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Dedication Hardcover – June 5, 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The team behind The Nanny Diaries and Citizen Girl returns with another breezy chick lit portrayal of a woman wronged and, eventually, empowered. When Kate Hollis's childhood chum Laura calls from their Vermont hometown and announces the arrival of Jake Sharpe, a mega rock star and Kate's high school sweetheart, Kate jumps on a plane from Charleston, S.C. (where she's a sustainable development consultant) and makes for idyllic Croton Falls. Through it's been 13 years, Kate still has a primal need to confront not only the boy who abandoned her before the senior prom, but the musical pirate who used her personal life as fodder for his most celebrated songs and cheated his high school bandmates out of deserved recognition and royalties. Chapters switch back and forth between the present and the pivotal middle and high school years where Kate (then Katie) and Jake did the first-love thing: readers get to see Jake's growing he's-just-not-that-into-you-ness and how (surprise!) their Zima-fueled love (it was the '90s) was idealized. While one spends much of the book wanting to shout at Kate to give it up, go back to Charleston and get on with it, McLaughlin and Kraus do get the nagging need for closure in even the shallowest relationships comically right. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

McLaughlin and Kraus, authors of the popular novel The Nanny Diaries(2002), venture back to the 1980s in their third novel. Kate Hollis fell in love with Jake Sharpe in grade school, dated him in high school, and at 30, has yet to get over him. How can she when Jake, now a rock star with several hit singles to his name, has spent the last 10 years singing about her and about their relationship? When Kate hears that Jake has returned to their hometown with his new fiancee in tow, she jumps on a plane, ready to confront him for exploiting their personal memories in his quest for superstardom. But when Kate sees him again, all her old feelings churn to the surface, and her resolve weakens further when she learns he feels the same. But just as the novel barrels toward what appears to be the most cliched of endings, the authors pull out a surprise and give the reader, and Kate, a completely unexpected and wholly satisfying conclusion. With the movie version of The Nanny Diaries due out this spring, expect considerable interest in the authors' latest outing. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; First Edition edition (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141654013X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416540137
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,274,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tamela Mccann VINE VOICE on June 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If someone you loved had wronged you so intensely that it changed the course of your life, would you seek revenge? Or forgiveness? Or just closure? This is the central theme of writing duo Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus's excellent new novel, Dedication. The pair spin an entirely believable tale about spurned love and anger that burns unabated for thirteen years, and they bring it full circle with an excellent ending.

Katie Hollis first falls "in love" with Jake Sharpe in sixth grade, and their relationship is a series of ups and downs over the course of their school years. Told in chapters that alternate between 2005 and those growing up years, we follow the development of the characters as Jake begins to realize his love of music and Katie's family life falls apart. Then the unthinkable happens: Jake hits the big time, and he leaves Katie and his friends behind, not even recognizing his fellow band mates' contributions on his first hit single and thus denying them any of the significant royalties. When Jake finally returns to his hometown 13 years on, Katie is alerted and, in true hell hath no fury form, she finds herself ready to confront him and "make him regret his entire existence"...or does she? Can she actually let the past go in order to form a future?

This is a page-turner of a novel, with lots of little 80s details thrown in and an enduring love story as the backbone. It will make you question what you would do if facing the same obsession; would you be the bigger person or would you fight back for the life taken from you? And is it all worth it? Definitely a good summer read, and a heart-wrenching one at that. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved it. It has all the humor and intelligence of the Nanny Diaries and Citizen Girl and deals with a topic everyone can relate to: the desire to be able to go back in time and right the cosmic wrongs of adolescence. While this book could be very funny while staying on that topic, it manages to weave in a very real and complicated family dynamic that adds a deep level of complexity to the book. The book splices from the past to the present and yet never loses the reader who is eagerly awaiting the outcomes of the interconnected plots. I loved it and would highly recommend it!
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Format: Hardcover
So what do you do if the love of your life stands you up at prom, then goes on to be a huge rock star? Kate is an accomplished woman in her field and yet she is haunted by the one that got away. She, like any woman, has played out "the meet" a thousand times in her mind where she shows Jake what he is missing and he is appropriately heartbroken and apologetic. Then, he is in their hometown filming a MTV Christmas special with his fiancee and Kate jumps on a plane for her one shot at carrying out the plan she and her best friend developed.

All of the characters have unresolved issues they need to deal with and the authors handle them all brilliantly. The book bounces back and forth between the teenage years and the current day.

This book is filled with emotion and will leave you wondering what type of ending you are rooting for. An excellent read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am big fan of McLaughlin and Kraus' previous two novels (yes, I actually liked "Citizen Girl"!), so it shouldn't have come as any surprise to me that I completely fell in love with "Dedication". Their latest novel is without a doubt their best, showing a level of down-to-earth humor, maturity, and depth of character that was missing in their previous works. Not as chick-lit as "Nanny Diaries", and not as scattered and abstract as "Citizen Girl", "Dedication" shows that these authors have really grown in their craft.

At first I wasn't too sure if I liked the alternating chapters, where one chapter is set in modern-day, and the next chapter is set in the past. However, as the novel progresses, and Katie and Jake's modern-day relationship crescendos, and we get to see the growing strength of the relationship of their youth, it somehow just feels right that the book is laid out the way it is.

I found myself being just as exasperated and in love with Jake as Katie was, and I was moved by the growth in the adult Katie as she dealt with Jake and her family and friends and life. The early encounters of Jake and Katie, filled with the awkwardness, excitement, and all-encompassing obsession of first love, are written so beautifully and so truthfully, I just could not put the book down.

The issues that Katie deals with regarding her friends and family only make the novel that much richer for me, as it creates even more depth in her character, and maturity in the novel. Katie deals with life, love, and family in a funny, logical way, that I really identified with.

There were a few typos, and several awkwardly-worded phrases that had me scratching my head, but overall, the novel was superb. By far, "Dedication" is McLaughlin and Kraus' best novel to date, and has earned a permanent place on my bookcase!

Grade: A
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Usually, I love Kraus/McLaughlin and their work, but <i> Dedication </i> just missed the mark. It had a catchy and interesting premise, but the reunion of estranged high school sweethearts Kate and Jake was just a little too pat and the sections on Jake's secretly awful celebrity life as the equivalent of Jon Bon Jovi were utterly ridiculous. And all the '80's references were a dime a dozen attempt at temporal authenticity.
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