Melanie Eddolls's Reviews > Dope

Dope by Sara Gran
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's review
Jun 10, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: the-women-characters-i-love-the-boo

I liked this book more than I had anticipated. Sara Gran is an author I had not heard of but one that I can appreciate. Josephine is a strong leading character in that her addiction, her desire for more junk after two years of "clean living," as well as the toxic relationships with acquaintances from the underground of the dope world ring true and are believable.

However, the descriptions of her shoplifting sprees and her relationship with her model sister seem undeveloped. These are key to Josephine's character and to the plot; and I believe that Gran could have "connected the dots" to create an intertwining of the chords of the characters and the impact of the events of their lives that are essential to their growth and as well as to their demise.

We are, after all, either shaped by our experiences or our left to our own misshapen selves always moving toward the center of darkness or in light. The novel is realistic in reflecting such an idea.

I found the plot to be entertaining and her characters, especially the Hell's Kitchen crowd, were strong. However, the ending was a disappointment and the foundation for the wrap up was in no way sufficient enough to support the strengths of other parts of the book.

I would read the book again and I would recommend it to a friend because of its images of the palatable pain that the characters exude in their addiction and the ensuing fractured existence.

It is engaging and, especially for a new author, ambitious and raw. However, my recommendation would come with the warning not to lean on the ending and not to expect everything to be connected by a cohesive unending thread.
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