Series: Heiresses #1
Published by HarperCollins on May 12th, 2014
Genres: adult, contemporary
Source: Book Tour
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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.
Review: Confession time: I have never read Pretty Little Liars or watched more than a few episodes. I tried to get into the show, but the voice just wasn’t my thing. So I had no idea whether or not I would like The Heiresses. That said, I do love NYC, and I used to be a huge fan of chick-lit (I hate this name–books do not have genders). I thought I would give this book a shot, and I had so much fun with it! I have good and bad things to discuss, so let’s get to it!
What I Liked:
~Believe it or not, though the characters were self-serving and vain, I also found them intriguing and fun to read about. All the sisters have different personalities, motivations, and interests, and I found myself rooting for them in spite of the shallowness. Particularly Aster, who starts off as a wild child but has this interesting story arc where her allowance is taken away and she’s forced to get a job in the family business. Reading about an heiress learning how to do things (type up a spreadsheet in Excel) when she has never done anything like that before was amusing and fun.
~The Heiresses has a very strong Gossip Girl vibe; there is even a gossip blog dedicated to uncovering the secrets and curses of the Saybrook family. This comes into play with the mystery later and it’s super entertaining. Also part of the Gossip Girl vibe is all of the drama and soap opera storylines, douchey men, and financial disasters. So if you like that show, I am guessing you will like this. The only real difference is the age of the characters, but sometimes you don’t even notice here that you are reading about adults.
~I also enjoyed how the setting of New York City was handled. Obviously it’s a side of the city I will never get to enjoy, but I didn’t find it ridiculous or far-fetched, and the settings were described well, and NYC played a very vibrant part in the novel. The author captured what it’s really like to be there and how I personally feel while I am there so that totally worked for me and I enjoyed it.
What I Didn’t Like:
~The ending, or the solution to the crime. Basically, there is no way the reader could have figured out or solved the mystery. I don’t enjoy that because I like trying to solve it, and when I saw what actually happened and how I never would have been able to figure that on my own, it let me down and I was disappointed. View Spoiler » The murderer doesn’t even have a part in the book. They are just mentioned in an offhand way, and in only a couple of conversations. This is not supposed to happen in a mystery. This book was written like a whodunit and I should have been able to pick a suspect. It doesn’t work that way in this novel. « Hide Spoiler Frustrating.
~Some of the writing. It doesn’t always flow well and it feels stilted or forced in places with excessive dialogue tags and choppy writing. Also some really bad transitions. It’s a minor thing because most of the writing is great and cute and fun, but I don’t like to be yanked out of the narrative with long names in dialogue tags.
All in all, I had a lot of fun with this book. I don’t know how many books are going to be in this series, but I definitely want to read the next one. I love how the book solved one mystery (even if the how was disappointing), and left an opening for the next one. I thought that was awesome and it definitely has me wanting to read it immediately. I would call this book a guilty pleasure if I felt guilty about reading any of the things I do, but I don’t. It was entertaining.