Review of Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

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?

Do you ever buy a book, and put it on the shelf, and know you want to read it, but you’re sure you’ll know when? This book was everything I didn’t realize I needed. I could hardly put it down. I read it quite quickly and found myself completely enthralled in it. While I know the original subject matter quite well, this is the first retelling of the story I’ve read, and I have to say I absolutely adore it in every way. Despite having an idea of how I thought (and wanted!) things would turn out, there were still so many twists and turns that I didn’t anticipate and I was left saying this isn’t how it is supposed to go! (Sometimes out loud!)

This book is, by far, one of my favourite retellings of an original novel/story. It kept the feel and joviality of the first one, and it capitalized on points that seemed to have been shoved to the wayside in the original, which, as said so many times, might have been because the author of the original, Alcott herself, hadn’t wanted to marry everyone off. There is also so much about how it can be so difficult to make the words come out and force yourself to write, and how often when you do it comes out wrong and messed up and I feel that I, and every other author out there, can deeply empathize with that! All in all, I adored this novel, and highly highly recommend you read it if you love Little Women.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

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