Release Date: Sept 4th, 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
Details: 288 pages, hardcover
Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary
Source: NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley & St. Martins!)
Welcome to a place where dreams are made. And where nothing—and no one—is ever what it seems.
After their make-up and fashion videos went viral on YouTube, sisters Sophia and Ava London are thrust into the exclusive life of the Los Angeles elite. Here fabulous parties, air kisses, paparazzi and hot guys all come with the scene. Sophia finds herself torn between a gorgeous bartender and a millionaire playboy, and Ava starts dating an A-list actor. But as they’re about to discover, the life they’ve always dreamed of comes with a cost.
Beneath the glitter of the Hollywood social scene lies a world of ruthless ambition, vicious gossip…and betrayal. Someone close to them, someone they trust, is working in the shadows to bring the London sisters falling down. And once the betrayal is complete, Sophia and Ava find themselves knee-deep in a scandal that could take away everything they care about, including the one thing that matters most—each other.
Beneath The Glitter is about two sisters -- Ava and Sophia London (one blond, one brunette. One has a dog, one has a cat) who rise to fame thanks to their beauty and fashion videos going viral on YouTube. Sound familiar?
I've been watching Elle and Blair's videos since 2009 when I was making videos for the beauty community and I've seen how much they've grown through out the years. But to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from their debut novel since it sounded extremely way too similar to their real lives. There's nothing wrong with that, but it sort of just put me off.
The beginning to Beneath The Glitter really pulls you in. You want to know who framed the London sisters and why were they being arrested. But as the book went on, I felt like that expectation started to slope downwards.
Maybe I should start with the things I liked: The really strong bond between Ava and Sophia was cute. I'm not super close to my sibling and sometimes I wish I was, the bond between the two sisters in this book make me feel like I'm really missing out on something special. There is a rift in the book where the two sisters start to bump heads (like sisters should at times) but the way they patch things up was really heartwarming. Another thing I really liked in this book was Gio, he was like Sophia's guide, if you will. He always said the right things at the right time and he was like a Mastercard, everywhere you wanted to be! I enjoyed scenes with him the most because he really seemed like the only sane and non superficial person in the book.
Now the things I didn't like: within 27% of the book, there were multiple ENTIRE PARAGRAPHS that were in all caps. Then scattered through out the book were multiple sentences that were in all caps. Maybe it's just me, but it really annoyed me. Like that entire paragraph did not have to be in all caps. There's a lot of telling and not showing and the transition from not only scene to scene but from one sisters POV to the next was really choppy and confusing. I don't know if it's just because I was reading an ARC but I thought I would throw that in there.
I was also under the impression that it would be a little bit about their beauty and fashion videos (or even tips) but it has nothing to do with that at all. The book starts off with them already in LA and their careers starting to take off. Then basically just their day to day life in LA. Networking, promoting, fighting, trusting people they probably shouldn't be trusting... maybe it's just me but if I had to pick someone from the cast of characters to figure out who would betray the sisters, it wouldn't take me long to figure it out. I guess there's a reason for his name!
Overall, while I did really like the two points I did like about the book, the rest of it wasn't my cup of root beer. Rise to fame LA books aren't really my thing but I thought since I've been a long time YouTube follower of these girls I'd give it a go. The ending also ends in way that seems to set it up for a sequel which I just found out will be out in the summer of 2013.