Rival

Rival

4.3 6
by Sara Bennett Wealer
     
 

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Brooke
I don't like Kathryn Pease. I could pretend everything's fine between us. I could be nice to her face, then trash her behind her back. But I think it's better to be honest. I don't like Kathryn, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Kathryn
I saw a commercial where singers used their voices to shatter glass, but the whole thing is pretty much a myth.

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Overview

Brooke
I don't like Kathryn Pease. I could pretend everything's fine between us. I could be nice to her face, then trash her behind her back. But I think it's better to be honest. I don't like Kathryn, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Kathryn
I saw a commercial where singers used their voices to shatter glass, but the whole thing is pretty much a myth. The human voice isn't that strong.

Human hatred is. Anybody who doubts that should feel the hate waves coming off of Brooke Dempsey. But I don't shatter; I'm not made of glass. Anyway, the parts that break aren't on the outside.

Brooke and Kathryn used to be best friends . . . until the night when Brooke ruthlessly turned on Kathryn in front of everyone. Suddenly Kathryn was an outcast and Brooke was Queen B. Now, as they prepare to face off one last time, each girl must come to terms with the fact that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brooke and Kathryn are frenemies through and through. They come from opposite ends of the social and economic spectrum (Brooke is rich and popular, Kathryn is neither), yet the one thing they have in common means everything. It's why they became friends in the first place and the source of their current hatred: choir. Both are standout singers preparing to compete against each other to win the Blackmore, a prestigious music competition that comes with a college scholarship, something Kathryn desperately needs. Debut author Wealer tells their story by alternating between their points of view and jumping between their senior year, during the months leading up to the competition, and their junior year, when the girls met and befriended each other. Both girls have faults and neither is a caricature: capable of great depth and kindness, Brooke isn't just a stereotypical mean girl, and Kathryn's insecurities are balanced by her confidence in her singing. The story arc is somewhat predictable, but Wealer has a talent for depicting the fragile moments on which friendships are made and broken. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A balanced, insightful picture of the ups and downs of a friendship undone by envy."
Lauren Myracle
“Awesome, awesome, and more awesome. Not one wrong note.”
Sara Zarr
“This book gets it all exactly right—friendships, envy, and the fact that you can never truly know another person.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A balanced, insightful picture of the ups and downs of a friendship undone by envy.”
Booklist
“Wealer’s debut novel establishes realistic situations and dialogue, empathy for all sorts of teens, and challenging themes that command a reader’s thought and attention. These complex, interesting, believable protagonists will satisfy many readers who pick up the book expecting a lighter sort of musical read and instead find real substance.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A balanced, insightful picture of the ups and downs of a friendship undone by envy.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“A balanced, insightful picture of the ups and downs of a friendship undone by envy.”
VOYA - Jessica Skaggs
From the eye catching cover to the mystery within the pages, Rival tells the story of Kathryn and Brooke, two teen girls from opposite social and economical backgrounds who have one thing in common—their love of music. Told from varying points of view, the story begins when Kathryn and Brooke are seniors in high school. Within the first two chapters, readers will understand that a horrible event happened during the teens' junior-year homecoming that tore their friendship apart. The fast-paced plot will have readers learning the true identities of both Kathryn and Brooke, piecing together the events from homecoming that ended their friendship, and experiencing the teens' music-based rivalry. In the end, both teens learn the importance of just being themselves and living life the way that suits them, not to please anyone else. Wealer has done a wonderful job creating intensity in the characters—with their secrets and insecurities—and also within the plot. Mixed with the complications of friendship, rivalry, and two very distinct coming-of-age stories, Rival will be gobbled up by teens who have enjoyed books such as Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars (HarperTeen, 2007/VOYA December 2006 ) or Kate Brian's Private (Simon Pulse, 2006/VOYA August 2006 ), as well as teens looking for a fast-paced, action-filled story. Through Kathryn and Brooke's experiences, teens will learn the important lesson that what you see is not always what you get. This is a must-have addition to school and public libraries collections alike. Reviewer: Jessica Skaggs
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—A standard tale of a high school friendship torn apart by jealousy and competition. Rich, popular Brooke Dempsey and shy, middle-class Kathryn Pease see themselves as total opposites. The only thing they have in common is their love of music; both are top singers in the school's choir and are preparing for the prestigious Blackmore competition. Each girl narrates in alternating chapters, and the story jumps back and forth from junior year, when the girls are friends, to senior year, when they are not. Readers do not find out until the end of the book what caused the rift. Between the impending estrangement and the upcoming competition, the author artfully builds tension in both time lines. However, the narrative is undermined by the fact that the friendship between the girls was relatively brief and apparently not that strong, thus rendering its loss less significant. Also, their designated roles as wallflower and queen bee don't ring true. Brooke is frequently disagreeable and alienates her friends, while Kathryn seems to get along with everyone. Despite inconsistencies, Rival is fast paced and readable, and the frequent musical references give the story an original twist.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

"The human voice, it turns out, just isn't that strong. Human hatred, on the other hand, is," begins loner Kathryn at the start of her senior year in small-town Minnesota. This year proves to be her most challenging yet, as she faces not only the upcoming Blackmore Young Artists' Festival, one of the most prestigioussinging competitions in the nation, with winners often advancing to Juilliard, but constant sneers and backbiting from her Chamber Choir rival and former best friend, A-lister Brooke. Just how these two teen singers became such bitter enemies is told through Kathryn and Brooke's alternating viewpoints. The tension and mystery escalate as the author also alternates between junior year, when Brooke's groupies throw a sorority-like slumber party to recruit new followers, inviting Kathryn in the process, and the burning hatred and stress of senior year, allowing readers to discover each girl's secrets, betrayal, sacrifices and reasons for wanting to win the Blackmore. Musical terms and their definitions cleverly open and set the mood for each section. From spreading gossip and stealing boyfriends to bitch slaps and malicious pranks, this quick-paced andsolid debut novel has all the drama of real high school. Think Glee, only with chamber music. (Fiction. YA)

Kirkus Reviews

"The human voice, it turns out, just isn't that strong. Human hatred, on the other hand, is," begins loner Kathryn at the start of her senior year in small-town Minnesota. This year proves to be her most challenging yet, as she faces not only the upcoming Blackmore Young Artists' Festival, one of the most prestigioussinging competitions in the nation, with winners often advancing to Juilliard, but constant sneers and backbiting from her Chamber Choir rival and former best friend, A-lister Brooke. Just how these two teen singers became such bitter enemies is told through Kathryn and Brooke's alternating viewpoints. The tension and mystery escalate as the author also alternates between junior year, when Brooke's groupies throw a sorority-like slumber party to recruit new followers, inviting Kathryn in the process, and the burning hatred and stress of senior year, allowing readers to discover each girl's secrets, betrayal, sacrifices and reasons for wanting to win the Blackmore. Musical terms and their definitions cleverly open and set the mood for each section. From spreading gossip and stealing boyfriends to bitch slaps and malicious pranks, this quick-paced andsolid debut novel has all the drama of real high school. Think Glee, only with chamber music. (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062069672
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/15/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
757,239
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
13 Years

What People are saying about this

Lauren Myracle
“Awesome, awesome, and more awesome. Not one wrong note.”
Sara Zarr
“This book gets it all exactly right—friendships, envy, and the fact that you can never truly know another person.”

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