I am super excited to host a stop on the blog tour for Jo & Laurie! Yep, this book includes the very characters from the classic Little Women, but it’s got it’s own special twist that I really love! If you, like me, were rooting for Jo and Laurie all along (I know, a kind of unpopular opinion, but I was all for it!), then you NEED to read this book. It definitely brought that wish of mine to life!
This post includes a review, my favourite quotes from the book, and a giveaway (US only).
About the book
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
About the authors
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. Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.
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.
Margaret Stohl is a #1 New York Times bestselling nerd, world-builder, video game creator, comic book writer and festival founder.As an award-winning young adult author, she has been published in fifty countries and thirty-two languages and has sold more than ten million books worldwide. Beautiful Creatures debuted as the Amazon #1 Teen book of the year; seven of Margaret’s books have reached bestseller lists around the world. She has published fifteen novels and graphic novels, as well as contributed to several games and countless comics since her debut. Her last book, Cats Vs Robots: This is War, was a family affair, illustrated by her child, the artist Kay Peterson, and co-written with her husband, Lewis Peterson. It also starred three of her family’s five cats.
After Beautiful Creatures was released as a feature film from Warner Brothers and Alcon Entertainment, Margaret began working with Marvel on her bestselling Black Widow: Forever Red duology; in 2017 she began writing the ongoing Mighty Captain Marvel comic, followed by the acclaimed Life of Captain Marvel miniseries, where she established a new origin story for Carol Danvers in preparation for the theatrical debut of Brie Larson as “Captain Marvel” for the MCU. When not roaming the halls of Seattle game developer Bungie-where she oversees the creation of new global IPs-Margaret can often be seen at a Comicon or at one of the teen and youth book festivals she co-founded, YALLFEST (Charleston, SC)and YALLWEST (Santa Monica, CA), the largest in the country.
Okay, so as I said in the intro blurb, this book is basically for those who were really rooting for Jo and Laurie, but were disappointed in the end by the original Little Women book. I do recognize that it’s kind of an unpopular opinion it seems, at least after reading reviews from other people. And as much as I appreciate and acknowledge authorial intent and the individual characters’ personalities, this “retelling” was totally my kind of thing! Now if only authors could do this to make my wishes come true for everything, haha.
I must say, the ending felt the least organic out of everything in this book. I would say that Teddy and Jo’s relationship’s natural ebb and flow was mostly kept throughout the book, but the ending felt a bit rushed and forced in order for things to get back on track again.
However, there were still plenty of swoon worthy sections and I loved how the authors were able to paint a beautiful picture of society back then. The descriptions of the theatre, post office, and parties are filled with excitemen. You can’t help but yearn to experience those places for yourself as a reader. Overall, I felt pretty satisfied with the book and it gave me what I wanted for a Jo and Laurie romance.
He squeezed her fingers. “Every boat is a question, don’t you think, Jo? Whether or not to get on and sail away, forever and ever, world without end?
Felt all the vibes with this one. I love this analogy, and it really captures that free spirit kind of feeling. Kind of inspiring, hey?
They stared at each other. One of them glowing. One glowering.
He dropped her hand. “Don’t jest. It isn’t funny this time. It’s cruel.”
“My dearest boy,” Jo inhaled sharply. “My only boy.”
Ooh this one is definitely a swoon worthy section. It’s even better in the context of the whole scene. Yep, definitely one of my favorites.