By the Book

Julia Sonneborn
By the Book
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Gallery Books
Release Date
February 2018
Contemporary Romance

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.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen's classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Jan 17, 2018   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
9 people found the following review helpful
What captured my attention initially is that BY THE BOOK is a retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen. Now, my experience with Jane Austen retellings thus far wasn't good, because there wasn't much originality with the retellings and I got bored because the retellings followed the original story to the letter and I could see exactly how everything's going to go. I wanted retellings where the authors put their own stamps on the plot and give me a whole different story.

However, I wasn't that familiar with Persuasion, not being a Jane Austen fan (surprise!), so I thought it's a safe choice and believed for sure this would capture my attention.

Anne Corey is a professor who is struggling to get tenure. When she was in college, she chose to pursue further studies without her boyfriend (Adam) because it's her dream, and now, because she's mired in debt and struggling in her career, she's regretting her choice. I find such attitude not worthy of a heroine. I mean, it's normal to be down and depressed due to a setback in life, but to regret it because of the debt negates the fact that it was her dream in the first place. You don't give up a dream so easily! A dream is supposed to be that thing that propels you, inspires you to never give up, no matter what.

Also, I would've liked more scenes of Anne and Adam together. I think this isn't a spoiler, as there's no doubt who she would've ended up with. And even though there's a past between them, there's no doubting they're different people now, ten years later. Who's to say they would still like each other now based on what they know of each other back then? Thus, I thought there should be more scenes of them together so that they could get to know each other better in the present.

Also, why does almost every book have to have a gay best friend? Is it so that you can be politically correct? I have nothing against the LGBTQ community, but I thought if you want to include a gay best friend sub plot, it should be central or somehow affecting the central plot. In here, you can leave out the gay best friend sub plot or replace it with a female best friend and it would've been okay.

I'm not that enamored of the plot; I hate triangles, though if done right, I can accept them. So perhaps I'm already predisposed not to like this book. So, for me, this book is a disappointment. Again. However, for lovers of Jane Austen, you'll probably love this book.
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April 20, 2018 11:43 AM ( EST )