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Friday, October 7, 2011

Review: Hidden Gem by India Lee

Hidden Gem by India Lee
Pages: 180
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: E-book
Lavishly disguised pop singer, Queen Bee, is known abroad for her high-fashion wardrobe and killer vocals. In the states, she's just Gemma Hunter - shy suburban teenager in her strange new role of high school junior.

Luckily, Gemma is taken under the wing of the fiery and popular Madison, who leads her into the high school life of the charmed. Her world as Gemma quickly becomes everything she ever wanted in a normal life - that is until international teen heartthrob, Tyler Chase, announces his celebrity crush on Queen Bee. Suddenly, Gemma's alter ego becomes a household name as the handsome singer's loyal "Tyler Chasers" create a frenzy to discover her true identity.

And just when Gemma thinks she can hide from the celebrity drama in her high school life, Lucas - her next door neighbor as well as Madison's boyfriend - develops an interest in her that goes far beyond platonic, and Gemma soon learns that rumors aren't strictly for the stars.
Take Lady Gaga's outlandish fashion, talent, and quick sky-rocket to super stardom. Combine it with the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana double-life story line. Add in fantastic writing, lovable and realistic characters, and much more maturity than you'd probably expect, and you have Hidden Gem.

I was really surprised by this book! I started reading it one night randomly, and then the next thing I knew I couldn't stop! It's so different from everything else I've read lately--no supernatural elements, no murders, no super human teen angst. Just a normal teen girl with a not-so normal secret, and her struggling to balance both.

Now, I you're probably thinking "Hannah Montana? No way." But trust me, it's really nothing like Hannah Montana at all. The only thing they have in common is the whole 'I'm a normal girl but I have a super star persona.' In Hidden Gem, the characters are so well written and fleshed out. I loved reading about all of them, even the bitchy ones.

Gemma was a great protagonist. I just wished that she could have been more confident in herself. I mean, she's an international pop star! And yet when she goes to high school, she feels intimidated by the Head Bitch. It's like, come on girl, you own her! Step up and show her who's the boss! Other than that, I thought she was great, and she handled the situations she got in really well. I also loved her brother, he was hilarious and super cute. Romance-wise, I kinda felt like the thing with Lucas was a bit overblown in the beginning, because they didn't know each other that well to cause such a fuss. And, honestly, I felt like is Lucas was dumb enough to actually put up with Madison AKA Queen Bitch, then he really wasn't good enough for Gemma. But I loved Damien, he was so sweet and totally hot! :) I really hope to see more of him in the future.

The only thing that really bugged me was the constant designer brand name dropping. Like, it would be one thing to say that designer brands of Queen Bee's outfits, because she's a pop star so it's expected. But throughout the entire novel, it's a constant thing with all the clothes. I'd rather just a description of what she's wearing, not the name of it.

Overall, I really liked Hidden Gem. India Lee has an utterly fantastic writing style. I definitely recommend you pick up a copy of Hidden Gem! 4 out of 5 stars.


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