Title: The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: February 25, 2014
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.
I don't read a lot of contemporary novels, but Michelle Madow has been on my radar since she first published her Remembrance trilogy. I never got around to reading those books, but I was game to give her a shot when I got the opportunity to read The Secret Diamond Sisters. This book was a lot of fun to read because though it is a contemporary novel, it could most certainly be called "fantasy", too, because of the over-the-top glitz and glamour of life of Las Vegas Strip.
The Secret Diamond Sisters is a rags-to-riches story for Savannah, Courtney, and Peyton. They live with their alcoholic mother in the equivalent of a trailer park, and after their mom finally hits rock bottom, the girls are whisked away by their long-lost father to the Las Vegas Strip. As they try to navigate their new life away from their mother, they must also face being treated as nouveau riche by their peers. Of course, having their own limitless credit cards and Las Vegas as a playground probably made it a lot easier to bear.
There were multiple points of view in The Secret Diamond Sisters, which alternated between Savannah, Courtney, Peyton, and Madison, another girl who lived in the same hotel. The POVs can be described as naive, wounded, rebellious bitch, and jealous. Savannah is excited about everything - having a dad, money, boys to flirt with - EVERYTHING. Courtney is a vegetarian who is bitter about having everything handed to her because she's had to work for everything she's got (you know, like normal people). Peyton is just pissed at the world in general and has some serious relationship issues, parental issues, and whatever else since she hates the world. Then we have Madison, who is a spoiled bitch who loves to be the center of attention and is jealous of the newly arrived Diamonds with their natural beauty and wealth. If those things weren't focused on in each girl's chapter, I probably wouldn't have really been able to tell which girl I was reading.
The Secret Diamond Sisters was fun to read, both despite and because of the incredulity of it. It's hard for me to believe that a single mom has a billionaire for an ex-husband without asking for SOME kind of help when it was hard to put food on the table for her kids, or that Daddy Warbucks would sit back and let his spawn be raised by an alcoholic waitress who brought home really awful men. Even with the explanation offered in the book, I still wasn't buying it. I also find it hard to believe that Adrian (the girl's father) would hand the girls access to All The Things before trying to get to know them and establish some boundaries of some sort. I also can't imagine teenagers going clubbing every night and some of the shenanigans they were allowed to participate in. But then again, this is why I compared The Secret Diamond Sisters to a fantasy novel.
So if you can't afford a trip to the Las Vegas Strip, or if you're not old enough to party like a rockstar, I recommend The Secret Diamond Sisters because it is a fun piece of pretend that allows you to savor Vegas from home.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.