Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on June 2, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance, retelling
Source: eARC from Publisher
Bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz bring us a romantic retelling of Little Women starring Jo March and her best friend, the boy next door, Theodore "Laurie" Laurence.
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?
Jo & Laurie is a young adult romantic retelling of little women by Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I am going to share it anyway. I liked the original Little Women, but I didn’t love it like most people. I never felt compelled to re-read it, and it didn’t skyrocket to a favorites list of mine. However, I love both of these authors and when I saw this being dubbed as a romantic retelling I knew I had to check it out. And I am so glad that I did, because I loved Jo & Laurie. So much more than the original! (I know, don’t throw virtual tomatoes or stones just yet!) I know some purists and fans of the original will not want anything to do with a retelling, but I happen to love retellings. They allow new spins to be taken on classics, and I can’t get enough of them. Jo & Laurie is a great book. One I think old and new fans of Little Women will enjoy. And if you have never read Little Women, Jo & Laurie is a really accessible option for you to explore. I think you will love it.
I will start off by saying that I did enjoy Jo in the original Little Women. I loved how independent and headstrong she is. Jo & Laurie explore the possibility of what if, Jo got together with her best friend Laurie (aka Theodore). I felt like the start of this book was trying to mimic Little Women, and it felt a bit dense and slow to me. But at about the half way point, I felt like the authors hit their groove the the pace and story picked up in tempo. I flew through the second half of the book, and I absolutely loved the ending. The characters all felt true to themselves from the original. It was just a different take on the events. I fun little “what-if” played out. I really dug it.
If you have always shipped Jo & Laurie from the original Little Women, or you just like to play the What If game like I do, then I think Jo & Laurie is a romantic retelling that fans will enjoy. It was a story that gained momentum as it went on, and by the end I was really enjoying myself!
You can check out an Audiobook sample HERE: https://soundcloud.com/penguin-audio/jo-laurie-by-margaret-stohl
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- 2020 Retellings Reading Challenge
- Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020