Author: Sara Bennett Wealer
Date Released: February 15th, 2011
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
What if your worst enemy turned out to be the best friend you ever had?
Meet Brooke: Popular, powerful and hating every minute of it, she’s the “It” girl at Douglas High in Lake Champion, Minnesota. Her real ambition? Using her operatic mezzo as a ticket back to NYC, where her family lived before her dad ran off with an up and coming male movie star.
Now meet Kathryn: An overachieving soprano with an underachieving savings account, she’s been a leper ever since Brooke punched her at a party junior year. For Kath, music is the key to a much-needed college scholarship.
The stage is set for a high-stakes duet between the two seniors as they prepare for the prestigious Blackmore competition. Brooke and Kathryn work toward the Blackmore with eyes not just on first prize but on one another, each still stinging from a past that started with friendship and ended in betrayal. With competition day nearing, Brooke dreams of escaping the in-crowd for life as a professional singer, but her scheming BFF Chloe has other plans. And when Kathryn gets an unlikely invitation to Homecoming, she suspects Brooke of trying to sabotage her with one last public humiliation.
As pressures mount, Brooke starts to sense that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had. But Kathryn has a decision to make. Can she forgive? Or are some rivalries for life?
I really, really liked Rival. It was perfect how it alternated between Brooke and Kathryn's point of views. It really shows how people would think differently of the same situation that they're in.
Rival is about the the relationship between Kathryn and Brooke and how they bonded over music. Kathryn was like the typical nobody; she had one best friend, who was a geek himself, too, and she was really smart. On the other hand, Brooke was the insanely popular A-lister who doesn't really know why all of this popularity was handed to her, but she accepts it. Like most popular girls, she has her insecurities. When Kathryn started turning into a total popular snob, Brooke decides to end things, but not in the nicest way.
Now, the two compete for the ultimate prize, winning the Blackmore competition. As the competition date nears, you see Brooke change and realize that Kathryn was probably her only true best friend while Kathryn can never get over what Brooke did to her, making her even more paranoid than ever.
I really liked the characters. They just seemed so real and they put up this facade that's only half of what they really are, like Brooke. Brooke is probably my favorite one out of the two because she realizes these things and sees how people have changed, like her "best friend" Chloe, and Kathryn after she gets into the crowd of A-listers. She also has that secret that's really her insecurity. Kathryn was the type who seems like a really nice girl, and she really was, until she got all... for lack of a better word, weird. She just started really becoming insecure and almost paranoid that Brooke was going to repeat what she did to her the year before. It was just very annoying of her to do that.
Plot wise, I love how everything developed and got so much more intensified as the competition got closer. Throughout the course of the novel, you see Brooke and Kathryn change from the person that they were before, into two different people.
I really liked Rival overall. It was a story of friendship and how it can unravel in the blink of an eye. It kept me completely captivated the whole entire time I was reading it. I would recommend it anyone who likes contemporary novels, but without romance (I might have forgotten to mention that there is no major romance involved in the book... Sorry!). It was a really great debut from Wealer and I'll definitely look forward to future books by her!
I really love this cover! I love the piano keys with the bold, fiery, redish orange flower on top. The flower is really beautiful. I'm also really big fan of the somewhat elegant font with the swirly designs on it. It's a pretty simple cover, but I really like it!
*Description and cover from goodreads.com
**Review copy borrowed from library.