Reviews

Review: Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

Book Review

Jo & Laurie
by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
Young Adult, Retelling, Romance
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Synopsis
1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration—museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!

But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?

What I thought
I was sent a copy of this book from Megan Beatie Communications through Net Galley for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I feel the need to state that this review is coming from someone that has not read Little Women nor have I watched the movie. I feel this is important to point out because I think that if you have read Little Women or even watched the movie you would already have some connection with these characters from the beginning.

I am a fan of Melissa de la Cruz’s books and this one did not disappoint.

This story takes place between the publication of Little Women and Good Wives. This book is first and foremost a love story between Joe and Laurie. But another bonus is that this book shows how a whole everyone in a family can deal with grief differently. I do not think this was meant to be a main plot point but I think it was displayed well.

This book took me about 100 pages to really get into it but I really think its because I did not know the original story.
I loved watching Joe and Laurie’s relationship. Everyone in the story knew that those two were meant to be together except Joe. She had a lot to work through to discover that she is allowed to be happy too. I liked the portrayal of grief and depression in this story and seeing how it was worked through. I felt so many feelings while reading this book that I did not expect to feel.

I recommend this book to anyone that thinks that the story sounds interesting. Just note if you have not read Little Women it will take a little bit to connect with these characters.

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz

Book Review

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

by Melissa de la Cruz
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Synopsis
Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her family.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32-years-old and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

What I thought
Okay I know this may not come across as well as I want it to.  So I am going to start by stating that I do like other books that this author has written and my biggest gripe with this book is that it’s supposed to be a retelling.  Maybe I hold Pride and Prejudice too high in my humble opinion but here we go.

I was so excited to read this book.  I mean a retelling from Darcy’s perspective. YES PLEASE SIGN ME UP!!!!

What made me even happier about reading this book is that I was buddy reading it with Brittany from Perfectly Tolerable. Please see her review here. So not only was I reading a retelling but I was going to get to gush about it. At least that was what I thought was going to happen.

So you have a character names Darcy and a character named Bingley, and this is where the similarities end. Now I do understand that this is a modernized retelling of the story and don’t get me wrong I am not a prude but within the first few chapters Darcy and Luke are all over each other. One thing I loved about Pride and Prejudice is the tension and the fact that there was back and forth and it was a huge build up. So in the first 30 pages that was shattered for me. However, I kept going because there had to be more to the story right…

Okay so everyone partnered up and resolved their issues in the first couple of chapters so something still had to happen. So because the characters are now confused about their feelings they go and get engaged to their ex’s that they really don’t like. The sure amount of things wrong there I wont even touch on.

There was a panic attack moment in the book that was handled poorly and Brittany spoke on it in her review so please do see her review for that.

I will only touch on one other thing that bothered me and that was how the parents were written in this retelling. I am not sure why that is but Luke Bennet’s parents are not in the picture at all, while Darcy’s parents are. So okay we are going to switch that part around but she has a horrible relationship with her dad…and this is why she has been gone for 8 years.  The petty way the father acted was horrible just in general not the writing but the actions.

I truly left this book not liking any of the characters or anything that happened in it.

My Rating: /52 stars

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