Title: Secret Diamond Sisters
Author: Michelle Madow
Format/Length: Paperback/383 pages
Publisher/Date Published: HarlequinTeen AUS/April 2014
Category/Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Description: Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.
The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.
1.5/5 stars (rounded down to one star) —
I truly wanted to love this one, but there were just too many things which dragged the novel down for me. I felt like this novel had a lot of potential, but the author didn’t quite manage to grasp it fully, and so for me, the novel fell flat. I’ll start with a positive note, though, because this novel did earn one star after all.
1) The light, fun feeling of the story.
. . . Erm, that’s really about it.
I really really hate writing one-star reviews because as a writer I know that there has been hours and hours of effort poured into this novel, and it must be really devastating to come across a review like this, but I pride myself on being an honest reviewer, so I’m not going to tame it down. However, I did like that the novel was fun. It was light and happy and kind of pointless in a good way; the sort of book that I’d read in the sunshine on the beach. Yes, this book had its many, many flaws, but the aspect of this novel that I did like was that it was fun. It was a breeze to read through, even though there were points where I’d actually roll my eyes.
So that’s everything nice I can think of to say about The Secret Diamond Sisters. Unfortunately there were plenty of things in this novel I didn’t like.
1) The characters.
2) The storyline — or should I say, the lack of a storyline.
3) The drama — oh my gosh, drama overload, you guys.
Oh my gosh. Are girls really that bitchy and petty? I mean, really?? The last few years of my high schooling I’ve been home-schooled, but when I went to mainstream (face-to-face) high school, I pretty much got along with everyone. It’s the summer holidays in this novel, but I absolutely dread the bitchiness that’s going to come around in the second novel when the sisters attend their fancy new school, because the amount of bitching and petty jealousy that went on in this novel was just too much for me to handle. I did not like any one of the characters. None of the sisters, none of the guys, and none of them had any redeemable factors about them. There was nothing likeable about them whatsoever.
Breaking down the three sisters into personality types, we have . . .
Savannah: Ignorant, naive, hopeful. She embraces her new life wholeheartedly.
Courtney: Smart, follows rules . . . a bit of a goody-two-shoes, a goody-goody, I suppose you could call her. She’s less inclined to leave her old life behind.
Peyton: The classical rebel teenager, the one who does the opposite of what you ask to piss you off intentionally. She takes an instant disliking to her new, rich lifestyle, with preconceived ideas and thoughts.
While these character personality types offered a constant source of conflict, they weren’t likeable in the slightest.
There was no storyline. Not really. There was no driving force behind the plot — it was pretty much all bitchy jealousness, dating hot guys, and adapting to their new lifestyle. So, you’re probably wondering, where’s the storyline? What’s the novel actually about?
The novel wandered, ploughing on and using conflict and drama between characters to keep the reader interested — only, if you’re like me, really disliked the drama part. I wish there had been something more to the story — then I might have rated this novel two or three stars, even, if there had been some resemblance of plot. There were alleged “secrets”, but in this novel, they were only hinted at. I can only assume that the sequel will explain these further — and if there had been something else in this novel, something that enticed the reader forward, not including the drama, then this would have been a better story. Alas, the lack of plot was a huge issue for me.
I like drama. I do, but not the sort that was in this novel. I touched upon the subject before when I talked (wrote?) about the constant bitching of the girls. Also the fact that Courtney is falling for her new step-brother made me roll her eyes. They’re not blood-related. Who gives a crap? I get the idea of the fact that Adrian Diamond had to maintain an image — but I find the fact that this would actually bother people a little ridiculous. Then there was some more boy drama. Bets between boys about who could sleep with all three of the girls before the end of summer, ect, ect. Oh, and let’s not forget Madison. A rather pointless character if you ask me, whose only intention was to be jealous of the Diamond sisters and to stir up trouble.
Yep. All in all? Not for me.