Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release: February 25, 2014
Others in the Series: Diamonds in the Rough
Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.The Secret Diamond Sisters glitters with glamor and drips with drama. Like every other book I have read about extremely wealthy people, this novel sweeps readers into an entertaining whirlwind of exclusive parties, expensive purchases, beautiful boys, and backstabbing girls. However, Madow makes her story unique by alternating between four distinct viewpoints, each one adding something different to the plot.
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.
Readers first meet Savannah, the youngest Diamond sister, who carries many of the book's jealousy-inducing moments. When the girls leave their California apartment to live in a Las Vegas luxury condo, she is the first to take her new black American Express on a shopping spree and enjoy the clubs where she is now a VIP. Makeovers like Savannah's are what make the rags-to-riches ploy so fun, and her sweet and social personality provides a perfect canvas for re-painting.
Peyton, the oldest Diamond sister, reacts oppositely to the forced upheaval of her life, and her voice creates tension in her dysfunctional family. By refusing to accept her father's gifts or conform to her new lifestyle's standards, this character accents the sisters' rightful resentment of the way their father locked them out of his life for so long. This family's path to happiness is riddled with acrimony and long-kept secrets, and Peyton's character serves to show that her father will not travel it easily.
Courtney, the middle child, lies in the grey space between her sisters, existing to tie the trio's old life to its new one. While she reluctantly agrees to buy a few designer dresses, she often expresses concern about the frivolous spending around her, noting that the money her father pays for one meal could have fed her family for weeks at her old home. Her habit of dwelling on the differences between California and Las Vegas highlights the shock of her sudden lifestyle switch, illustrating how overwhelming the sister's new responsibilities and freedoms can seem. Best of all, her hardworking, down-to-earth personality that she tries to maintain in the face of unimaginable riches makes her the most relatable of the three sisters.
Madow also tosses in chapters from the viewpoint of a girl named Madison, who rocked the Las Vegas social scene long before the Diamond sisters arrived. Although I first dismissed this character's chapters as unnecessary, I grew to appreciate the way her voice assesses the sisters from the outside, boosting the drama levels as she tries to show the newcomers who she believes is really in charge. Queen bee Madison gives The Secret Diamond Sisters a Mean Girls feeling that makes the story even more fun to read.
When these four voices combine, they create an addictive narrative that illuminates every aspect of Savannah, Courtney, and Peyton's story. If one girl's chapter ends on an exciting note, which happens often, readers will feel compelled to read ravenously until they arrive at the point where the character in question picks up the story once more. This series of suspenseful moments sets the stage for an explosive ending that will leave readers aching for the sequel. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of book two, Diamonds in the Rough, and return to the four splendid sections of this series's shimmering world.