Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book review - Rivals by Doug Solter #ya

You may recall the cover reveal for Doug Solter's Rivals, book 2 of the Skid series, posted here a couple months ago. The book was published Sept 23, so it's available for you to purchase.

Buy links: Amazon | Barns & Noble

Book description from Amazon:

Last season seventeen-year-old Samantha Sutton shined as the hottest new racing star of Formula One, but her rise to the top takes a hit when her boss steals her arch-rival Emilio Ronaldo away from Ferrari and makes the sexist jerk her team's number-one driver. This sends Samantha's perfect life into a tail spin that threatens to destroy everything she's worked so hard for.

Besides her six wins last season, the best thing Samantha won was Manny, the cute German boy who saved her from herself. But Manny chafes against the self-absorbed racing star rising above the ashes of the simple girl he fell in love with. Can he save that simple girl from destroying herself again? 

While Samantha's performance on the track suffers and her status on the team plummets, Emilio rises within striking distance of another championship. Is this the final wake-up call the girl needs to beat Emilio and win the world championship? Or will the pressure break her. 

Fans of Courtney Summers' strong female characters and those who love action-packed books like The Hunger Games should find Rivals exciting and emotionally compelling. Fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society should enjoy the international settings and lifestyles. 

My review:
I haven't read Skid, the first book in this series. While I never felt lost or disconnected, I definitely want to be back and read it to see how Samantha succeeded in becoming a successful, young female Formula One racer!

The writing is generally crisp, keeps the reader engaged and wanting to continue. A couple times I wanted to slap Samantha and tell her to quit making stupid decisions, oh yes, she is definitely a teenager! This was written realistically, although I couldn't quite imagine the adult professionals allowing her to behave so badly. But hey, that's what makes for a fun story.

Not having read the first book and not knowing much about the car racing world, it seemed a little far-fetched that a teenager (hey, I'm all for girls racing, go Danica Patrick!) could make it into this world. But the writing pulled me in and even provided another hook - horses! 

So I decided if I could fall for the Black Stallion books with a teenage jockey, then why not a teenage race car driver. Samantha is certainly a strong enough personality!

I think my only nit that would occasionally pull me out of the story was both Samantha and Manny referring to each other as "my boyfriend" or "my girlfriend" when he/she, his/her would suffice. 

Otherwise, a fun ride with great tension and although I must read the first book, I can't wait for book 3 to see how Samantha pulls herself out of her problems and returns to the top of the standings!

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

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