Elise Reads! Diamonds In the Rough by Michelle Madow

The secret diamond sisters are back for their first year of High School at the exclusive Las Vegas Goodman school. After surviving a summer as hotel heiresses they’re ready to get back to normal, if you count totally off-limits flirtations, budding stardom, and the revelation of completely insane family secrets as “normal.” It’s all the gossip, intrigue, and shocking turns even I wasn’t expecting.

And, let me say this, I’m normally pretty good at guessing what’s going to happen next, especially in a book series like the Secret Diamond Sisters. I don’t mean anything negative by that. Michelle Madow does an excellent job – as she did in the first book – of making a totally engrossing world in that “watching a slow-moving car break on a patch of ice and slide into another car” kind of way. It’s usually the type of story where you relish the train wreck because you already know what else is going to happen. But there were a few things that went down in Diamonds in the Rough that even my best guesses weren’t expecting.

In my opinion, the main driver for Diamonds in the Rough was Savannah. She’s working on getting her music YouTube channel up and running thus, entering the world of the pesudo famous (even more than being Adrian Diamond’s daughter). It isn’t without roadblocks, when a party gets out of hand she’s left with two choices – bury her head in the sand and pretend the embarrassing footage of her doesn’t exist. Or, to step it up and prove how awesome she is, with some handsome help.

Handsome help brings up another important point… Who could forget all the swoon-worthy, page-ripping, “just kiss already” romance in this? Savannah has her flairs. There’s Courtney and Brett, the hot mess I love to hate. Peyton is playing with an older man that she really has no business with, and we get more opportunity to see Madison and Oliver’s relationship evolve, through blackmail of all things.

If “blackmail” didn’t get you interested let me talk about some of the twists and turns without spoiling anything. This book takes high school drama to a whole new level. It deals with loosing one’s virginity, the anonymity of online gossip boards, how people change and what happens when their friends don’t change with them, even murder (oh yes, you read that right). Madow puts a giant magnifying glass on top of all these issues for the sake of page-turning entertainment, but the fact is that most of them are real issues that young girls deal with every day (okay, maybe not the murder).

The concepts of finding one’s self, navigating romance, family issues, and the things that we have to balance the importance of between society and our personal feelings is all things that will resonate across many audiences. The book is 436 pages long,not some tiny read, but it goes really quickly. I devoured it in a Sunday afternoon and I can’t wait for the next one. The Secret Diamond Sisters got our feet wet, and Diamonds in the Rough has really cemented us in the world of Savannah, Peyton, and Courtney Diamond. The end of the book leaves us on a massive cliff-hanger and I absolutely cannot wait until the next release in the series.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Read other reviews on GoodReads or buy (or pre-order, out October 28th, 2014) on Amazon

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