"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS by Michelle Madow (YA)

hosted by Tiffany of About to Read

The SEVEN DAYS OF SECRET DIAMONDS has kicked-off!!! 
Welcome to day 2 to the countdown to 
Today, I will be sharing with you some "Michelle Facts", my review and a little bit about the book... 
and as we get closer to release day, I'll also be sharing some more "Michelle Facts" and other great SECRET DIAMOND SISTER themed posts!!! 

by Michelle Madow
Expected release date: February 25th, 2014
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback, eBook
Format read: eGalley from Netgalley/publisher for an honest review. 


Savannah. Courtney. Peyton. 

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. 
But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad — a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. 
Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. 
But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Michelle's SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS facts...

Fact #1: Savannah's birthday is on December 13th, which is the same day that Michelle got the call from Harlequin Teen that they wanted to publish THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS. 

Fact #2: Savannah and Evie's friendship is based off a friendship that Michelle had in high school.  


The Secret Diamond Sisters are no longer a secret!
Michelle Madow made an impression on me with her indie debut of the Transcend Series - I automatically knew that she was an author to keep an eye on and that I would definitely be reading whatever she would release next! It is exciting to see how far she has come - and I really looked forward to diving into her latest book filled with teen drama set in Las Vegas!
However, I have a few mixed feelings about this book...
the teen part of me says one thing - it's fun! A book filled with what teens would do in the situations that these characters go through - clearly the choices that they have made is to be expected. I must learn from them. And continue to enjoy the story and live vicariously through them; but then the adult/mom part of me is saying - no. I don't want to see this teen do this. Please stop making poor choices. I want to hug you all and make it all better.
This book was clearly written and meant purely for a teen audience. An audience that can relate more to all of the characters, have fun with them, but also, hopefully, learn from their mistakes too.

Due to their mother having to go to rehab for alcoholism, the three Diamond sisters - Peyton, Courtney and Savannah, must leave their modest hometown and lives to go meet and stay with their estranged father. Having no idea who their father is or what they are about to get into, each sister has their own way on how to deal with the oncoming situation. For the last few years, they have had to take care of themselves and each other - once they arrive on their father's doorstep, the shocking revelation of who he is does not go over too well.
Savannah, the youngest sister at 15, is the most easygoing of the three. As soon as she finds out that their father is THE hotel mogul billionaire of Las Vegas, she is quick to embrace her new life and dive into all the things that she didn't have before - expensive clothes, makeup, popularity, etc. All she wants to do is fit in with the right group of people - the gorgeous popular kids. And at that age, what kid didn't wish for a billionaire parent, to have all their wishes come true and be one of the cool kids in school with the perfect gorgeous boyfriend. I know that there were plenty of times that I had wanted this. Savannah is young and naive. She knows what is right and wrong, but it can be difficult to make decisions when peer pressure is looming at every corner every minute of the day.
Courtney, the middle child at 16, is a sweet and innocent bookworm. She is very focused, a rule-following and determined girl. Her mind is set on being an overachiever so she can earn a scholarship to go to the college of her dreams. She is also a very hard worker and is willing to continue to earn her way and does not want to take advantage of her father's wealth and seemingly generosity. Courtney tries to reason with everyone even though she does not like confrontation. But she has to do her best to meet her fathers rules, it is hard for her to let go of her responsibilities and embrace finally being a teen. But she too is still young and naive and has not had many experiences with her peers. Trying to follow her heart and meet her father's expectations prove to be very difficult for her in more ways than one.
Peyton, the oldest at 17, is a rebellious one. Having to be the one in charge of their mother and protecting her sisters has really taken its toll on her. She has the most difficult time in accepting anything that is happening and chooses to do the exact opposite of what everyone expects from her. Her promiscuity wasn't surprising, but at the same time, it was. It seems that Peyton doesn't think things through and is always quick to do the wrong thing to prove a point. As she slowly starts to take the time to really pay attention to what is going on around her, and realizes all of her mistakes - it was quite the eye-opener. My heart ached for her. This poor girl clearly needs some adult guidance in her life.
They all do.

And yes, there are plenty of cute boys for everyone - good and bad. Madow teases us with potential love triangles for each sister. I said potential! I can see things going either way...

I truly enjoy Madow's writing; she has such a way of describing things, making you feel like you're really there seeing things in person. And I feel that she mastered the art of the introductory first book to a series! There is so much potential as to how the story could go for each sister and for a few of the supporting characters too. I am really looking forward to seeing these girls mature, grow and make a few more mistakes on their journey to self-discovery!

*I received an eARC from the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in the Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's upcoming YA trilogy, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner will be published by Harlequin TEEN in Spring 2014.

Michelle graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.

She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook and Twitter.

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