Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book Review: Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer

Title:  Rival
Author:  Sara Bennett Wealer
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publish Date:  February 15, 2011
Source:  Different Area Codes ARC Tours

Synopsis (From Goodreads):  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?

My Thoughts:  I thought this was a good book with a great message.  Kathryn is a normal, everyday girl who can sing.  She is not popular.  She is just not known.  Until she is invited to a sleepover at Brooke's house.  Brooke is the "It" girl at school.  She also sings and Kathryn and Brooke bond over their love of music, which the other girls don't share. 

Kathryn gains popularity overnight and soon, her and Brooke are doing everything together.  Then Brooke's other friend, Chole, gets involved and from there it all goes downhill. 

This book if full of the typical drama high school girls go through for four years.  Even though it was over ten years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday.  The author did a great job of dredging back all those wonderful memories (note the sarcasm here).  There is backstabbing, competition, rivalvry and some romance.  It is told through both Kathryn and Brooke's perspective and through flashbacks so you know why there is such a fierce rivalry between the two. 

Kathryn and Brooke are both likeable at times and unlikeable at times.  I loved John and Matt and hated Chloe, Dina and Laura.  I felt sorry for both Brooke and Kathryn throughout the book as they each dealt with their own problems as home and at school. 

There was only one small complaint for me and that is that since I am not a singer, I didn't know all the music terms.  Other than that, it was a pretty good book that is perfect for teen girls. 


  1. Her dad runs off with a male movie star, huh? How interesting! I am curious about this one. I recently realized the author lives near me which I find cool. haha


  2. I thought this was a great book, in fact I loved it. It brought back a lot of high school memories for me as well. I'm glad to see you liked the book. :)

  3. oooh i see i don't like it when books use terms that not everyone will know! sounds like a pretty ok book though!