Review: By the Book by Julia Sonneborn

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past…and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. 

By the Book will be available February 6, 2018.

Persuasion is one of my favorite Jane Austen novels and I am always ready to jump on board a re-telling. Unfortunately, By the Book did not really live up to my expectations.

One thing that I thought was really odd for a re-telling is that the main character, Anne, is a college lit professor and teaches on authors such as Jane Austen. Also, Anne’s favorite book is Persuasion. I have never seen the actual source material referenced in a re-telling. At first I thought maybe it was just going to be really meta or something, but Anne never references how her life is paralleling her favorite novel. To be fair, though, there were very few instances that really resembled it.

The Anne of this book was not nearly as likable as Anne from Persuasion. She was short tempered and kind of whiney. I did not like her best friend, Larry, at all. He was very over-dramatic and he was also having an affair with a closeted married man. Anne was friends with that man’s wife and she didn’t seem to find anything wrong with what Larry was doing and the whole storyline very greatly frustrated me. Anne dates an author and fellow visiting professor, Rick, for most of the book and he was another awful person. The only character I really liked was Adam (our Captain Wentworth). He never really did anything wrong the whole book and in my opinion was way too good for Anne.

Overall, I found By the Book really disappointing. I didn’t think there were enough recognizable parts from Persuasion that I like to see in re-tellings and just couldn’t get over how odd it was that Jane Austen and the actual book were referenced so often. I’m adding an extra half-star to my rating, though, because the writing itself wasn’t that bad and it did include a version of my favorite part of Persuasion– the letter.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2.5 Stars

Top 5 Wednesday: Hate to Love Ships

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday (check out the Goodreads Group page) is : Hate to Love Ships.

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1. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

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2. Lucy and Josh – The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

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3. Evie and Carter – Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren.

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4. Jane and G – My Lady Jane by The Lady Janies.

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5. Vaugh and Oakley – When It’s Real by Erin Watt.

What are some of your favorite Hate to Love ships?

Disney Princess Book Tag

I was tagged for this by Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse. Check out her blog, it’s awesome! Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like to do it.

My Disney Princess Facts:

1. My favorite princesses are Belle and Jasmine.

2. I don’t really care that much for Sleeping Beauty because the movie used to scare me when the villain turned into that dragon thing.

3. I still haven’t seen the new Beauty and the Beast, but I really want to!


Snow White
Name your favorite classic.

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Persuasion by Jane Austen


Cinderella
Name a book that kept you reading well past your bedtime.

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Most recently was The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond.


Aurora
Name your favorite classic romance.

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Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Ariel
Name a book that’s about making sacrifices and fighting for your dreams.

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown


Belle
Name a book with a smart and independent female character.

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Lacey Flint in Now You See Me by Sharon (SJ) Bolton


Jasmine
Name a book with a character who challenged the social conventions of his or her world.

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Moses in The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon


Pocahontas
Name a book whose ending was a roller-coaster of emotions.

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Making Faces by Amy Harmon.


Mulan
Name a book with a kick-ass female character.

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Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


Tiana
Name a book featuring a hardworking, self-made character.

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Alexis from The Wedding Belles series by Lauren Layne


Rapunzel
Name a book that features an artist.

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Blue from A Different Blue by Amy Harmon


Merida
Name a book that features a mother-daughter relationship.

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Till Death by JLA.


Anna & Elsa
Name a book that features a great relationship between siblings.

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On the Fence by Kasie West.

Pokémon Go Book Tag

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I was tagged by Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse (check her out, she’s awesome!). I’ve never played Pokémon or Pokémon Go (I don’t really get it, to be honest), but I love book tags!


Pokemon-Tag-01Starters

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I’m going to go with The Baby-Sitters Club books by Ann M. Martin.

Pokemon-Tag02Pikachu

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Persuasion by Jane Austen. Every time I re-read this I love it just as much. The Letter!.

Pokemon-Tag-03-Zubat

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. While I did see this everywhere, it’s not why I lost interest. I just didn’t find it to be an interesting book. Even though I was so excited to get an eArc of it, I DNF-ed it.

Pokemon-Tag-04-Ditto

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Wife for the Weekend by Ophelia London. I absolutely love fake relationship stories and this is my favorite one I’ve read this year.

Pokemon-Tag-05-Snorlax

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The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. I was just talking to someone at work about them and how she’s re-reading them and loves them, but the size of it just intimidates me so much!

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Golden Son by Pierce Brown. What is a book tag without a Red Rising mention? I could not stop thinking about this book when I was reading it (or after I finished).

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I’m going to go with Kami and Jared from The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan. I love them soooo much!

Pokemon-Tag08-Rapidash

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I read Paper Princess by Erin Watt in a day…and thought it was a little too “fire-hot” for YA…

Pokemon-Tag09-Eevee

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We are getting a Red Rising spin-off series AND a pre-quell comic book!!!

