Library Journal Review
Gr 10 Up-In this follow-up to Unrivaled, A-lister Madison Brooks has gone missing and is presumed dead. Aster Amirpour, the Unrivaled Nightclub Contest winner, is the number one suspect. Convinced that Aster is innocent, Layla, Tommy, and Ryan team up to help her clear her name. However, Layla finds herself ensnared in an elaborate plot to expose the "real Madison Brooks." After receiving a series of threatening letters and fragments of Madison's past life, Layla soon learns that Aster and Madison aren't the only ones whose lives are in jeopardy. Although it is unclear why someone is intent on dismantling Madison's carefully constructed image, what is obvious is that Aster, Tommy, Layla, and Ryan are running out of time to save Madison and vindicate Aster. This second installment picks up where the first volume left off and reveals the vulnerabilities of the characters either loved or loathed in Unrivaled. Whereas the previous entry reveled in the excess and dog-eat-dog world inhabited by the teens, in Blacklist the setting is the background for a good old-fashioned whodunit. The scandalous, gossipy tone of the first book is underscored as the teens grapple with the underbelly of fame, notoriety, and the realization that nothing is as it seems. Like its predecessor, this is a suspenseful page-turner that is teasingly addictive; it works as a stand-alone entry in the series and as a worthwhile sequel. VERDICT Recommended for most libraries serving teens, especially those with fans of the previous title.-Tamela Chambers, Chicago Public Schools © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Hollywood was rocked by the disappearance of A-lister Madison Brooks during the events of Unrivaled (2016), and three desperate club promoters have suddenly found themselves at the mystery's center. Aspiring actress Aster has been arrested for Madison's murder, and her memories are hazy. Blogger and journalist-hopeful Layla has been receiving anonymous messages containing information about Madison's secrets, but Layla has grown wary of her gossip blog. Tommy just wants to focus on his blossoming music career, but he's having trouble forgetting especially when it comes to Layla. When the three team up, they end up deep in a mystery darker than they'd suspected. Like its predecessor, this is tailor-made for readers interested in getting lost in the glitzy, sexy world of Hollywood stars. Best-seller Nöel won't stay on shelves long, and another cliff-hanger ending means that those hanging on to find out the truth about Madison's disappearance should fasten their seatbelts: this ride isn't remotely over.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist