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

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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!

Pokemon-Tag06-Gengar

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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).

Pokemon-Tag07-NidokingQueen

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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.

Pokemon-Tag13-Server-Down

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To Reread

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books I Want To Reread.

Persuasion

 

Attachments

2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I tell EVERYONE to read this book. It’s one of my all time favorites. My sister finally read it after years of me pestering her about it (she loved it, of course), so now I want to read it again. It’s been awhile.

Illusions of Fate

3. Illusion of Fate by Kiersten White. I just loved this book!

One Plus One

4. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. Another book I just loved!

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)  Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)  Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

5., 6., 7. The Shatter Me series – Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Ignite Me. I love this series. It needs a good re-read.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)  Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2) Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

8., 9., 10, The Lunar Chronicles series (so far) – Cinder, Scarlet, Cress. I want to reread these to gear up for the release of Fairest!

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO RE-READ?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Secondary Characters

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the Broke and the Bookish is about your favorite secondary characters.

1. Finnick  from the Catching Fire and Mockingjay. He starts out as just charming and funny and conceited and turns into a really complex, wonderful character.

2. Boggs from Mockingjay. He’s not in the book for long, but in the short time he was, he became one of my favorites. Mostly for this line: “Well don’t expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear.”

3. Mary Musgrove from Persuasion. She has no filter. No self-awareness. No tact. I love her.

4. Simon from The Mortal Instruments series. He’s sarcastic and wonderful.

5. “Captain” Thorne from Scarlet. He’s narcissistic, but in a totally amusing, lovable way. He provided a great counterpart to Cinder and was my favorite new character added to the series in this book.

6. Park’s dad from Eleanor and Park. Yes I am too lazy to look up his actual name right now. Though he has flaws, he’s a great husband and a great father. And he gets Eleanor and her situation.

7. Glock from the Kate Burkholder series. He’s everything a good cop should be and is always there for Kate.

8. Penryn’s mom from Angelfall. (I’m still too lazy to look up her actual name). She’s crazy, but she knows it. And she owns it.

9. Chris from Ashes. Pretty much everyone wants to use him for some purpose or another and he tries to please everybody. I think he’s really more complex than what he first appears.

10. Adrian from The Vampire Academy series. I didn’t like his character at first, but he totally grew on me. He’s charming and sarcastic and tortured and a little crazy. He’s the reason I have to read the spinoff series because he was completely shafted at the end of this series.

What are your favorite secondary characters?