Thursday, June 18, 2009

Review - Cutting Loose by Nadine Dajani

Cutting Loose by Nadine Dajani
published 9/08
384 pages

Synopsis from publisher:

Meet three women who are as different as could be—at least that’s what they think—and the men who’ve turned their lives upside down as their paths collide in sizzling, sexy Miami. . . .

Ranya is a modern-day princess—brought up behind the gilded walls of Saudi Arabian high society and winner of the dream husband sweepstakes . . . until said husband turns out to be more interested in Paolo, the interior-decorator-cum-underwear-model, than in his virginal new wife.

Smart, independent, but painfully shy, Zahra has managed to escape her impoverished Palestinian roots to carve out a life of comfort. But she can’t reveal her secrets to the man she adores or shake off the fear that she doesn’t deserve any of it. She also can’t shake the fear that if she holds on to anything—or anyone—too dearly, they will be taken away in the blink of a kohl-lined eye.

Rio has risen above the slums of her native Honduras—not to mention the jeers of her none too supportive family—to become editor in chief of Suéltate magazine, the hottest Latina-targeted glossy in town, and this in spite of Georges Mallouk, her hunky-yet-clueless boss, and in spite of Rio’s totally wrong but oh-so-sinfully-right affair with the boss’s delicious but despicable younger brother, Joe.

In this city of fast cars, sleek clubs, and unapologetic superficiality, Ranya, Zahra, and Rio wrestle with the ties that bind them to their difficult pasts, and it just might be time for them to cut loose. . . .

My thoughts:

I'm not sure I've read a book that was this much fun in a long time. Things are heading toward summer in my neck of the woods (I say heading, because we've had a pretty gray and gloomy week, but I still have hope), and Cutting Loose just FELT like a summer book. It's set mainly in sunny Miami, and has a light, breezy tone that would make it perfect "sitting in the sun with a tropical drink in your hand" fare.

Dajani's three main characters take turns narrating the novel, and each voice is distinct and developed. I felt an immediate empathy with both Ranya and Zahra - each was facing issues I could completely relate to, and it made me feel a connection to the characters right away. Rio took a little bit longer to click with me, but I came to appreciate her strength and drive, and by the end of the novel was rooting for her as well.

When I say the novel is fun and light, I don't want to imply that it is lacking in depth or emotion. All three women have serious obstacles to face - from money and job situations to difficult family and personal relationship issues, each has to face up to their past and decide which path to take, and how to grasp happiness for themselves. It was this honest journey for each of her characters that kept me turning pages, eager to find out what happened next.

I completely enjoyed this novel. It would make a perfect beach or vacation read! It does contain adult language and situations, so if that bothers you, you might want to steer clear of this one. However, if you are looking for a novel that goes deeper than the usual chick-lit fare, but still retains the fun and romance, I would definitely recommend you pick up this book.

Finished: 6/13/09
Source - the author - thanks, Nadine!
Rating: 8/10

Don't just take my word for it! Here's what some other fabulous bloggers had to say:

S. Krishna's Books

Be sure to stop back tomorrow as Nadine will be my guest for a special "author edition" 451 Friday!

This book counts toward:


bermudaonion said...

Yours is the 3rd great review of read of this book! Sounds like a winner!

Diane said...

I was anxious to resd a review on this one. Yours was great; looking forward to reading this one. thanks

violetcrush said...

I would call this book intellegent and thoughtful chicklit and lots of fun too. Glad you enjoyed this one Elizabeth. Thanks for linking to my post.

Beth F said...

I have one copy for me an another to give away. I can't wait to get to it. I have to wait until July tho, because I'm booked through June!

Zibilee said...

Great review! This book would probably be a lot of fun at the beach. Looking forward to this one