Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler (Sophia and Ava London #1)
Published St. Martin’s Griffin 2012
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Welcome to a place where dreams are made. And where nothing—and no one—is ever what it seems.
After their make-up and fashion videos went viral on YouTube, sisters Sophia and Ava London are thrust into the exclusive life of the Los Angeles elite. Here fabulous parties, air kisses, paparazzi and hot guys all come with the scene. Sophia finds herself torn between a gorgeous bartender and a millionaire playboy, and Ava starts dating an A-list actor. But as they’re about to discover, the life they’ve always dreamed of comes with a cost.
Beneath the glitter of the Hollywood social scene lies a world of ruthless ambition, vicious gossip…and betrayal. Someone close to them, someone they trust, is working in the shadows to bring the London sisters falling down. And once the betrayal is complete, Sophia and Ava find themselves knee-deep in a scandal that could take away everything they care about, including the one thing that matters most—each other.
I have never really read a book like this – one that I don’t really have a word to describe it. Sweet? Sugary? It’s like bubblegum pop music, but in a book form. I have never read any celebrity written fiction books before this one, but I’d probably imagine that this is how they all are. It’s a large heaping of the actual life with some names changed to make it fictional.
From the summary of the book, it seems to be mostly about this scandal that is happening to the famous London sisters, but really this has nothing to do with the book. Maybe the last two chapters show the beginning for a possible scandal, that I hope is the next book’s concern. However, the entire rest of the book is essentially two love triangles, one for each sister. Ava is between a celebrity a-list actor and the guy who runs the pet shop. Sophia is between an Italian bartender and a playboy. At the beginning, it’s just back and forth between the sisters as they try to figure out which guy they actually like more, which can get a little annoying (and confusing). They are also releasing a makeup line and dealing with publicity. That’s interesting, but I wish it took more of the focus. This book is so into all of the chick-lit/romance.
The writing is really annoying and hard to get past. It is written in third person, but I feel like it would have been better with first person, alternating points of view. Ava’s voice was very easy to tell because she had certain ways of speaking and phrases she would use. But Sophia just felt really bland as a character. She just seemed to be the older sister who was following along for Ava’s ride (and of course, dealing with her love triangle). Between the two girls, it seemed like they relied upon being sisters so much in this book. I guess that would be the ‘moral’ of the story, but I really wish there was something else between them. Other than that, they were just really boring characters with no real depth.
Since the book does focus on the romance, I’ll take a little about how that went now. I guess, sometimes, it was a little cute. But I wasn’t really in love with any of the four couples. It took a really long time for anything to happen with any of them, although they would meet these guys almost immediately. It was just a very strange dynamic.
Overall, I really wish that this book had focused more on the scandal aspect of Los Angeles life. The love triangles and romances just weren’t written very well, so it moved very slowly. There was some potential for a good story, but it just fell flat.