Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2) by Michelle Madow

Release date: October 28, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow's riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.
Diamonds in the Rough, the sequel to The Secret Diamond Sisters, delivered just about everything I wished for in the first but only found in sprinkles. It's the kind of fun read that you can't look away from, because it feels like every page turn brings a new surprise, a new piece of drama. Michelle Madow amps up both the secrets and the glitz in this second book, and she definitely made me immensely curious to see how the series ends.

While the beginning of Diamonds in the Rough is slow, it steadily picks up pace and just keeps piling on the drama. Moments you'd think would be the big reveal are unveiled near the midpoint, which left me wondering just how much more we could see happen--and which only made me read faster. At almost 450 pages, it's a long book, but it didn't feel so long to me. I'd sit down to read a little while and find I'd read 100 pages in what seemed like a blink.

I think Michelle has hit her stride with this book. At times in The Secret Diamond Sisters, I found myself disillusioned with the characters, partially because a lot of their actions are so unlikable and partially because their problems seemed petty. But, she's done such a great job giving everyone nuance in this book. The characters you hated at first have done turnarounds and have problems that you can really sympathize with. It's still a fantasy world of glamour and fabulous situations, but it's much more grounded this time around--even as the glitz gets bigger and bigger.

No matter your opinion on the first book, I say Diamonds in the Rough is better. It's got more plot, more fun, and more of the Las Vegas scandal you expected in picking these books up to begin with. This was just a lot of fun to read, a nice escape from my normal life into a world I'm sure I'll never see.

About the author:

Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida ... but she loves going to Vegas.

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