Wednesday, June 18, 2014

9 Heart Review: The Heiresses by Sara Shepard

The Heiresses (Heiresses #1)
Sara Shepard

Page Count: 320

Release Date: May 12th 2014
Publisher: Harper (Harper Collins)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Harper Collins and TLC!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

You know the Saybrooks. Everyone does. Perhaps you've read a profile of them in People or have seen their pictures in the society pages of Vogue. Perhaps while walking along that choice block on Fifth Avenue, you've been tempted to enter the ornate limestone building with their family name etched into the pediment above the door.

The only thing more flawless than a Saybrook's diamond solitaire is the family behind the jewelry empire. Beauties, entrepreneurs, debutantes, and style mavens, they are the epitome of New York City's high society. But being a Saybrook comes at a price—they are heirs not only to a dizzying fortune but also to a decades-old family curse.

Tragedy strikes the prominent family yet again when thirty-four-year-old Poppy, the most exquisite Saybrook of them all, flings herself from the window of her TriBeCa office. Everyone is shocked that a woman who had it all would end her own life. Then her cousins receive an ominous threat: one heiress down, four to go.

Was it suicide... or murder? In the aftermath of the tragedy, the remaining heiresses—Corinne, the perfectionist; Rowan, the workaholic; Aster, the hedonist; and Natasha, the enigma—wrestle with feelings of sadness, guilt, and, most of all, fear. Now they must uncover the truth about their family before they lose the only thing money can't buy: their lives.

The Heiresses is a whip-smart mystery that simmers with the wicked sense of humor and intrigue that made Sara Shepard's number one New York Times-bestselling Pretty Little Liars series a must-read, must-watch phenomenon.
The girls were the future of Saybrook's Diamonds, and they had to act accordingly. They were to live their lives with the utmost decorum, smile for the cameras, speak several languages, hold many degrees, cultivate the art of conversation, and most important, refrain from doing anything that might bring scandal upon the family. To never, ever break the rules.
And yet they had. All of them. It had been a summer of secrets. They were heiresses, all right, but they hadn't been behaving like heiresses at all.
And it was only a matter of time before the world found out.

Opening in tragedy, and confined by tragedy, The Heiresses follows the lives of the five—well, four—Saybrook heiresses: their lush, rich world, their deeply personal problems, and fate's cruel affinity for hurdling their family into a string of mysterious, sudden deaths, otherwise known as the Saybrook Curse by the public.

Upon the unthinkable loss of one of their own—the perfect Poppy Saybrook—the remaining four cousins set out to solve the dangerous, wildly eery crime, but approach a dilemma when they realize Poppy's murder can only be solved by revealing the scandals and secrets of their past. Each Saybrook cousin has a life-threatening secret—that one personal demon they want to take to the grave—and as each figures out who is a witness, who is an alibi, and who is a backstabber, the dark secrets are slowly revealed.

I was so enchanted by this book. Dramatic irony keeps it running, and the suspense is absolutely electrifying—hair-raising—in a creepy "someone's watching you" kind of way. I couldn't stop reading it because I was too scared to put it down! In the vein of the Gossip Girl series, Sara Shepard masters the sinister, omniscient tone that, in the backdrop of high-society New York City, is as extravagant as its characters are.

The Heiresses is not your average chick-lit novel; it's not just another happy day at the Hamptons. The calamities and misfortunes of the world-famous diamond empire will stun and frighten you, as well as teach you a thing or two about the dangers of money, misconceptions, and pride. It's a story of the consequences of deceit, greed, and lies from one generation to the next, but beneath it all, it's also an examination of four courageous women who bond and discover the values of fortune, trust, and always: family.

Pros


The ending!!!! // Characters aren't deep, but are understandable and lovable // Scintillating suspense // Cinematic, dramatic—I can easily see this being made into a TV show or movie // One of those books you can't put down // Eery, startling tone is so well done

Cons


Literally everybody is screwing everybody... this book is centered on infidelity and illicit sexual relations // Not a super deep, meaningful novel, but still a hell of an entertaining one

Verdict


With the addictive, crippling voice akin to Gossip Girl, the darkly comical tone found in Desperate Housewives, and allusions to the Kennedy curse we're all so familiar with, Sara Shepard's newest novel reads like Pretty Little Liars all grown up. The Heiresses is a juicy, sinful mystery about a legendary American dynasty so blessed with fortune and beauty, yet cursed in the worst of ways. I admit at times the plot resembles that of an overdone soap opera, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining; this series is bound to become everyone's newest guilty pleasure Americanflag

9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf (x)