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Belle of the Brawl (Alphas #3), by Lisi Harrison
Ack! I have *got* go to out and get the final book, "Top of the Feud Chain," now!*
Throughout this volume, Charlie vacillates between trying to appease Darwin, who is trying to win her back, and trying to placate Allie, who still is attracted to Darwin. Charlie has never had a girl best friend before so she doesn't want to do anything to jeopardize her friendship with Allie. Complicating her situation is the fact that she also doesn't want to alienate Darwin again.
Skye has two problems in this volume and their names are Sydney and Triple. At the end of "Movers and Fakers," Shira saw Sydney romancing Skye and assumed they were together. She promised Skye that Skye's position would be safe so long as she continued to date Sydney. Should she break Sydney's heart, however, her head would be on the proverbial chopping block next. Meanwhile, Triple has been put in charge of breaking Skye's bad habits. Triple puts Skye through all sorts of torture, including dodging llama poop (which leads to the question of why there are llamas on Shira's island), to get her to remember the routine flawlessly and not rely on the music to give her her cues.
Then there is Allie A. Her biggest problem is Allie J, who has decided that she wants to be called "AJ" now and cannot resist telling anyone who will listen about the indignity she suffered from Allie's identity theft. She also uses the theft of her identity as source material for new songs, leading Allie to be ostracized by all of the others except for Skye and Charlie.
I really thought that AJ's reaction was excessive. I was thinking "either report her to the authorities or let it go, already," pretty early in this storyline.
Shira organizes a "Muse Cruise" -- two hours on a ship in the artificial ocean where the muses will be circulating among the students. AJ is supposed to perform her identity-theft-inspired songs on the cruise as well. As you can imagine, this just thrills Allie. Additionally, Skye and Triple are forbidden to attend, since they are supposed to be working on Skye's dancing that weekend. The only one of our protagonists who doesn't seem to be having problems with regard to the Muse Cruise is Charlie.
We find out that at some point, Shira has pinpointed areas that each of the Alphas need to work on, and in this volume, we find out what both Skye's and Triple's are.
And Allie has two other problems. One of them is Darwin. First, Darwin actually comes right out and tells her that he isn't interested in her. Of course, he is interested in Charlie. But Allie still has a thing for Darwin, and Charlie doesn't want to break Allie's heart by dating the guy her friend likes. So Charlie and Darwin come up with the plan to fix up Allie with Darwin's much-sought-after-but-never-caught brother, Melbourne. Allie and Mel have a lot in common. Mel is a fashion aficionado and part-time model. He also has a soft spot for romantic comedies, just like Allie. And Allie is just his type. But will Allie's heart go along with the plan?
Second, Allie is told that she has to find her passion, and soon, or she will be on the next plane home. Fortunately for her, her best friend is a genius and is able to pinpoint Allie's talent exactly -- acting.
The book ends with the number of girls at the school being whittled down to 30. Everyone is relaxed and happy in their now-much-smaller school. However, then Shira tells them that she is leaving on business and that by the time she gets back, she wants one girl to demonstrate that she deserves to be the winner.
*I have "Top of the Feud Chain" and have read it. I will be posting my review soon.