The lovely Cara from Harper Collins kindly sent me an uncorrected proof of Alyson Noel’s latest book for review which is due to be published May 10th. I was very excited to be sent this book because Noel is a familiar author to me considering I had read and enjoyed her series The Immortals years ago.
Unrivaled is the first in a new series, Beautiful Idols, and unlike Noel’s previous series, the characters are 100% human and there’s no form of magic of any kind. As much as I love fantasy books though, it’s always nice to switch things up a little. In Unrivaled we follow four main characters who couldn’t be more different in terms of personality and background and they find their lives intertwining as they become involved in a competition.
(Note: Upon finishing my review I read one over on Goodreads and it told me to reread the Prologue. So, if you have read this book, go back and read the Prologue again, trust me.)
One thing I really enjoyed about this book were the characters. I’m not exactly the biggest fan of them all, but I really liked how diverse our main characters were and they were each unique in comparison. It made it really interesting to see their different motivations behind all of their actions as well as interesting to be able to see what they all thought of one another at the same time.
My favourite character to read about was possibly Layla. Layla is one of the first characters we’re introduced to, so it was hard not to strike up an immediate likeness for her. Layla runs a blog so I could immediately relate to that, albeit very different kinds of blogs, as she used hers to aid her dream of becoming a reporter. I could understand a lot of Layla’s actions, even if I didn’t agree with them which made her an even more intriguing character to follow.
Aster was another one of the main characters and I honestly had a bit of a love/hate relationship with her. I wanted to like her and sometimes found myself doing so, but I also couldn’t help but see her as a bit naive and stuck up. Nevertheless, her storyline did pull at my heart strings and throughout the whole book she is definitely the one I felt the most sympathy for.
Main character number three was Tommy. I liked Tommy, sure, but he wasn’t the most intriguing character. Tommy did have a secret which made him a bit more interesting, but while I know the timing wouldn’t have been the best I just wanted him to come out with it as I was otherwise a bit bored by him. I really hope that it comes out in the next book as that could potentially be more exciting. Following the ending of this book, there is a lot of potential for book two to go really well and I will definitely be picking it up to see where it takes us.
Our final main character was Madison and Madison is where the mystery within the book really lies. She’s another character that I wasn’t particularly keen on, but still feel was written really well and the character is clearly very clever. I found that it wasn’t really until the 180 page mark that the book really got interesting and that was after a Madison scene, up until then it had been quite slow.
From the blurb we already are aware that Madison goes missing, so that isn’t a surprise and if I hadn’t reread that Prologue like I earlier told you guys to do, I would have just assumed she had left; she seemed to have been planning to leave anyway, after all. However, now we know for sure that isn’t the case and I really cannot wait to see where Noel takes this story. And I don’t wait this to be spoilery in case any one hasn’t read it, but let’s just say that Madison’s disappearance is not the only mystery in the book which makes me even more curious about this character.
Overall, I felt that this book was quite uneventful at first, but it was easy to read (I’ve always loved Noel’s writing) so I quickly got through it. Things then started to pick up around halfway and the mysteries revolving around Madison were intriguing and definitely made it more enjoyable to read. As a whole I liked it and look forward to reading the sequel and as a result I rate this book 3/5.