Nicole (Nicoleslaw00)'s Reviews > Rival

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
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's review
Feb 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: four-star-books
Read from February 20 to 21, 2011

I read this for the debut author challenge. I was in the mood to read a contemperary realistic fiction novel. I've been going pretty heavy on the fantasy and dysotopian here lately. So I went onto The Story Siren's blog to see what new debut novels were coming out in the month of February in the YA genre. Most of the ones listed were fantasy... Rival was one of the few realistic novels on the list.

I was immediately turned off and intrigued (at the same time if that's possible) by the synopsis and I'll get into why a little later in this review.

So basically this novel is the story of two girls in their senior year... who happen to be arch rivals. They are both deeply involved in the school choir and are competitive with each other. Brooke is the school's "teen queen". She's the popular one who everyone wants to be in the graces of. Kathryn is more of the pretty, quite, shy type. So how is it that two girls on complete opposite spectrums of the high school world could become rivals? Well the storyline is full of flashbacks that take you back to their junior year when the girls first met and give you the entire back story... all while you are experiencing their current dilemas of their senior year.

So like I said before, the synopsis gave me conflicting feelings for this book. I was turned off by the choir, "Glee", type storyline. I was not involved in choir in highschool and my school did not have a big choir program. I was concerned that I would not be able to relate with that part of the storyline. Then I was also pretty sure that as a 28 year old woman, I would not be interested at all in the catty-ness of teenage girls being "rivals". But on the other hand, I at one time too was a teenage girl... and I've dealt with my share of catty-ness coming from other females. I've always kind of related myself to the "Kathryn" type of girl. So I was intrigued to see the inner workings and thoughts behind the actions of the Brooke character... the epitome of the "mean girl".

I was pleasantly suprised by this book. I always go into the debut author novels feeling like they are a crap shoot. I was very happy with this one. I didn't find myself rolling my eyes as the girls argued. I actually related to a lot of what they went through. I sympathized with the characters and found myself fully invested in the book very quickly. I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of YA or realistic contemperary fiction!
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02/20/2011 page 259

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