Courtney, Peyton, and Savannah are three sisters who have hit pretty close to rock bottom. Their mother is an alcoholic and their father is a drug-addict good-for-nothing. Or, so they thought. When her mother’s drinking gets so far out of control it lands her in rehab the sisters find out they will now be living with their father, Adrian Diamond, who happens to be one of the richest hotel owners in the world. The Las Vegas strip becomes the girls’ playground, all its pleasures (minus alcohol, sort of, they are underage) unlocked by their father’s gift of black AMEX cards (blamex). Their rules are simple: don’t cause bad press, don’t go too far into the five figured on daddy’s card, oh and don’t date your soon-to-be step-brother. Much easier said than done.
Let me start by saying, I didn’t necessarily expect to like this book. In the effort of being completely honest with my review I have the extreme pleasure of knowing Michelle Madow personally. Whatever you end up thinking of her books (which I really do encourage you to read) she is a lovely and hard-working and dear friend. So, that being said, if she hadn’t been a friend I may have never in one-million years picked this book up off the shelf. Hotel heiress sisters in Vegas? Not my speed. That may have been why I enjoyed it so much.
The book doesn’t waste any time. Right in the first chapter you get a feel for who each of the sister’s are. There’s the studious, hard working, and straight-lined Courtney. The naive youngest Savannah with a heart of gold, big dreams of being a singer, and I couldn’t help but compare her to a bunny. And then Peyton, who means well but is one night of hardcore partying away from falling off the deep end. By the end of the first chapter you’re already being whisked off to Vegas.
I’ve heard the book described as “Gossip Girl meets Las Vegas.” This explanation is utterly perfect. As the girls enter their new lives they meet the seemingly shallow and body-conscious Madison Lockhart (I seriously need to feed this girl a cheeseburger, or slap her in the face, or give her a hug, or all three). Her “just friends” (yeah, right) Oliver Prescott. The beefcake Damien sanders who you just KNOW is trouble right from the start (Why did you make me want to trust you?!). Nick Gordon who you just want to be a nice guy but know better (and you’re right, nothing’s ever simple). And Mr. “Too hot to be my future step-brother” himself, Brett Carmel (Oh Courtney, my heart, I can’t with you two). As all these characters are introduced Madow portrays them in a way that’s just like watching Gossip Girl in your head. They’re all needlessly pretty – unreasonably so – at least that’s how I saw them. But, that kind of makes it all the more fun.
Halfway through the book I was ensnared. It was like that loop on Netflix when the show ends and it has the auto-play counting down before your eyes. “I really should go do my laundry… Oh well, next episode is on, guess one more… I should make dinner, but it’s already started… I should shower and brush my teeth, maybe I can hit pause-oh, guess not.” That was every chapter.
These sisters are a train wreck, you don’t want to stare but you can’t look away. Imagine the worse/most cliche things you can happening at the start of the book. Chances half of them will (and be worse than you imagined) and the other half of what happens will surprise you. Madow is mean goddess and it’s so good to be bad through her.
What I enjoyed about The Secret Diamond Sisters is how effortless it is. If you’re approaching this book looking for a discussion on the serious issues that it could have talks on: alcoholism, abandonment, eating disorders, body issues, etc. Put the book down, walk away, find something else. You need to go into this with the right expectations. If you’re looking for something to devour on a Sunday afternoon while imagining the prettiest people you can in the most over-the-top only-in-Vegas settings without a great deal of commitment mentally, oh and all the juicy squeal-worthy scandal you can handle? Read the Secret Diamond Sisters.
Don’t just take my word for it… Head over to:
(and find out more)
(and see how awesome she is for yourself)