okay book, and I know that there are a lot of people that would really enjoy this book (you can see that for yourself just by going to Goodreads and reading the 4 and 5-star reviews for it). I have to say that this book just was not for ME. While I desperately wanted to enjoy it because it had a good concept and so many other good reviews, it was just not something that happened for me. I was held up at about fifty percent of the book for quite some time before I was finally able to get through it. Let me say again, just because I did not like it, does not mean that you will not.
The main thing that through me off was the characters. It was not their personalities, their descriptions, or their reactions to anything within the novel. It was the shear number of characters that really made things difficult for me. There were A LOT of different characters to remember. You have three sisters as the main characters to begin with, and then you throw in the stories and ideas of another (fourth) girl as well. Along with that, you have the parents, grandparent, all the boys they take interest in, their body guards, people from the school they will go to, step parents, hotel workers. It was a lot to try to keep track of, and it was not something that I was able to successfully do with this one. I guess I am used to just keeping track of a main character with a few minor characters thrown in.
The three main girls were great, though, when you break them down and think of them as individuals. I love that, despite all being sisters, they were all completely different people. This is something my mother and I always talk about as I have two brothers myself. We think it's funny that we are all siblings, but we are all different, so Madow made that part of the story very realistic for me. You have Petyon, the oldest who wants to do her own thing and does not want to give their father any satisfaction for not having spoken to them their whole lives. Courtney who falls in the middle and spends the majority of her time studying, reading, or stressing about her SATs in order to make sure that she could get money for college. And the youngest, Savannah, who is nothing but intrigued by the whole situation and the idea that she can now reinvent herself. Like I said, some things about this book were very good, it's just not something that I enjoyed.
Another problem I found was with a lot of the young characters in the book, and how they acted. Now, I know some teenagers can be a little crazy and do stuff they shouldn't, but it seemed a bit extreme. First of all, I have a hard time believing that this private school would be just like this. It does not seem realistic at all to me, when it is supposed to be. Maybe that is just me. You have teens drinking like crazy at the hotel, using fake IDs, though the owner of the hotel and tons of other adults are there and know that they are not of age. It just seems unlikely that this would be completely overlooked. I don't know, there were just some things that really did not seem to work for me. The story drug on and had some things that I believe could have been left out, that just slowed down the story.
I really wanted to enjoy this book. I thought that it had a great concept and I had high hopes for it, but it just didn't do anything for me. Maybe in the future I will try it again, or try the second book in the series to see how it goes, but for now I think I will move onto something else. Maybe you will enjoy this one, though!