Release Date: February 15th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
*I own a copy of this book for my Kindle
Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don't like Kathryn Pease. I could pretend everything's fine between us. I could be nice to her face, then trash her behind her back. But I think it's better to be honest. I don't like Kathryn, and I'm not afraid to admit it.
I saw a commercial where singers used their voices to shatter glass, but the whole thing is pretty much a myth. The human voice isn't that strong.
Human hatred is. Anybody who doubts that should feel the hate waves coming off of Brooke Dempsey. But I don't shatter; I'm not made of glass. Anyway, the parts that break aren't on the outside.
Brooke and Kathryn used to be best friends . . . until the night when Brooke ruthlessly turned on Kathryn in front of everyone. Suddenly Kathryn was an outcast and Brooke was Queen B. Now, as they prepare to face off one last time, each girl must come to terms with the fact that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had.
It's been a few days since I finished Rival. Since then, I haven't really thought much about it. Or really come up with any topics that I wanted to touch upon in my review. That's not really a good thing. Usually ideas come to me, and they didn't. At all. So I'm now thinking, maybe this book wasn't as good as I thought it was at the time. I rated it 4 stars when I finished, probably mostly because it made me tear up and it was about music and singing. Which I appreciate as a former choir/band kid. Yeah, I did both. But looking at it objectively now, it wasn't all that special.
I didn't really like either Brooke or Kathryn. I think that was the point of the book, but I have a hard time getting into a book if I don't really care for the characters. Brooke was a snobby snob and Kathryn was a perfectionist who never knew how to have fun or enjoy life. Neither were my kind of people.
I did appreciate the message behind the book, but I don't generally read books for the message they provide. I read for fun and to lose myself in the story. Sometimes I don't really like it when I feel like the author is trying to teach me something. In this case, it was how cruel girls can be to each other for no reason at all. And it's true. We should probably listen better and stick by our friends and be loyal. Everyone makes mistakes and most girls are so unforgiving with each other. So I do think that there was a fantastic message behind this book, and one that all teen girls should become familiar with, but as an adult it just didn't really work for me. That's stuff I just don't care about anymore.
As for the story itself, it was good. I really liked it, but it wasn't very plot heavy. It was about two girls that used to be friends, that now hate each other. And they are practicing for this upcoming music festival that gives away a college scholarship. And they both need to win it for different reasons and will be competing against each other. And that's really it. Some stuff happens, you learn why they stopped being friends in the first place, and then it all comes together in the end. I'd say there was this fantastic twist or something fabulous happened if it actually did, but it didn't.
I appreciated that the topic was music and I think that this is a book that most choir/music lovers will enjoy. But it doesn't really have an original plot and it isn't particularly memorable. It is a sweet story. I enjoyed what I was reading while I was reading it, but now it's a few days later and I've forgotten most of the details. And that's that.
To purchase a copy of this book from Amazon.com, click here: Rival