{ARC Review+Giveaway} Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz

May 31, 2020 Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews, Young Adult 8 ★★★½

{ARC Review+Giveaway} Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz

{ARC Review+Giveaway} Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la CruzJo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl, Melissa de la Cruz
Pages: 320
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?

YA Review My Thoughts

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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About Margaret Stohl

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Margaret Stohl got her start as thehead of the Dark is Rising fan club in third grade in a highly gifted magnet school in Los Angeles. Going on to study at a creative writing program at UEA Norwich, England, and to write and direct an autobiographical one-act play at Amherst College—where she founded the school’s first women’s literary magazine, Madness This—Margaret knew she was a writer.

After optioning two feature screenplays to Nickelodeon Pictures and Clasky-Csupo, Margaret began a sixteen-year career in videogames, co-founding 7 Studios game developer with her husband Lewis Peterson, and contributing to both Marvel’s Spiderman (ActivisionBlizzard) and Fantastic Four (7 Studios / ActivisonBlizzard) among many other titles—Dune 2000; Command & Conquer Red Alert Retaliation; Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of Jack Sparrow; to name a few.

When Margaret co-wrote the first of the internationally bestselling Beautiful Creatures novels (published in nearly fifty countries, named Amazon’s top teen book of 2009, short-listed for the ALA’s 2009 Morris award, and released as a feature film from Warner Brothers) on a dare from her three daughters, she fell even more in love with teen culture. Her first sci-fi series, Icons, is now in development as a feature film with Alcon Entertainment. Her Black Widow series from Disney Publishing (Black Widow: Forever Red and Black Widow: Red Vengeance) is a welcome chance to rock a strong female character and to return to her beloved Marvel roots. She is also writing the Mighty Captain Marvel comics.

If asked, Margaret will tell you that the Women of Marvel panel at New York Comicon was the greatest single hour of her life, and that she fangirls all girls who read comics. As a co-founder of YALLFEST, the biggest YA book festival in the country, and its offspring YALLWEST, Margaret believes her readers are her kindred spirits and her tribe.

Margaret lives in Santa Monica with her husband, who builds drones and robots, and her three daughters, who are competitive epee fencers—and who, like Natasha Romanov, have always known how to rescue themselves.

About Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2020 New Release Challenge
  • 2020 Retellings Reading Challenge
  • Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020

8 Responses to “{ARC Review+Giveaway} Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz”

  1. Candice Gigous

    Thanks for the review. I like retellings of the classics too. Jo & Laurie sounds like a great read.

  2. Debra Branigan

    I like historical fiction so I might enjoy this. I am not always a fan of retellings or reworkings of classics. Best wishes to the authors.

  3. Mary Balandiat

    I loved Little Women and would love to read this twist on a great classic.

  4. Lily Kwan

    This book looks very interesting! I added it to my TBR. My favorite genre is romance.

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