{Review+Giveaway} By the Book by Amanda Sellet

May 11, 2020 Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews, Young Adult 4 ★★★★½

{Review+Giveaway} By the Book by Amanda Sellet

{Review+Giveaway} By the Book by Amanda SelletBy the Book by Amanda Sellet
Pages: 384
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on May 12, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher

As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women.\

So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.

YA Review My Thoughts

By the Book is a young adult contemporary romance standalone by Amanda Sellet. I loved this fun, quirky romance story that is just as much about friendships as it was about the ultimate romance. I loved the cast of characters, I love the storyline and I loved the writing in this novel. I can’t wait to read more from Amanda Sellet, and even though this book works perfectly well as a standalone, I would love to see romances for our main characters friends- Arden, Terry and Lydia.

In By the Book, we meet out main character Mary as she enters public high school as a sophomore for the first time. Both of her parents are professors at their town’s local college and Mary was in the college’s experimental schooling program from kindergarten – ninth grade. But when the school does not get funding for the next year, Mary has to move over to the public high school. I hated that her parents waited until the week before school started to tell her when they knew for months. In fact, her parents were my least favorite aspect of the story. They seemed completely self absorbed in themselves and their fields of study and not interested in being actual parents. And beyond that, when Mary started making new friends (who were fabulous friends) her parents acted like it was a bad thing. (more on this later) Mary goes to school on the first day in search of her friend from her last school, only to be completely and rudely snubbed by her at lunch. But good riddance to her because later that same day Mary meets Arden Terry and Lydia when they come in to a bookstore after school, and they become fast friends.

I loved the friendship between Mary and the the three girls. They seemed like much more genuine friends than Anjuli did from her previous school, and I enjoyed how much of the book was focused on their hangouts. Don’t get me wrong- I loved the romance as well, but the friendship aspect was just as sweet. They took Mary under their wings, determined to give her all of the typical high school experiences, and Mary brought her vast knowledge of classic novels to the group. I thought it was hilarious to watch her compare modern high school guys to classic rogue characters from her books. Overall, once you get past the family that didn’t really ever seem to be interested in getting to know who Mary actually was, the story was super cute. I loved the friendship and the romance was swoony and fantastic. I am not going to say too much about it because I don’t want to give anything away, but it was heartwarming and a bit predictable in the best way. If you are looking for a fun story about high school friendships and high school romance with a quirky book nerd spin, By the Book is a must read. I loved it and I think you will too!


To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win a copy of By the Book (US only)

Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies.  All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.

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About Amanda Sellet

Debut author Amanda Sellet had a previous career in journalism, during which she wrote book reviews for The Washington Post, personal essays for NPR, and music and movie coverage for VH1. These days she lives in Kansas with her archaeologist husband and their daughter.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2020 New Release Challenge
  • Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020

4 Responses to “{Review+Giveaway} By the Book by Amanda Sellet”

  1. Nora-Adrienne Deret

    I have a problem. I see no reason to join Instagram since I have absolutely NO USE for it. To join just for contests only leaves my network open to even more of a chance of being hacked. So I guess I’ll always be points short on most giveaways.. Just letting you know.

    • Michelle @ Book Briefs

      Hi Nora,

      Thank you for your feedback. I agree, if you do not want to create an instagram you absolutely do not need to in order to enter this giveaway.

      This is a tour wide giveaway, so I don’t control what the entries are. The tour company selects all the entry options and points. It looks like there are several follow options though. You can do any that you feel comfortable with.

      For the giveaways run by bookbriefs.net, we do always include an instagram entry, but we also include other methods of entry, including a free entry that you don’t need to follow anyone in order to get. It’s a real freebiee! 🙂

      Happy reading!

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