Monday, December 20, 2010
Age Group: Adult
Published: June 24, 2008 by Delta
Format: Paperback, 340 pages
Source: To Review
Welcome to Jessica's world...
When Jessica Zorich met a tall, charismatic artist at a San Francisco party, her life had been all about coping: with a baffling and dangerous world, with a mostly inane job, and with a sweet but meandering relationship with her upstairs neighbor. But Josh Hadden doesn't cope: he's a man of action, of big visions, and of relationships that span the globe; a man certain of his passions, politics, art, and desire. And what Josh desires most is Jessica - at a time when being desired might be the most desirable thing of all.
In this daring, mesmerizing debut, a novel that brilliantly captures the angst of a generation, Jessica gives herself over to an erotic, reckless relationship with a man guarding deep secrets - and to a perfect storm of lust, doubt, joy, and fear. Now, against her better judgment, she is following Josh into his mystifying life and brilliant, dizzying work, where she will find out how much she has been missing, how far she has yet to go, and what the price of this intoxicating adventure will be.
If you read my blog at all, you know I tend to stick to my fantasy and science fiction when reading and writing, but you also know that I firmly believe in reading outside of one's genres and comfort zones. Contemporary romance is one of those genres that I tend to stay away from. I can only take so much fluff, and, yes, I realize they aren't all fluffy and cute. I like my romance to be real and gritty, and that is precisely what you get in Shawn Klomparens' debut novel Jessica Z.
What Jess has in the beginning of the novel with Patrick is complicated, as many relationships are. Are they together? Is the timing right? How do they know if it's real? And then, before either of them know it, they've missed their chance. I loved and hated it, because occasionally, life just sucks that way.
Jess has to start all over, and it's hard to watch her go down a road that leads her farther and farther away from the man she loves and into someone else's arms and then into his bed. But Jessica Z. isn't just about making your own choices and finding your way back to where you're supposed to be; it's about friendships and family and figuring out who you are. So when she finally realizes everything that has gone wrong, it is incredibly satisfying. Seeing the complete circle Jess makes breaks your heart before you get the ending you want.
Shawn Komplarens has delivered a fantastically real debut, and I will certainly be keeping an eye on his work.
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