I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
This book has no plot.
So if you actually care about those things then you’re not going to like this book.
The characters are horrible too.
Then you might be wondering why read this book at all.
The answer: Las Vegas
Madow does a fantastic job describing the city. You really did get a feeling of the city for this book. From its themed hotels, wild parties, and over the top atmosphere I really did feel like I got to know Vegas in this book. Grant it, I did have a little problem with how effortlessly these teenagers were able to sneak into bars and casinos with little to no explanation, but for the most part I’ll give this a pass just because the descriptions of these places were what kept me interested in what otherwise would’ve been a very boring book with as I said before pretty much god awful characters.
This book in a lot of ways reminds me of Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series, which should be a good thing. Because I sort of loved that series (at least its earlier books). However, instead of spinning some of those rich kid cliches like de la Cruz did, Madow’s book is overwhelmed by them.
I guess there’s no other thing to do than to discuss the characters:
Savannah: I didn’t mind her that much. Actually, I was sort of relieved to read her point of view after Peyton and Madison’s. She was still pretty annoying though. Savannah is your typical idiotic I want to be popular YA protagonist. And I really wonder just how many of these do publishers want us to read about. I guess when your the targeted age group, this might be something you have to deal with. But I remember reading this stuff when I was in the targeted age group and found it annoying. I honestly don’t like reading about a poser who spend thirty grand on getting beautiful and a whole new wardrobe. But I have to admit, after reading both Peyton and Madison’s POV, I did find her refreshing. And that is sad to say. Especially since she sort of failed at being popular and as a character in general.
Courtney: Probably the best out of the bunch, but a bit of a cliche. Have you even notice how “good” YA characters are always modeled after Belle from Beauty and the Beast-meaning, they love to read, are beautiful and don’t really try/work at it, and of course are Ivy bound. Maybe Belle wasn’t Ivy bound, but you get the picture. Even though I get bored with this stereotype, I actually did prefer Courtney to any other character in this book. And yes, I get teens can be all about me, but let’s face it, we don’t want to read about an all about me protagonist.
Peyton: God, this was probably the worst character. I got annoyed with Savannah and Madison, but at least they had their moments. Peyton though… When Madow does the whole tough girl character she does it complete with pleather sports bras for tops. Yeah, that’s Peyton in a nutshell plus a major daddy complex. I really couldn’t feel sorry for her either. She makes stupid decisions that have very little thought in them. And yeah, I think Madow is trying to get her to reform at the end but it’s going to take a lot more for me to like her.
Madison: I think I was supposed to hate Madison the most out of all these characters, but I couldn’t. Oh, I did get annoyed with her, and I thought she was your typical Mean Girl character. But I could see potential with her, unlike Peyton. Maybe it’s because this book reminded me of Blue Bloods too much and I know that the bitchiest character in that novel, grew as a person throughout the series, but that’s sort of the hope I have for Madison. As it stands now, I tolerate her only a tad bit more than Peyton.
The Rest: Which is basically the girls’ various love interests and their relatives. Flat, flat, flat. Out of all of the boys, there’s only one that seems halfway decent. And Madow had to give that relationship a Cassie Clare like twist that has me going all ew. The father character is mysterious at the point of being annoying. I mean, really. How can you basically ignore your children? And yes, I get the so called divorce agreement called for it. But you would’ve thought mom would’ve at least demanded child support when she didn’t have a job for however long it was.
Now, of course defenders of the book are pleading the Stephenie Meyer defense (it’s fiction).
A lot of books take that approach, and I personally hate it. Yes, I know it’s fiction, but for me I just can’t help but roll my eyes and say, well, isn’t that convenient. And really I could get the wife not wanting alimony (some ill placed pride), but these were her kids they should’ve been getting the money instead of having to work ridiculous hours just to keep the roof over their house (and booze in mom’s fridge).
So, bad characters and a lack of plot, plus logic that doesn’t really make sense. That pretty much describes this book in a nutshell, but this is one series that I’m probably going to keep up on. I have some hopes that some semblance of a plot will emerge. I have my theories on what might happen, but when your going on nothing. They really are just theories.