REVIEW: BY THE BOOK, BY JULIA SONNEBORN

 

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.

 

My Thoughts: This retelling of Austen’s Persuasion intrigued me from the beginning pages. I haven’t read the Austen book—that’s on my bucket list—but it is not necessary to have done so to enjoy By the Book.

Anne Corey is a bookish and delightful English professor who is hoping to finally earn a tenured position but must publish a book before that can happen. She has been working on it for a while, but so far, she has not been offered a publishing contract. Her days are spent teaching her classes; she hangs out with an old friend, Larry Fellor, another English professor; and locks herself away nights and weekends to work on her book.

The news that her college fiancé, Adam Martinez, has been hired as the new president of the college has catapulted her back in time, remembering their relationship and what happened to break them apart.

Meanwhile, Anne allows herself to begin a casual relationship with Rick Chasen, who has been added to the staff as a writer-in-residence. He pursues her, encourages her in her writing, and she thinks their relationship may help her finally get over Adam.

What happens next is stunning and changes everything Anne thought she knew about herself and about each of the men with whom she has been involved.

I enjoyed the feeling of being a part of the academic world with the characters. I also felt like I was sauntering along with them on the campus, entering the beautiful rooms that the author showed us, and finally, becoming part of their experiences. We had a vested interest in how their lives unfolded. Therefore, I was pleased with the ending, even though it was somewhat predictable, because it felt like the events were happening to old friends. 4 stars.***

FRIDAY FUN: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “WALKING ON TRAMPOLINES”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Wow, what a week this has been!  If you are visiting here right now, you might recognize my “old” blog is in a new space.  I completed the move earlier this week.

I hope that you will come often, and follow me here if you were a previous follower…or even if you just like the look of my space.

Today my featured book is another ARC, and this one is not my usual genre, but I’m looking forward to it.

Walking on Trampolines, by Frances Whiting, is praised as “a tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love” (Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret); this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Frances Whiting is equal parts heartwarming, accessible, and thought provoking.

 

 

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Beginning: (Prologue)

His skin.

My fingers could trace the path it has traveled.

Comma-shaped scar on left knee—bike crash, “Red Demon” dragster, 1974; stitches above right eyebrow—surfboard fin chop, Cabarita, 1982; faint outline of navy blue, homemade tattoo on left wrist—high school, my name.

***

56:  Later, when the stars came out, the DJ would say:  “All right, young lovers, don’t be shy—choose your partner for the couples’ session,” and Josh and I would skate out together.

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Amazon Description:  “Tallulah de Longland,” she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgment. “That,” she announced, “is a serious glamorgeous name.”

From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and by their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.

Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.

Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgivable…

It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.

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What do you think?  Do these excerpts tease you?  Make you want to read more?  I hope you will share your thoughts and links.

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