About Me

Ithaca, New York
MWF, now officially 42, loves long walks on the beach and laughing with friends ... oh, wait. By day, I'm a mid-level university administrator reluctant to be more specific on a public forum. Nights and weekends, though, I'm a homebody with strong nerdist leanings. I'm never happier than when I'm chatting around the fire, playing board games, cooking up some pasta, and/or road-tripping with my family and friends. I studied psychology and then labor economics in school, and I work in higher education. From time to time I get smug, obsessive, or just plain boring about some combination of these topics, especially when inequality, parenting, or consumer culture are involved. You have been warned.

Monday, January 21, 2013

#100: Between You and Me

Between You and Me, by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
(New York: Atria Books, 2012)

"Twenty-seven-year-old Logan Wade is trying to build a life for herself far from her unhappy childhood in Oklahoma. Until she gets the call that her famous cousin needs a new assistant -- an offer she can't refuse.

"Logan hasn't seen Kelsey in person since their parents separated them as kids; in the meantime, Kelsey Wade has grown into Fortune Magazine's most powerful celebrity. But their reunion is quickly overshadowed by the toxic dynamic between Kelsey and her parents as Logan discovers that, beneath the glossy facade, the wounds that caused them to be wrenched apart so many years ago have insidiously warped into a showstopping family business.

"As Kelsey tries desperately to break away and grasp at a 'real' life, beyond the influence of her parents and managers, she makes one catastrophic misstep after another, and Logan must question if their childhood has left them both too broken to succeed. Logan risks everything to hold on, but when Kelsey unravels in the most horribly public way, Logan finds that she will ultimately have to choose between rescuing the girl she has always protected ... and saving herself."

Opening Line:
"'Okay, we're coming up on our final hill,' Sandra, my instructor. puffs into her microphone, reaching out from her bike to dim the spin room's lights even further."

My Take:
Poor McLaughlin and Kraus. While I'm sure they're laughing all the way to the bank, I think by now it's safe to say that they're unlikely to ever have another zeitgeist-grabbing megahit anywhere close to what they did with The Nanny Diaries. You and Me was good enough, an entertaining, engaging few days' read -- but not so memorable and compelling that I can picture where I was and what else was going on while I read it (in contrast to Dedication, for example, which wasn't really much better but does conjure up my room in the Colonial Building on Boylston Street). This one does a lot of hinting at some deep, dark back story behind Logan and Kelsey's childhood separation, and at the creepiness of Kelsey's overly close relationship with her parents, but never delivers anything scandalous or surprising enough to merit all the ominous foreshadowing. As a story of Logan, girl next door who stumbles into the bright lights, big city of celebrity and finds it's not all it's cracked up to be, it's OK, but not terribly memorable. 

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