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
That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the
world of Los Angeles’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.
Release Date: 10th May 2016 (UK)
Thank you MIRAink for this read-to-review copy.
This book comes to you courtesy of The Apprentice. I can almost hear the music
as each candidate is introduced to the reader. Layla wants to be a reporter,
making her blog a hit would bring in the revenue required to go to New York to
study. Tommy wants to make it big in Hollywood as a musician and has left his
Oklahoma home to do so. Aster is the rich girl who will defy her parents to pursue
her actress dreams. You wouldn’t think these three had anything in common,
but with a chance to make thousands as a promoter for various a night club,
some would do anything to win.
This book was odd for me. Coming off the back of a similar style with numerous
characters all getting their time to speak this book felt somewhat incomplete to
me. Where they all had morals and reasons for firstly entering the competition
this becomes more and more forgotten about with the characters losing their
personal identities and becoming lost in the book. This is partly due to the
underlying plot relating to Madison Brooks’ disappearance turning the book into
a who-dun-it style.
The first book of the series is set with the events leading up to the disappearance
to allow the reader to gain a knowledge and understanding of the world and
characters that there are. We see
the gritty side of Hollywood, the beneficial
match ups and the will do anything to succeed nature of some starlets. All this
time the reader is aware that Madison goes missing as the first chapter clearly
tells you this before jumping back in time. The concept overall is really well
thought out. Alyson Noel has an engaging style of writing that means that you
are sucked into the book whether you want to be or not. This writing style leads
to a flowing story no matter how jarring the changes in character is for the reader.
My disappointment with this book stems from the lack of character development
leaving Tommy, Layla and Aster left shallow and contrived. This is a shame as
they could have been really complex and emotionally driven characters but it is
wholly possible that the next book will rectify these issues and I look forward for
the chance to see these changes in the characters as the story develops and
resolutions come into effect.
Overall I did enjoy this book for the most part. The plot is well thought out and I
do love a good mystery which is what Alyson Noel has built up in this book. The
continual who-dun-it is a bonus with your trust never being fully placed in any
character and the suspicions are continually raised.