REVIEW | The Masterminds

Series: Masterful #2
 Olivia Wildenstein
 young adult, contemporary, thriller, romance
 October 12, 2016
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

From prisons and reality TV to mansions and safe houses, THE MASTERMINDS revisits THE MASTERPIECERS and closes the twins’ story. It is a tale of imperfect love and imperfect people. 
The only downside to Joshua Cooper’s investigation of a mob runner is not being able to discuss it with his two best friends, nineteen-year-old twins, Aster and Ivy Redd. However, when Ivy sells one of her quilts to the mob runner, and Aster hits him with her car in a motel parking lot, they become entangled in his investigation. The FBI even believes the twins could knowingly be involved with the mob. Joshua will do everything he can to disprove their suspicion and nail the true criminal. 
Brook Jackson is a judge on the Masterpiecers’s art competition. That is his official job; his unofficial job is running questionable errands against easy cash. But a ripped quilt and the girl who sewed it will make Brook’s life and heart spiral out of control. 
Accused of money laundering, Brook becomes the fall guy. After three weeks of imprisonment, he cuts a deal with Joshua: his freedom for the real felons and a meeting with Ivy. Although eager to clear his name, Brook wants to win Ivy’s forgiveness—and if she’s willing to give it to him—her love. 
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Well developed characters, thrilling progression, and a moving ending.

I read The Masterpiecers a few months ago and ended up enjoying it. It was a thrilling read with characters I rooted for and a mystery that kept me guessing.

The Masterminds, on the other hand, is a thrilling sequel that gave closure to all the characters that I loved. If you haven’t read The Masterpiecers, I got you covered. This review has NO SPOILERS. But let me tell you what it is about. The Masterpiecers is a reality TV show about art - not just your usual traditional painting, drawing. No. It’s about all kinds of art. The first book featured Ivy and Aster Redd - Ivy who was accepted to the TV show and Aster who was sent to prison for murder.

Now, The Masterminds features the points of view of Josh Cooper and Brook Jackson - Josh who’s a cop and friends with Ivy and Aster and Brook who’s a judge on the Masterpiecers. The novel is told in three parts: before, during, and after the show. Through these different parts, Olivia Wildenstein was able to give a better characterization for both Josh and Brook. We get to see more of them and not just the friend and the judge. We see why they do the things they do and admittedly, I ended up liking both of them (especially Brook).

Almost half of the book took place during the Masterpiecers which, at times, I found myself getting a bit bored and wishing for the next part. But they are worth the read because, as I said, they are told in different POVs and finally see a different and deeper side of Josh and Brook. The events after the show which was half of the book was certainly the interesting part of the novel. It’s thrilling. It kept me reading non-stop wishing to know how things would go for Josh and Brook and for Aster and Ivy. It’s that story you’d want to know what happens else you can’t sleep!

The ending is a ‘realistic’ and an imperfect one yet beautiful and satisfying. I think that it was the ending that wasn’t idealistic and everyone has to live happily ever after but it’s certainly one that put a smile on my face despite the sadness it carries.

OVERALL, The Masterful Duology - The Masterpiecers and The Masterminds - is a two-book series that’s worth the time. It has main characters worth rooting for, a mystery that kept me thinking, a thrilling story that made me read non-stop, and an ending that’s beautiful and definitely unforgettable.

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~I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review~

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