Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus


Kate Hollis's ex-boyfriend's face plasters newsstands and TV, the Internet and the multiplex. Jack Sharpe is one of the biggest recording stars on the planet, and every song he's famous for is about Kate. For over a decade his soundtrack has chased her--from the gym to the supermarket, from the dentist's office to the bars. Now thirty-year-old Kate gets the call that Jack has finally landed back in their hometown for an MTV special. The moment she has been waiting for--the chance to confront him and reclaim her past--has arrived. But she might just discover that the past she idealized was not as wonderful and romantic as she thought.

Grade: A - Loved It!

Little tidbit about this book:
Even though this is an adult book, there are many flashback scenes that go to the characters' childhoods which, I think, are likely to appeal to the YA audience. It's a great read, regardless--a bit chick-lit with its fun narrative, but with less indulgent sarcasm/inner snark and more character development.

This book opens with the main character, Kate Hollis, waking up to a ringing phone in the middle of the night. Her friend Laura is calling to tell her Jake Sharpe is back in their hometown. Immediately, there's a whirlwind of action as Kate scurries off to the airport to catch the next fly out. And then she realizes she's being ridiculously frantic. But she can't help herself--she's been waiting for this chance for a decade.

I loved the urgency in the opening chapter. More often than not, I'm eased into a story, with a more-or-less uneventful beginning that picks up speed after a couple of chapters. With Dedication, though, I was grabbed in from the very first page. And that's when I knew I'd love this book. And, hey, I did.

The character development was great. This is where the alternating past and present chapters, when done well, can make all the difference. In this novel, it fit extremely well, in addition to controlling the pacing and giving the characters depth. The reader gets to see how the past affected the future and how the future is affected by the past. I admit, though, the flashbacks were more interesting to me because I'm a teenager and I could relate.

Oh, and the ending... I can't give that away here, but it was the most perfect ending. The authors really tied the story up in a full circle. It was masterful.

All in all, I liked Dedication better than The Nanny Diaries, because Kate had a backbone didn't cower away, whereas Nanny did and gave us no resolution to her story.


Amee said...

I have to disagree about The Nanny Diaries. The resolution was that she quit. She gave up the job that was ruining her spirit. She broke free which indicates a backbone instead of continuing to let the Xes trample all over her.

Great review, though! This one is on my ever expanding wishlist, lol.

Steph said...

But she didn't leave the tape she recorded for them! I loved the book up to that point. If I had to review it, it would've been a 9/10 up till the ending and then dropped to a 7.

But that's just my opinion :)

Thanks for the comment! :D

Amee said...

Well she didn't leave the tape because she didn't want that to be the last image she left for Grover. She didn't give a **** about the Xes, she was only thinking of Grover.


Steph said...

Hahaha this is where we disagree. She left them quietly. She should've stood up to Mrs. X. And poor Grover, has to face that mother of his for at least twelve more years.

the story siren said...

well i've never read the nanny diaries, but i have heard of Dedication and i've really wanted to read it. i might have to move it up in my reading pile after your review.

Steph said...

Seriously, I *loved* this book. Move it up, move it up, move it up!

Amee said...

I love the facelift to the site! I've been tinkering around with mine as well here lately. ;)

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