ARC Review: Unrivalled – Alison Noël

Synopsis: unrivalled-cover

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 Louboutin heel.

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.


I received an eARC edition of this book courtesy of Harlequin (UK) Limited via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Whilst this book wasn’t quite the thriller we were promised by the various synopses, it was rather interesting in terms of what actually happened within it, I think the competition was a great topic to write the book about- it definitely showed a lot of Hollywood’s reality with the way in which some of the characters acted.

Their manners and behaviour towards other people were outright atrocious at times.
I found that through this Noel aptly commented on the competitive nature of human beings and how harmful the effects of this competition may be. The utter selfishness that shone through literally all of the characters at one point or another (some more than others I must admit) was disgusting to see, but I do realise that that is very much the reality in which we live nowadays.

The way that some of their relationships worked was saddening, from blackmail to being set up by their publicity team, the characters’ interactions were completely new to me (I could not believe what I was reading for a large portion of time), but yet again; I think Noël took a very honest approach in her description of Hollywood life.
In other words this novel made me think.

On the contrary the plot, while actually somewhat interesting could have benefited from less than the 4 POVs it had. I think that because of it, the writing wasn’t as developed as it could have been, just as I was catching onto one of the ‘voices’, the story plunged into another and I do admit I found it hard to differentiate between POVs throughout reading it, so much so that I really did not see any character development in any of them… In saying that, I did think that having 4 POVs gave a completely different dimension to the book which made me want to read on, it made me disorientated enough to not guess the endgame, which I guess was commendable despite maybe not being the aim of it in the first place.

Also, I felt that the book was largely cut rather short, despite being an incredibly slow read of 400 pages, the moment things got interesting – there was only about 20% to go. Which was disappointing, I really felt that the author could have gotten away with writing less at the beginning and instead focused on the ending which was the only thing I found remotely interesting and “thrillery” about this book. sigh gif.gif

Am I disappointed? Yes. Would I still recommend the book? Also, yes. I think that the aforementioned things are largely me being rather a picky reader who focuses too much on the genre which the book is published under and because of the fact that I generally don’t like books with multiple POVs, I do encourage you to read it to establish your own opinion on this particular novel.

My Rating 2.5/5 Stars

“Everyone wants to be someone”

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