Tuesday, February 25, 2014

{ARC Review} The Secret Diamond Sisters By: Michelle Madow

Title: The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)
Author: Michelle Madow
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: February 25th, 2014
Source: Harlequin Teen for review
Format: Physical ARC

Synopsis: Savannah, Courtney and Peyton grew up with their mother in a small house in a small town. So when their mother is whisked away to rehab, and their absent father appears in their lives to announce that he is one of the richest and most powerful men in Vegas, the Diamond sisters are flown to Sin City, where things are about to get dirty. Secrets that should have stayed hidden will be revealed, friendships will be broken, and betrayal is lurking around every corner. When it comes to the Diamond Sisters, what happens in Vegas, doesn't just stay in Vegas. In fact, it might just change their lives forever.

Review: First, a HUGE thank you to Harlequin Teen for sending me this galley for review! They say not to judge a book by its cover. But from the minute I saw this certain cover, I was in love. The Diamonds. The Las Vegas background. The mysterious girl. But sometimes, you can't always let a pretty cover completely win you away.

Characters: Ah, the Diamond sisters. I'm just going to tell you straight up that Courtney was my favorite of the three. She was practical and bookishly smart, and in my opinion, she was the most relatable character. While her sisters were running around getting drunk and hooking up with terrible guys, Courtney seemed to be the only one with enough logic and common sense in her head to stay away from all the temptations of Sin City. On that note, the sister that I disliked the most was Peyton. She was just downright TRASHY. Her behavior with boys was just terrible, and I hated the way she tried to excuse that behavior with a heartbreak back in the 9th grade. We've all been hurt before, but that doesn't mean we all run around sleeping with every guy that will give us the time of day, Peyton. Her rebellious attitude just made her really obnoxious and a very distasteful character. Along with that, Peyton's younger sister Savannah was also a character of extreme dislike. With the modest way the Diamond sisters were brought up, and their rough childhood, one would expect these sisters to have some form of maturity. Unfortunately, I didn't see this in Savannah. At 15, there are many teenage girls who are wise beyond their years. Then you have Savannah, who, like Peyton, seemed to enjoy running around with various boys. Savannah was really naive, to the point where her naivety made her seem like she was nine years old. Unfortunately, since 2 out of the 3 main characters in The Secret Diamond Sisters annoyed me, many parts of this book just did not work for me.

{Annoyed face whenever Savannah or Peyton did something ANNOYING}

Writing: I really did not want to give this book a bad review, since the author is just so incredibly kind and sweet, but I am always honest in my reviews. The writing.. it was eh. The narration especially. This book is told in the form of four different points of views: Savannah, Courtney, Peyton and Madison. Sometimes I felt like their voices blended into each other, making it hard to differentiate any originality between these girls. However, I've seen this with many other authors as well; some who have had years and years of more writing experience than Michelle. One other thing I noticed in this novel was that the "secrets" were revealed in a very... awkward way. At times, the "big revelations" were just too nonchalant, and then at other times, they were just so grand and unbelievable, that it was hard to picture such a confidential matter being revealed at a TAWDRY NIGHTCLUB. My main problem with this book was that the very predictable storyline lacked a plot ARC. It seemed to just be a description of good girls gone wild in Vegas. While there is an intention to reveal BIG secrets, none of these secrets were very surprising. In saying that The Secret Diamond Sisters lacks a plot arc, I am saying that there was no character growth or cliffhanger to close off the book. While I am able to imagine a sequel, I am curious to see what types of new and "life changing secrets" will be brought into it. 

Setting: Where The Secret Diamond Sisters lacks credibility, Michelle Madow makes up for it in the Las Vegas setting. 
Ah. Vegas. While I've never been there, I can imagine that it's a wilder version of New York's nightlife. I have to give Michelle credit for sticking true to what Vegas is most famous for: parties, Patron, and PEOPLE. (haha see what I did there? ;) She hit the right note in describing the extravagance and flamboyancy that is the true heart of the world famous Sin City. And while, yes, the underage drinking and the wild partying is highly frowned upon, it is also one of the things that make Vegas, VEGAS. If Michelle hadn't included these very true stereotypes, Las Vegas wouldn't be Las Vegas.

Conclusion: Although I was disappointed by many elements of The Secret Diamond Sisters, I think many others looking for a read much like the Gossip Girl series should try it out. I think I will read the sequel, but with caution and hopes for a greater story. 


  1. A story on Las Vegas? Hmm interesting! XD

    1. Hey Alex! Thanks for stopping by! It is quite interesting, so maybe you'll like it better than I did! Let me know if you do read it! :)

  2. My favorite publisher is HarlequinTEEN but this review makes me question whether or not I want to read it. I'm so 50/50 on it now.