I was sent this ARC for an honest review from HarperCollins- thank you very much!
EVERYONE wants to be someone.
Layla Harrison wants to be a reporter.
Aster Amirpour wants to be an actress.
Tommy Phillips wants to be a guitar hero.
But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her own a long time ago.
She's Hollywood's hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone's lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.
That is, until Layla, Aster and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite tot he world of Los Angele's nightlife and are lured into a competition. The prize, or rather the target? Madison Brooks.
Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing...And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.
This book is described by some as Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars and they're not far wrong, apart from the mystery of what happens to Madison Brooks isn't as sinister as I was expecting.
The prologue begins with the main mystery of the plot- the disappearance of Madison Brooks. We then begin to meet each character months before her disappearance from their perspective on things, and I particularly like a book when it's written in third person. Knowing what a character is feeling at the time of events helps you understand their motives throughout a book.
We meet Layla who runs a celebrity gossip blog called Beautiful Idols, but her big aspiration is to become a reporter and hopes to make money on ad revenue from the blog to attend a journalism college in New York.
Next is Tommy who moved from Oklahoma in hope of becoming a professional musician to impress his father that doesn't know he exits- what?!
Lastly we meet Aster, a Persian girl who want to be a famous actress but her parents have other ideas in mind when it comes to college and having an arranged marriage with a Persian boy of their approval.
Each of these characters compete in Ira Redman's Unrivaled Nightlife competition, a chance for all three characters to be able to achieve their dreams by winning a cash prize at the end. All they need to do is promote one of Ira's clubs and depending on how successful you are the chances of you to win, this includes being able to attract young celebrities- incoming Madison Brooks the jackpot!
Madison Brooks has already made it in Hollywood but her disappearance is certainly out of the ordinary and I'm intrigued to know why she would want to escape all this- for peace? A break from the limelight? Privacy? All of these seem probable but the suspicion of her hiding something, and I'm sure as this series progresses we will go more into detail of her background.
If anything it's this part of the book that made me read on, I wasn't so much interested in the other characters other than Madison. Although this is the major part of the plot, we only really get to hear more of what happens in the prologue when we get to about half way through which doesn't help the pace of the book. I would like to think the sequel will pick up from this ending and fill in those expectations. If this is the case then this book is a great build up and a little tease to what is going to happen next, and there's no doubt I'll be continuing this series- Madison Brooks has grabbed my attention!
Agreeing with many reviews, if you enjoy Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars then this series is the one to read, and now summer is approaching it's the perfect summer read to get going on the beach.
All the best for Alyson Noel and thank you for capturing my imagination with this book!