ONE NIGHT by Marsha Qualey


Age Range: 14 & up
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One can almost imagine a modern-day minstrel singing the poetic prelude that recounts Kelly Ray’s heroin addiction and negligence, which almost led to her baby sister’s death, and that suggests, “This, if not quite a fairy tale. This, Reader, is a love story.” This day—and one night—of Kelly, now 19, drug-free for two years, and a talk-show assistant, begins with her trying to rectify her aunt/caretaker and radio talk-show diva of Talk Now, Kit Carpenter’s botched interview with singing sensation Simone Sanchez. Posing as a delivery girl, Kelly makes her way to Sanchez’s penthouse, but security is extremely tight, as Dakota City, Minnesota, hosts a global conference on the war-torn European country Lakveria. This opportunity leads to a propitious meeting with Prince Tomas Teronovich, heir apparent to Lakveria, and outwitting his bodyguards, in turn, leads to a whirlwind night for both young adults. Poring over historic maps, dining on Thai food, attending a Judy Garland sing-along festival, and watching the sunrise, the adventure culminates in an effort to bring attention to the horrors in Lakveria. While Kelly’s plan from the beginning is to lure Tom into Kit’s talk-show lair, neither teen expects the night to be a life-changing event that lets them open their hearts to love and battle their demons. And neither Kelly, who’s lived all her life in Dakota City, and Tom, Paris-born, Texas-raised, and Britain-educated, would have imagined that their lives are so similar. Qualey (Close to a Killer, 1999, etc.) proves once again that strong characterization is her forte. Her gentle blend of political intrigue and bittersweet romance will leave readers believing that one night really can make a difference. Kelly’s final advice to Tom is “Be good at what you do,” and Qualey certainly has. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8037-2602-3
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002


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