Win a signed copy of Rival! Details at the end of this post.


I saw an old commercial once where famous singers used their voices to shatter glass. So I looked into it last year for a project in physics class, and it didn’t take much of a Google search to find out the whole thing is pretty much a myth. Theoretically, the sound waves created by vibrating vocal chords could break a crystal goblet if they resonated long enough at just the right pitch, but finding and holding a note like that is incredibly difficult. The human voice, it turns out, just isn’t that strong.

Human hatred, on the other hand, is. Anybody who doubts that should stand where I am right now and feel the hate waves coming off of Brooke Dempsey.

We’re halfway through the second day of senior year, and both of us are in the back row of the Chamber Choir; me in the soprano section, Brooke nine spots over with the altos. Even with all those people between us, even with our folders up, our eyes on Maestro Anderson and our voices busy on a really hard Bach cantata, I feel a steady ping coming off of Brooke like the signal from a giant antenna. It’s like this every time we’re in the same room together; nothing has changed in the year since this whole mess started—she’s tracking me, I’m tracking her. The defense department would kill to have radar this good.

Excerpt © 2011 Sara Bennett Wealer

About the book:

Rival is a high-stakes duet between two seniors–once friends, now enemies–who are preparing to go up against each other in a major singing competition. To Brooke, winning means escaping the in-crowd for life as a professional musician. Kathryn, meanwhile, sees victory as the key to a much-needed college scholarship. As the big day nears, each girl must face her fears about the future, her scars from the past, and the fact that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had.

What people are saying:

“This book gets it all exactly right—friendships, envy, and the fact that you can never truly know another person.”–Sara Zarr, author of STORY OF A GIRL and SWEETHEARTS

“Awesome, awesome and more awesome. Not one wrong note.”–New York Times Bestseller Lauren Myracle

“RIVAL is a must-have addition to school and public libraries collections alike.”–Voice of Youth Advocates

“Wealer has a talent for depicting the fragile moments on which friendships are made and broken.”–Publishers Weekly

“…like Mean Girls THE MUSICAL but BETTER. And the ending? PERFECT. True to life, true to the characters. I loved it. Fabulous debut.”–The Crooked Shelf: Memoirs of a YA Addict

Released: February 15, 2011

About the author:

Sara Bennett Wealer grew up in Manhattan, Kansas (the “Little Apple”), where she sang with the choir and wrote for her high school newspaper. She majored in vocal performance at the University of Kansas before deciding she had no business trying to make a career as an opera singer. She transferred to journalism school, where nobody cares if you can hit a high C or convincingly portray a Valkyrie. Sara now lives in Cincinnati with her husband and daughters, and she still sings when her schedule allows—most recently with the May Festival Chorus, the official choir of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. You can visit her at


Sara has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Rival for a giveaway!

To enter simply leave a comment on this post.

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Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada and ends on March 2nd at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!