Dec 23

Dedication

Dedication

by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

(2/5)

Picture 1 Fiction / Chick Lit / Light Reading
First Published in 2007
Publisher: Atria Books

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Book Synopsis:

How would you get your revenge if your ex-boyfriend vanished on the night before your prom, then reappeared with a song detailing your first sexual experience (which by the way topped the Billboard charts), then proceeded to write chart-topping personal songs about you for the rest of his career?

Kate finally has the opportunity to confront Jake. But how is she going to confront the man who has messed up her life? The man who constantly chased by millions of adoring fans? She has a plan. But things don’t always go according to plan, do they?

Picture 3My Book Review:

I loved The Nanny Diaries by the same authors. I thought it was right on the mark. Dedication, however, sorely disappointed me. It’s a story about Kate, 30, who wants to make her high school boyfriend who is presently an insanely successful rock star ‘regret his entire existence’ – for walking out on her and his band without a goodbye, for claiming the boys music as his own and for recording album after album worth of Kate and his most intimate and tragic moments together.

The novel shifts between the present Kate, to flashbacks of Katie in 8th grade to her university days. I liked the present day chapters, there was movement and an urgency in the story. But the first half of the flashbacks took ages to set up the back story with a lot of extraneous 80s references and school politics that didn’t really connect to the main arc of the story.

I was born in the mid 80s, and therefore didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing the bad-hair do’s and huge shoulder pads. So the majority of the references passed me by and I didn’t feel the nostalgia that I may have felt if I could connect to that decade. I am sure if you remember the 80s, (and understand some other American references, which also flew over my head) you’d enjoy the flashbacks much more.

Aside from the slow pace, leading to a draggy set up of the back story, I found the premise itself while on the one hand understandable (love of your life, leaving you without a goodbye, publicly crooning about your sexual exploits and airing your parents dirty laundry, hard to get over and you’re angry – fair enough), on the other hand, I though it was rather… blah. I get disappointed reading stories like this because it neither entertains me, nor makes me think. I love Bridget Jones’s diary because I empathise with her and laugh uproariously at her. Maybe the intention of this book was something entirely different, but I do know that this book gave me little warmth and no intellectual stimulation. I just felt blah after reading it.

This woman is 30 and she still hasn’t gotten over it. Reading about weak women is not fun. She’s angry and wants revenge, but why wait till he lands in town 11 years later for closure? And all artists write personal material, and hardly anyone’s going to know it’s you he’s singing about – she moved state because of the ‘shame’. I understand he is the love of her life, and there are a couple of much appreciated and satisfying passionate moments in the book, but she’s an adult. 11 years have passed. Get over it. And this is what this book’s about getting over a man. But the thing is, I’m not sure if I like him, or hate him. I want want to like him. I guess I’m supposed to want them to get together or to strongly want her to make him ‘regret his entire existence’. Maybe both. It wavers and I guess this is where this novel toys with the reader. – reader hates him, reader loves him, reader hates him again.

I did like the moments of vulnerability that Jake Sharp has and I have to say the ending was clever and befitting. And maybe I should simply take this as it is – chick lit filled with young love, rock stars and revenge.

I have noticed that my negative book reviews are much longer than my positive ones. I guess I feel I have to justify why I’m trashing a book (coming from the point of view of a performer, I know it’s not nice to read a bad review about your hard work).

Picture 2But when I love a book, I all I want to say is ‘Read It’. I adored the Nanny Diaries by the same authors, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, so read The Nanny Diaries!

x Julie

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-Reading Like Rabbits-

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