I feel like I might get banned from the book world by admitting I have never read Jane Austen-but there it is. It wasn’t required reading in school and somehow, I just never got around to it..I will some day. However, I do love reading Austen retellings. Weird, right? When I saw By The Book, a Persuasion retelling, going around on Goodreads, I knew I had to have it. I was lucky enough to get an e-ARC through NetGalley and Gallery Books!
The story follows Anne Corey, an English professor at a liberal arts college in California. Anne doesn’t have it all, but she is thankful for what she does have and strives to make the best of her life. When we meet Anne, she is single and struggling to find a publisher to accept her book. If it isn’t published soon, she will lose her chance for tenure. Her father is showing signs of dementia and her wealthy, has-it-all sister can barely contain her distaste for Anne’s career and life path. Basically, you just really want something good to come Anne’s way.
Enter her ex-fiance from 10 years prior…as her new boss. He’s just secured a position as the College President, kind of a big deal. Anne chooses to avoid her ex at all costs, Also enter an attractive writer who’s the hottest thing in the publishing world right now, who also seems to have the hots for Anne. You get where this is going, but it was a cute ride to get there. With some bumps in the road, and a hilarious side-story from her gay best friend, By The Book was just what I needed after some heavy reading. Heart-warming and sweet, funny and relatable, this is a great book to snatch up when you’re in the mood for a lighthearted, quick read.
A couple of things that irked me about the book..The ending felt a bit rushed. It was still sweet, but I felt like it should have been given more pages for the story to play out. While we expect reads of this sort to tie up with a pretty bow, I wish this ending was given more attention. Throughout the book, the story seemed a bit choppy..instead of a new chapter, months would pass in a paragraph and it was a bit disorienting. Also with the different story-lines, there was a lot of potential for more details that would have really taken the whole book up a couple of notches. It was very straightforward and surface-level. In my opinion, the characters could have also had a bit more depth, I found it difficult to establish an emotional connection.
Overall, I give By The Book 3 stars!
It was quick and quirky and had me laughing out loud a couple of times. Definitely a good read if you’re looking for something to break up some of your heavier reads. Again, By The Book is out TODAY so buy your copy here!
I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher and NetGalley for review. Thank you for allowing me early access to the beautiful book for my honest review.
From Goodreads: Julia Sonneborn is an English professor and a Los Angeles native. After heading east for college and graduate school, she hightailed it back to California, where she now lives with her husband, two kids, two cats, and a dog. When she’s not reading, writing, or talking about books, she enjoys trying new restaurants, reading online gossip blogs, and throwing dinner parties. She is the author of By the Book. Read more about Julia here on her website.