**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.**
I’d like to begin by thanking The Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publisher for choosing me to be a part of this tour. Please check out the other stops along the tour for other reviews, playlists, and other fun posts about this book and the authors, Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz.
Win a tea tin when you pre-order JO & LAURIE (US ONLY)
Link to the promotion and submission page: https://woobox.com/8jrorg
Prize: Win a copy of JO & LAURIE by Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz (US Only)
Starts: 27th May 2020
Ends: 10th June 2020
Title Jo & Laurie
Author Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
Release Date June 2, 2020
Publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Description from Amazon
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?
I saw this book a while back when browsing the 2020 releases and I passed it by. I always liked Little Women, but it wasn’t my favorite novel. I always disliked the ending. But, when I saw this tour, I decided that I would give this book a try. The day my digital copy arrived was the first day of YALLWEST (or YALLSTAYHOME) and Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz (who will henceforth be known as Margaret and Melissa like we’re best friends) were the opening keynote speakers. Listening to them describe this book and their passion for it made me run, not walk, to my kindle to start reading as soon as the Zoom meeting was over.
Some Things I Liked
- “Babbling Brooke” and other witty gems. I loved the writing style in this book. It felt completely seamless from Little Women. Margaret and Melissa have truly captured Jo March’s voice from the original novel and represented her character so well. The witty banter and overly dramatic sarcasm were phenomenal and I found myself laughing out loud as I read certain scenes.
- History and the events of the time. Margaret mentioned in the keynote mentioned above that she is a scholar of American Studies. That was my minor in college and I have literally never met another person (outside of the classroom) that studied the same subject. I absolutely loved how she utilized her academic background to round out the setting and activities the March sisters found themselves a part of. I loved that Jo got to see Dickens and she referred to herself as a peer of Emerson’s.
- Two authors. I have to applaud the fact that two distinctly different authors came together to write this book. At no point did I feel like there were two voices speaking for any character. Again, everything felt organic and seamless from page to page.
- That ending. Now that’s an ending I can get behind. No spoilers, but this was much better than the original novel.
In a way, this book could be considered a sequel of sorts to Little Women. In other ways, it’s also a retelling. While I would love to see more of Jo and the other March sisters as written by Margaret and Melissa, I was very satisfied with the ending here. I think they have laid the groundwork for more adventures but I wouldn’t be disappointed if this was a stand alone story.
I loved this book. I read it all in one sitting after watching that keynote. This book reminded me of the best parts of studying American Studies in college, made me remember why I enjoyed Little Women, and was the perfect balance of strong female lead, romance, and comedy. I highly recommend this book for all fans of Little Women, anyone who has a sister, or anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz – if you liked the historical fiction element and you enjoyed the writing style, definitely try this series by Melissa de la Cruz. It’s a fantastic telling of the romance of Alexander Hamilton and his wife.
- Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice by Kathleen Benner Duble – again, if you liked the historical fiction element as well as a strong female lead, try this shorter novel set during the French Revolution.
- The Jewel Thief by Jeanne Mobley – if you liked the themes of a strong female character who would do anything to provide for her family, try this new release set during the time of the Sun King’s reign in France.
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Jo-Laurie-Melissa-de-La-Cruz/9781984812018?ref=grid-view&qid=1587559819389&sr=1-1
Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=8Pe_DwAAQBAJ&rdid=book-8Pe_DwAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_atb&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_at
MELISSA DE LA CRUZ
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post