Published: November 10th, 2015
by: Kindle Press
Series: Companion to The Holdout
Genres: Adult-Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery
Format: Kindle Source: Kindle Scout
My Rating: 4 Stars
First Robin gets the email with its simple demand: dump your fiancé or else. Then someone puts up the slanderous Rotten Robin Website that threatens to crush her chances to win The Standout, a ballet-themed, fashion reality show. Surrounded by backstabbing co-contestants and haunted by mysterious ghosts from her past, Robin can’t trust anyone, including herself. Her only allies are Zelda, a ballerina and model, and her older brother Ted, both of whom have ghosts and secrets of their own.
The Standout is a psychological thriller about love and betrayal, life and death, tall buildings, and finding the courage to jump.
The Standout is a sequel? companion? to Osterkamp’s The Holdout, American Angst, and a few others. They all make up the Robin Bricker stories. You absolutely do not have to read those books to jump in this story. I had no problems whatsoever when it came to the characters; as the author weaves little fragments of their lives into this story. I enjoyed reading this book with its fast pace and mystery. Although, the description says psychological thriller, this just didn’t pack that big a punch to be in that category. Still, I really like it, and may even go back and read her other books.
Think Black Swan meets Project Runway, and you can pretty much picture what this one is about. I won’t go into many details, as I don’t want to spoil the plot. The Standout follows Robin as she tries to live with the fact that she lost her friend over a guy who deceived them both. She’s in a great relationship, about to be married, and just wants to move on with her life. Soon she starts receiving threatening emails about her past if she doesn’t leave Nick, her fiance’. The thing is, Nick knows all about what Robin has been through, so those threats don’t have a leg to stand on. When Robin is asked to be a contestant on a new reality show, she hesitates – but ultimately, takes the chance. From there, things get even worse for Robin as she tries to focus on her designs and the show. She knows that the money from winning would be a huge help for her and Nick.
I like Robin as a character, but sometimes she could be so dense. Part of the reason why I didn’t give this a full five stars is because I figured out what was going on before the whole mystery unraveled. Robin, while very driven and focused, was taking too many head trips and she wasn’t seeing the obvious. And, oh my God, I really wanted to snatch one particular character up by the shirt and say, You whiny little witch! It was so obvious that there was way more going on and half the time Robin just didn’t look hard enough. I would have really liked this to be Robin’s and Nick’s POV, but somehow having Zelda and Ted made the story flow really easy. I usually hate these types of setups, but it worked really well.
I like the friendship that Robin formed with Zelda, ballerina model who works with Robin. Yet again, Robin forms a friendship with someone on the show. Her last friendship ended in the worst way, and Robin is swimming in guilt about it. Other contestants are intimidated by Robin’s status as having been on another show, so they know that she’s got some advantage over them. It doesn’t stop all the snide remarks thrown Robin’s way. Stalker aside, I really like that this story reminds me so much of Project Runway, one of my guilty pleasures. This story is filled with mystery, but I just didn’t get the thrills that I wanted. It’s a very light weight thriller, but it will definitely hold your attention. Definitely recommend!