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?
Wow. Sara Bennett Wealer definitely gained a fan with her Debut novel Rival, I'm going to be keeping an eye out for other novels from her for sure!
Oh my how I enjoyed this book. I loved the two main characters Brooke and Kathryn and I, shockingly, even liked Brooke a little better. Brooke was the queen-B but she wasn't a mean queen-B, in fact, she was rather uncaring about her status at school. I could definitely relate to Brooke's friendship with Kathryn, the way it went from amazing to terrible, and I LOVED the description that she used "all I could see when I looked at Kathryn was blackness" that's such an awesome way to describe how friendships can go sour. The book was a perfect interpretation of a high-school friendship gone wrong, it captured girls cattiness amazingly. The dynamic between innocent Kathryn with her two parents and lower-middle-class living to Brooke with her absentee dad and tons of money was so fun. The way we got to see how the two envied each-others lives really gives you a peak into the way people always want what they don't have, and take what they do have for granted.
I think what really pushed this book over the top for me was the singing aspect of it. I'm deeply involved with my own high-school choir and reading about two girls who care about singing so much really appealed to me. I couldn't wait to see what would happen at the Blackmoore (and I LOVED how it turned out). The ending wasn't one of those typical "everythings perfect" endings either, it still left you feeling happy but it didn't give you the typical solutions that most YA books do.
An amazing 2011 Debut! A great read full of friendship, music, drama, and fantastic writing!