Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Alyson Noël
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Although Layla, Aster, and Tommy’s lives have taken different turns after the nightclub competition, they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Curiously, each of them shares a connection with the rich and powerful Ira Redman: he is Tommy’s father, he gives Layla a good job she isn’t qualified for, and he gets Aster out of prison for a crime she didn’t commit. But how is Ira linked to Madison? He may be the generous and successful businessman he appears to be, or he may be the one holding Madison captive. The three teens continue to hunt for clues about Madison’s disappearance while uncovering alarming secrets about Madison’s past, having run-ins with police, and receiving mysterious threatening notes from an anonymous individual along the way. The three will either find Madison and clear their names, or end up in prison.
Blacklist is a suspenseful story that leaves the reader with many questions. The plot line is engaging, although it is somewhat hard to relate to each individual character as the point of view shifts with each chapter and none of the characters seem to have a voice that is uniquely their own. The driving force of this story is the compelling desire to solve the mystery of what happened to Madison, who is involved, and why her past is such a dark secret. The mood in this book continues in the same vein as that of the first by contrasting the glitz and glam of the Hollywood lifestyle with the more dark and gritty side of town that includes criminal acts, unscrupulous characters, and threats of bodily harm, all sprinkled with just the right amount of romance. Ultimately, many questions remain at the end of the book, and readers will have to wait for the third and final book to come out to have their questions answered.
*Contains moderate language, moderate sexual content, and mild violence.