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The Rise and Fall of Ava Arcana

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An electrifying novel about a woman in thrall to the exhilarating rhythms of Manhattan, lost in the dizzying promise of youth, and fatally naive to the dark pressures of fame.

When Rolling Stone journalist Kayla McCray is assigned a cover story on pop icon Lexi Mayhem, Kayla stumbles across a startling new angle to the exposé. Years ago, another rising star from Lexi’s past mysteriously leaped to her death. Some things are better off forgotten, Lexi says. Kayla disagrees.

It’s 2005 and Ava Petrova moves to New York with a notebook full of songs and a dream. Then she meets Lexi, an up-and-coming singer who brands Ava with an enigmatic new stage name and introduces her to an intoxicating city alive with possibilities. From fast friends and kindred spirits to creative muses and inseparable soul mates, Ava and Lexi embark on a parallel journey to stardom, but there is room for only one at the top.

As past and present converge, Kayla chases the ghost of a young woman doomed by betrayal and erased by a secret, and unravels the truth that it takes more than ambition to become a star.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"I devoured this suspenseful and perceptive read about the price of fame, the dangerously blurred boundary between envy and admiration, and the tantalizing pull of those who recognize your potential and your desires. Urgently narrated in dual timelines, The Rise and Fall of Ava Arcana introduces us to three unforgettable women: the passionate, dogged Kayla; the dreamy, yearning Ava; the irrepressible, brazen Lexi. I'll be thinking about them for a long time." - Caitlin Barasch

"This dark, sexy novel combines the rocker-chick moxie of Daisy Jones & the Six with the psychological-thriller plot twists of Social Creature. Banash's clear, lush prose makes The Rise and Fall of Ava Arcana a gripping read." - Kate Christensen

"The Rise and Fall of Ava Arcana is one of the sexiest novels I've ever read. While it is a thriller, a mystery, and an excavation into the backstabbing glamour of the music industry, Jennifer Banash is also first and foremost an absolute master of sensual details and whip-smart dialogue, making her female protagonists leap off the page in an electrical storm. This novel is one part propulsive beach read, one part feminist deep dive into the ways women ferociously love, impulsively betray, and ultimately redeem each other. And did I mention that it's hot?" - Gina Frangello

"I binged this twisty mystery thriller that probes the darker side of fame and female friendships. The Rise and Fall of Ava Arcana is as addictive as any Netflix series." - Liska Jacobs

"Banash's sublime new stunner immerses us in an intoxicating female friendship between two young singers, each striving for pop stardom, until one of them suspiciously dies, later leading a Rolling Stone journalist to dig out the truth no one seems to want uncovered. A psychological why-done-it about the glittering allure and tragic cost of fame, and the heady bliss of bonding, all set against an unforgettable soundtrack of love and deception." - Caroline Leavitt

"Gritty, propulsive, and complex, Banash paints a vivid picture of two young women navigating their way through the dark side of the music industry and the journalist who uncovers their shocking truth years later. I found myself completely transported into Banash's world of glittering stages, bright city lights, and deeply nuanced, compelling characters. The Rise and Fall of Ava Arcana is an addictive read that will leave you wanting more." - Julia Spiro

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