Hidden Gem by India Lee
Author: India Lee. Website|Twitter
Published: 20 June 2011 (self-published)
Buy: Kindle|Kobo|Smashwords (free downloads)
Source: Free Kindle download
Plot Summary (from Smashwords):
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 new role of high school junior. But how long can she keep her secret now that international heartthrob, Tyler Chase, has publicly declared his love for her?
The cleverly titled Hidden Gem tells the story of Gemma Hunter, who lives a double life. When she's not being Gemma, she's Queen Bee, a pop star just starting to take the world by storm. Can she cope the pressure of both lives whilst trying to juggles friends and boys?
I got this book as a free download and was grabbed by the plot summary. It was one of those books I started reading to get a feel for and then couldn't stop! I really liked the idea of Gemma's double life. It's kind of like a grown up Hannah Montana. I say grown up because this book has a fair bit of swearing and conversation aimed at older teens, but not in an offputting way at all.
What I really liked was the way each chapter starts with a blog post or magazine article about Queen Bee. Throughout the book, we see the story from Gemma's perspective, with very little insight into her alter ego from her own perspective. These blog posts give a window into Queen Bee's life and the media circus surrounding her. We see interviews with Queen Bee which contrast nicely with Gemma's seemingly normal life. It kept a lot of mystery surrounding her pop star life as well. I always like it when books are mixed up with different styles of telling the story and the blog posts and things really boosted my love for this book.
There are several boy interests in this book. We're introduced to Lucas, the cute boy next door who's dating one of Gemma's new friends making him off limits. There's Damien, who's shown interest in Gemma, and then in her double life, Queen Bee is catching the eye of teen pop star Tyler Chase. I really liked Gemma's relationship with Lucas and he was definitely my favourite of the male leads. I thought the jealousy between Lucas' girlfriend Madison and Gemma made for some great drama too. Lots of bitchiness between the girls!
Overall I loved the concept, Gemma as a character and all the drama that came with this book. It felt really modern and fresh. For a bit of a fun read I'd recommend it (and for free you can't go wrong!). The ending of the book definitely made me want to check out the rest of the series.
What to read next: Diamond in the Rough by India Lee, book 2 in the Hidden Gem series
Books like this: Catching the Fever by Kylee Gwartney, The Rock Star's Daughter by Caitlin Duffy