Title: Jo & Laurie
Author: Margaret Stohl, Melissa de la Cruz
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: June 2, 2020
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?
Jo March has just published Little Women. Since it has been so successful, her publisher wants her to write a sequel about the March sisters becoming wives. However, since her sisters haven’t gotten married and moved on in their lives, Jo doesn’t know how to continue the story. While she is struggling to write the continuation of the story, Jo has to deal with her family growing up and changing in ways she isn’t ready for.
This story combines the real life of Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, and Jo March, the main character of Little Women. Louisa based Little Women on her life with her sisters, with Jo being herself. I could see the influences of Little Women, yet there were anecdotes that seemed to come from real life. After reading this story, I’m interested in reading about Louisa May Alcott’s life.
As a reader and a writer, I found the storyline of Jo writing her book fascinating. She was pressured into writing something she wasn’t comfortable with because of the success of her first novel. She had to rewrite the story multiple times in a short period of time, which I imagine would be incredibly difficult. Jo had to keep rewriting it because her male editor wasn’t satisfied with her ending. It wasn’t until she was satisfied with her own life that she could finish the story.
I really loved this story!
Thank you G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women by Rey Terciero, Bre Indigo
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.
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.
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), thelargest in the country. Wherever she goes, you can find out more about her (and invariably her cats) at @mstohl on twitter or margaret_stohl on instagram or margaret_stohl on snapchat or at mstohl.com
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Have you read Jo & Laurie? What did you think of it?