Pokemon-Tag14-Magikarp

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The Curse Workers series by Holly Black. Even though the first book in the series didn’t quite live up to the hype, I fell in love with the series in the second book.

Pokemon-Tag12-Legendary

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The Dreamland series by E.J. Mellow. I’ve seen soooo many glowing reviews on it. I want to go to there.

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I would love to have a first edition of a Jane Austen book!

Pokemon-Tag10-Egg

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The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee is getting a lot of hype lately.

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Pierce Brown. I will read anything he ever writes. This Adventure Ends also convinced me to make Emma Mills an auto-buy.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo!!! This month!!!

The Olympic Book Tag: Take 2

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I love the Olympics and I love Olympic Book Tags! Yes, I have already done one, but there are 2 Olympic Book Tags floating around the blogosphere and Deanna from A Novel Glimpse, tagged me for this one.

The Opening Ceremony — What book did you think had an incredible opening?

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Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. I was hooked on this book from the start


The Games — What is your favorite fictional competition?

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The Hunger Games is literally the only book I can think of with a competition. I feel kind of bad for saying it’s my favorite competition, though, haha.


The Original — The modern games are based on the original Greek competition – what is your favorite book based on a classic?

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Definitely, Maybe in Love by Ophelia London. A cute re-telling of Pride and Prejudice


The Eternal Flame  — What is one ship that you won’t let die, even after the books made it clear it was never going to happen?

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I usually end up shipping the ship we’re supposed to ship, so the only one I can really think of is *Ruin and Rising Spoilers* Nikolai and Alina. While I was ok with her ending up with Mal, Nikolai was always my favorite.


Gymnastics — What’s a book that had so many twists and turns it left your head spinning? (in a good way)

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Golden Son. I was trying really hard not to repeat books, but what is a tag without a Red Rising mention?!


The Controversial Judge  — What’s a book that you have a totally different opinion about than most other people?

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I just don’t get it. I really did not like this book at all, but the blogosphere loves it.


Beach Volleyball  — What is your favorite fictional duo?

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I’m going to go with Shazi and Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn series. I thought they were a great example of a romantic pairing also working together for the greater good.


Weightlifting — What is the most massive book on your shelf?

A collection of Jane Austen’s novels. I love it.


Track & Field — What is a book that you just tore through with world record speed?

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I read P.S. I Like You by Kasie West in a day.


Synchronized Swimming — What is a book series that you kept reading, even though you didn’t have any idea why?

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Pretty Little Liars. I made it to book 10 before I couldn’t take anymore.


The Tortured Fan — What fictional family, group, nation, or organization do you irrationally root for no matter how many times they break your heart?

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Joe from the You series. He is a sociopath, but I always root for him.


Closing Ceremony — What book had an ending that just blew your mind?

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Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: 10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me (a new book from a certain author,  a reading superpower, a character to come to life, to meet a certain author etc. etc.).

1. That my book crush would be real, age appropriate, and amicably split from their significant other and interested in me.

I was going to have this basically be a wish for all my book crushes, but that could probably take the whole list. But think, Daemon Black from the Lux series, Levi from Fangirl, Gansey from The Raven Boys, Warner from the Shatter Me series, Cam from the Wait for You series, Ethan Mirabelli from The Next Best Thing, Seth from the Covenant/Titan series, Finn from Illusions of Fate. Any of them would do 🙂

2. *Spoiler from the Hunger Games trilogy* Suzanne Collins would re-write a few parts of Mockingjay and Finnick would never die.

3. That Rainbow Rowell would let me read all her books before she published them. And that we were best friends.

4. One more book to wrap up The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer because Sacrifice was not a satisfactory end to that series!

5. That there would be no wait for ebooks at the library and ALL THE BOOKS EVER would be available.

6. That I would be granted every ARC I request.

7. That there were more books by Jane Austen.

8. A more explosive ending to Gone Girl.

9. That I could get all my work done and read at the same time so I could spend my 8+ hours at work every day actually doing something enjoyable.

10. A perfectly adapted movie version of The Night Circus.

What are your Book Wishes?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Re-reads

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie, so I’ve decided to go with my Favorite Re-reads. Those books that I can go back to again and again. The ones that save me from my reading ruts.

The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)    The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2)    Waiting On You (Blue Heron #3)    In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

1-4. The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. Kristan Higgins books always make me happy. They’re enjoyable and addictive and I love re-visiting the characters again and again.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

5. Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is my favorite book of the series and just one of my favorite books period. Kami’s humor never gets old.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This books is just adorable and fun and yes I MIGHT skip over some of the more drama-filled moments, but I love the rest.

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

7. Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer Armentrout. This was my first JLA book and it’s my favorite. I love re-reading about Daemon and Katy: the early years.

I've Got Your Number

8. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. Probably my favorite chick-lit book.

Fangirl

9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Cath and Levi are one of my favorite book couples and I love reading about them.

Northanger Abbey

10. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I love this book so much! I love reading the banter between Catherine and Henry.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE RE-READS?