For the first time, in a very long while, I promise this is an actual first impression and not a review of a book that I’ve already finished*. At this point, I’m only about 70-ish pages in, and I’m hooked. I tore through the first ten chapters in a little over an hour and I just have to keep going.

This is Stevens’s debut fiction novel; the story of the relationship between two young women who lead completely different lives but are linked together by complicated threads of truth, secrecy, and love.

image of madeline stevens's book "devotion" with a sticker over the library barcode haha be gone library barcode!!

Ella is 26 and scraping by in any way she can. She flirts with men to get her next meal and lies on her resume to get work. She watches everyone around her with a bright intensity; nothing escapes her gaze. And when she can’t see what she’s looking for, she searches for it.

Lonnie is 26 and has everything Ella doesn’t. A husband, a baby boy, and the wealth of a New York elite. She is effortlessly beautiful and elegant in ways that shouldn’t be humanly possible. It’s impossible not to look at her, not to want to be her, not to want to devour her in every possible way.

Stevens’s writing is beautiful and matches the strange, sophisticated lives these two women lead. Her descriptions, though lengthy, take your breath away and let your imagination truly wander. The mystery in Ella’s past—as well as Lonnie’s—keep the pages turning and the excitement simmering.

Without giving anything away, I already think that this is a great book. The story, the mystery, the history, the drama—! It’s clean and beautiful, and I cannot wait to get deeper into it.

*Though, I admit, by the time this is published, I’m sure I’ll have already finished it.
edit: I was right! check out my Goodreads review here.
edit on the edit: haha I edited my Goodreads review! have fun with that

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