Renee's Reviews > Playing With the Grown-ups

Playing With the Grown-ups by Sophie Dahl
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's review
Nov 26, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: coming-of-age

For the first half of this book, I was reminded in ridiculous amounts of Tiger, Tiger by Galaxy Craze. Apparently this was published a full year before Tiger, Tiger however, so similarities are either coincidental, or at least not the fault of Dahl. At any rate, this is the better book.

Kitty is subject to the narcissistic and confused whims of her young and beautiful artist mother, who drags her to America so she can study in a cult-like setting with a swami. After this, Dahl moves the reader along while Kitty attempts to grow despite a lack of concrete mother figure. A lot of focus is placed on her friendships with other girls and her attempts at relating with boys during this process. Her mistakes and mystification at what she should be doing in life felt genuine, and was at times heartbreaking to read. In fact, the overall feel of the novel is one that is seemingly simple, but layered in such a way that it adds complex levels to the main character. As a reader I had to constantly remind myself that Kitty was so young, which made the novel periodically disturbing.

My only complaint with Dahl's writing is that the somewhat "leapfrog" style she has chosen to write in, while adding to the wayward feel of the novel, is at times annoying. No sooner has one situation or character entered Kitty's life than another appears to take over.

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