Like many women out there, I jumped on The Nanny Diaries bandwagon early on. I was among the first to read the book. I jumped for joy when I heard it was going to be a movie. And when Citizen Girl by the same authors came out, I ran to my library to get it.
My love affair with Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus ended there.
Honestly, I'm not sure why I even bothered to finish the book. I guess I kept hoping it would get better - I mean, this WAS written by the team that brought me hours of enjoyment through The Nanny Diaries, wasn't it?
When I heard Dedication was out, I thought, "Eh, I'll pass." And then I saw it at one of my favorite used book stores and picked it up. I couldn't help it... I was drawn to the book.
I used my special test on the book: I read the first paragraph. It drew me in. I opened the book randomly to some page near the center and read a paragraph there. It seemed interesting. Then I flipped to the back - not the end, but near the end, and yes, I was engaged.
Since I couldn't put the book down, I got it and hoped for the best. And if you're wondering, the best is what I got.
For one, I have now forgiven the authors for the mess they called Citizen Girl. They certainly redeemed themselves with Dedication.
This book is so much more than it seems - and you really don't find that out until you read the last chapter. It's here where the story circles completely around to the first chapter, and you realize that while you thought the book was about one thing - it was also about another.
Yes, this is a love story. It's also what I call a second-chance story - the heroine (who, by the way is likeable, but in a very human way) gets another chance with the love of her life - the guy who she's pined after for years. But this is no ordinary guy - no, now he's a famous musician, which makes the pining that much more intense.
However, it's more than that. It's the story many of us dreamed about when we dreamed about our favorite teen idols: they were once boys, right? They had girlfriends, right? What if they were our boyfriend? How would that look after they got famous?
What about the people they left behind? What about the mess the words of their song creates for the people they're about?
This story is also about friendship, about loyalty and about disappointment. It's about how to reconcile the good in a relationship with the bad. It's about growth and forgiveness and acceptance.
See? It's about a lot of things that aren't readily apparent when one thinks "Oh, a story about a rock star and his old girlfriend." Nope. It's not that simple.
I don't want to give too much away about the story itself. It's wonderful, engaging, and I hate to admit it, but I cried at the end. And not because it was sad, but because it was wonderful.
If you happen to be one of the people who soured on the McLaughlin/Kraus team after Citizen Girls, give them another chance by reading this book.
I really don't think you'll be sorry.