Title: The Sloane Sisters
Author: Annabelle Vestry (or so it says on my ARC....the final cover says "Anna Carey"! Perhaps a ghost writer?)
Published by: HarperTeen, April 28 2009
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Recommended to: Girls, 12 and up
Overall Rating: B+
Cate and Andie Sloane live with their dad in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Lola and Stella Childs live with their supermodel mum in London. Their worlds collide when their in-a-cross-Atlantic-relationship parents drop the M-word: marriage. Suddenly Lola and Stella are on a plane "across the pond" to New York, where they are to live with their new stepfather and stepsisters (no, not your typical fairytale kind, that is, unless the sisters in Cinderella ate at the hottest sushi restaurants, wore Prada, and shopped at Barneys). Stella, who has always been at the top in popularity and fashion, bonds with Cate, also an older sister, who is the leader of her class (and her clique, the Chi Beta Phis), as well as being a fashion plate herself. But then Cate realizes the threat that gorgeous, near-royalty Stella is to her alpha position--she may just be vying to steal Cate's throne. Can Cate stand her ground--and keep her friends? Meanwhile, Lola, whose only real friend is her cat, and Andie, who is always trying to emerge from her sister's shadow, have their own conflicts on their hands: nabbing Lola's crush and helping Andie reach her dream of becoming a supermodel. Is there a happily-ever-after for the Sloane sisters?
This was a quick, light read (I finished in about a day, the story was quite addicting), but fun nonetheless. I loved all the characters, and there were a lot. Unlike books with a few, boring characters, I loved how there were lots of different characters, all with fun personalities and quirks: the Chi Beta Phis, Emma, Winston...I also liked how there were different plots revolving around each sister: Lola's boy dilemma, Andie's modeling dreams, and the whole Stella vs. Cate issue. I was never bored, I was always looking forward to what the bratty, revenge-seeking Cate would do to get back at witty Stella next, and vice versa.
The plot, although at first I didn't know where it was going, was glamorous, fun, and glittering, sprinkled every once in a while with a chic brand name (but without as many pop culture references as The Clique: instead of being annoying, it just enhanced the characters). I could picture every scene in my mind, and every character was realistic.
My favorite thing was how different this book was from others of its type (The Clique, Frenemies, Talent, and The Ashleys, among others): it was catty and funny, although not too much. And instead of the usual staying-on-top-of-a-clique, it was between sisters, which caused a bunch of drama and a totally unique and amazing plot!
The story was a little too short for me with too much buildup and not a lot of actual content, there was a lot of back-and-forth action that got a bit old, and the ending was way more than picture-perfect predictable. But I still had a hooked-onto-the-well-written-plot-and-dialogue read that was quick and easy. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series now--I can't wait to see what's next for the fabulous Sloane sisters!