Thursday, March 31, 2011

BOOKANISTAS: RIVAL by Sara Bennett Wealer

Plot without spoilers...Kathryn and Brooke are both talented singers with dreams of winning the coveted Blackmore music prize.  That seems to be where the similarities end: Brooke is rich; Kathryn is poor.  Brooke is popular; Kathryn is shy.  For a moment in time, it seems they can be friends until, near the end of their high school junior year, they become bitter rivals.

Of literary interest...Wealer's understanding of the world of music--from her use of musical terms to begin chapters to the many wonderful tidbits about composers, operas, and care of the voice--enriches this piercing high school story.  Alternating chapters are narrated by Brooke and Kathryn whose voices, and characterizations are so spot-on that you  really feel compassion for boths points-of-view.

Finally, just gotta say...Though music is an important element of this story, I found it to be an incredibly realistic picture of the high school social scene, where power and popularity can be as difficult to hold onto as high note.  This is a story about dreams, the people with think we need to help us reach them, and the power of our own desire for success.

Wonder what the other Bookanistas are singing about this week?  Join our book club at The Reading Room or just click along...

Elana Johnson is mesmerized by Memento Nora
Christine Fonseca gives a Guestanista video review of 11 Birthdays
Jamie Harrington is giddy for Texas Gothic
Beth Revis features Between Shades of Gray all week--with giveaway!
Megan Miranda gushes over Blood Magic
Myra McEntire introduces "Bookanistas Give Back" - with prizes!
Jessi Kirby wants to be Like Mandarin
Bethany Wiggins Praises the Princess of the Midnight Ball
Gretchen McNeil sings about Spoiled
Carrie Harris loves The Lipstick Laws--with giveaway!
Rosemary Clement-Moore is ensnared by The Demon Trapper's Daughter
Sarah Frances Hardy delights in Divergent
Veronica Rossi marvels at Moonglass


Jessi said...

Looking forward to reading this one!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Hmmm...what makes the Blackmore Music Prize so coveted?

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I sang in high school and college so I'm excited to read this one!

Sara said...

Stasia, thank you so much for reviewing RIVAL! I'm sorry I'm a bit late to comment - wanted to let you know I really appreciate being featured. Thank you!!