Thursday, May 12, 2016

*ARC* The Masterpiecers - Review

The Masterpiecers (Masterful #1)

By: Olivia Wildenstein

Published: April 15, 2016

352 pages

Source: Netgalley ARC from publisher

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Nineteen-year-old Ivy Redd’s talent with a needle and thread has earned her a spot on a coveted reality TV art competition set in New York’s Metropolitan Museum. The prize: a significant amount of money and instant acceptance into the Masterpiecers, the school that ensures new artists fame and fortune. Her talent has also thrust her and her twin sister, Aster, into the spotlight. 

Not that Aster needed help with becoming a media favorite. She managed that on her own by running over a wanted mobster. She told the police it was self-defense, because she couldn’t tell them the truth—the truth would make her sister look bad.

Locked in an Indiana jail to await her trial, Aster watches Ivy on the small TV hanging in the dayroom. It’s the highlight of her day, until she finds out what her sister truly thinks of her. Then, observing her sister becomes a punishment far crueler than imprisonment.
Mysteries and Thrillers are not usually genres that I am a big fan of. I decided to give this one a try though due to its high ratings on Goodreads. Some time into the story I realized that this also dealt with mental illness, though by the end, how much and to what extent isn't fully known yet. I have read a few books that ended with the conclusion that the main character suffered from mental illness. And I'm 100% NOT a fan of that type of story. Total personal preference. That aspect of this made my overall rating drop.

The story follows twin sisters. One of which, Ivy, is extremely gifted in art. Her particular art is making these elaborate and exquisite quilts. The other sister, Aster, doesn't appear to be gifted in much of anything. Their own mother played favorites among them and Aster got the raw end of the deal. She was abused by their mother and never felt wanted by anyone but her twin.

At age 19, Ivy is selected to participate on a reality TV show with the final winner being rewarded a large sum of money and a position in the prestigious art school called The Masterpiecers. Before she leaves for the show though, Aster is involved in a murder, specifically the murder of a mafia member. She claims it was self-defense. The authorities think otherwise and she is sent off to prison to await trial. Aster encourages Ivy to go ahead with the show. Afterall, they are each other's number one fan.

The book alternates chapters between the sisters. Although Ivy is allowed no outside contact while on the show, Aster is allowed permission to watch her sister on the show daily. So there's not much disconnect between their situations as the reader sees what's going on with each sister.

I did find some discrepancies in the story with some minor details and I had an irritation with the personality similarities of Dominic, who is the TV host for The Masterpiecers show, to that of Caesar Flickerman in the Hunger Games.

If you are a fan of thrillers and mysteries then you'll enjoy this story. As for the mental illness, I'm still unsure which direction this is being taken in the story line, but suffice it to say, it does play a part.

Favorite Quotes:
The treacherous tunnel I'm walking through will lead back into the light whether through a gilded doorway or a pothole in the road.

"Life's too short to do something you're not passionate about."

"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."

Is it possible to flatline when you're still alive?

Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 1.5 (light - medium)
Final Rating: 3 stars


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