2018 Book #13 – By the Book by Julia Sonneborn

51d5zueqM5LTitle: By the Book
Author: Julia Sonneborn
Date finished: 2/6/18
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

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.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

This book is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which I’ve never read before so I can’t say exactly how the books parallel. Although from the description of Persuasion it sounds like “Rick” was the old fiancee, whereas in this novel the old fiancee is Adam. Reading this novel though did inspire me to read Persuasion at some point (hopefully soon). I was especially drawn in this book to the description of the world that Anne lived in the academic world. I have always loved learning and school, and I considered continuing my education further and maybe teaching college classes. Hearing about Anne’s life and her career as a college professor really drew me into the story. There was one thing that I didn’t particularly like about the book though, I thought that Adam and Anne’s relationship could’ve been developed more in the book. The ending came about a bit suddenly for me as a reader, I felt like they’d hardly had any substantial interactions during the novel. Other than that though, this was a quick and sweet read and I really enjoyed it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #51 – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Title: Pride & Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Date finished: 5/30/15
Genre: Literary classics
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication Date: 1813
Pages in book: 262
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

One of the most universally loved and admired English novels, Pride and Prejudice was penned as a popular entertainment. But the consummate artistry of Jane Austen (1775–1817) transformed this effervescent tale of rural romance into a witty, shrewdly observed satire of English country life that is now regarded as one of the principal treasures of English language.
In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III’s England, a country squire of no great means must marry off his five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are his headstrong second daughter Elizabeth Bennet and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy — two lovers whose pride must be humbled and prejudices dissolved before the novel can come to its splendid conclusion.

My rating: 4 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Roof Beam Reader TBR Pile Reading Challenge, #1 on the list I set for myself at the beginning of this year. I can say with complete honesty that I have no idea how its possible that I haven’t read this book yet. I started it a few years ago and never finished it, which in itself is not all that surprising, though it is rare for me to do that. But this combined with the fact that the movie is probably one of my all time favorite movies and that I have at this point watched it well over one hundred times makes the fact that I haven’t read the book simply boggling. Therefore when I was lining up my list for the TBR Pile Reading Challenge at the beginning of this year, this one was the first to go on my list.
I expected this but I absolutely loved the book. The prose is magical and beautiful in and of itself, I was forever drawn into the way Austen would describe certain scenes and marveled that simply the way the words were strung together could give my heart such joy. The story I’m sure everyone is familiar with so I will not go into detail on the plot. I will comment that both Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy evolve so much as characters in the book, it is interesting to see how they grow and change as people through the story.
This is an excellent love story, exactly as it is purported to be.

The bottom line: I would definitely recommend this book, everyone should read it. I think this is one of the staples of a well-rounded young reader.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page