Sunday, July 5, 2020

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

Book Review: Jo & Laurie, by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
  • Opening lines: The Offices of Roberts Brothers, Publishers and Bookbinders, Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 1868

    "Little Women? That's the title?" The author looked concerned. Above her light brown eyes and beneath her threadbare linen cap, the chestnut curls that framed her face were shaking. Miss Josephine March was all of seventeen years old, and though her girlish curves were slight, her spirit was immense.

    There was nothing
    little about her, or her characters. Or so she had thought. The book in questiona volume of domestic stories, loosely inspired by her own familywas one she hadn't wanted to write, had in fact steadfastly refused to write, until her editor had offered a notably unrefusable royalty, instead of the usual piffling advance. Only then had she dashed off a dozen chapters in a fit of pique. To her dismay, he'd loved them, and she'd had no choice but to finish the final chapters, which she'd come to deliver now.

    And lo
    insult beyond injuryit would be called Little Women.
  • Reason I picked up the book: I'm a huge fan of both of these authors—I've reviewed quite a few of Melissa de la Cruz's books, and Margaret Stohl is the author of the Beautiful Creatures series. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • Bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz bring us a romantic retelling of Little Women starring Jo March and her best friend, the boy next door, Theodore "Laurie" Laurence.

    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?

  • Recommended for: Anyone who is a fan of Little Women, or who enjoys romance books.
  • Favorite paragraph: slight spoilers below ...
    How could he think the bosoms would make him happy? Not her Theodore Laurence. Not ever.

    But then again, he wasn't
    her Theodore Laurence. If he could profess his love for Jo and propose to Lady Hat all within the space of a season, then it was likely Jo really didn't know Theodore Laurence at all.
  • Something to know: I attended a Zoom chat with both of the authors and it's interesting that both of them wrote the book, because I never would have thought that it had two authors; the chapters are seamless, and the writing style is the same throughout. Also, this takes place before Laurie goes off to Harvard, and in Little Women I believe some of the events took place after he graduated.
  • What I would have changed: Nothing.
  • Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here to purchase on Amazon.


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