Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
HarperTeen, February 11, 2011
Read for 2011 Debut Author Challenge, YA Contemps Challenge AND A-Z Challenge
Summary from Goodreads:
What if your worst enemy turned out to be the best friend you ever had?I finally got around to reading this book--it's been on my nook since it was released in February. Another one of those books that I knew I'd enjoy, so I waited to read it. Rival is a very quick and enjoyable debut. It's not your typical popular girl versus loner chick book, although this is the underlying theme, of course. With the chapters alternating points of view, readers are able to glimpse events as they're observed by both Brooke and Kathryn, and we quickly realize that what each girl recognizes as the truth might be anything but.
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?
I appreciated that we were able to see Brooke's side of the story, too, so we could realize that she wasn't really the bitch she first appeared. I seem to be on a "books-about-girls-whose-fathers-want-nothing-to-do-with-them" kick lately. I wasn't too sure about the ending--I mean, it worked, but I think I might have liked a different outcome. Still, Rival was an impressive debut and I look forward to reading more from Sara!
Enjoy your reading!