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Historical/Retelling, 248 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published June 24th 2007)
*This review turned out super short. There are things I thought I wanted to say, warnings I wanted to give, but nope. This is it. If you like Jane Austen, romance, or butterflies-in-stomach, pick this up.*
I think it should be standard practice that, when one finishes reading all of Jane Austen's works, someone presses a copy of an Abigail Reynolds book into their hands. Or at least when one finishes P&P... She does one of my favorite things, which is to take a "what if" moment and expand it, to follow the ripple and see what would happen, what would change and what stay the same. This is something I do as a reader - and as an insomniac, telling myself stories in my head at night - and I think it's probably what a lot of writers of fanfiction do - but Reynolds does it so well.
Mostly I think this is because Reynolds understands the characters so well. Even the changes - even when I'm questioning a character and whether they actually would say or do a certain thing, I still find myself thinking, Well, maybe, given this particular 'what-if'... I almost always buy it. But even when I don't- even when I think they've stepped a little too far out of character - I still eat it up. Abigail Reynolds gives me FEELS.
Last year, I read and reviewed What Would Darcy Do? which made me really very eager to read the other Reynolds book I had sitting on my shelves (ie this one); this one made me really very eager to get my hands on everything Reynolds has written: once might be a fluke, but twice is a pattern.
Now, lest I seem fangirly, this is not an unreserved thumbs up. I did feel like Darcy and Lizzie stepped further and further out of character as the book went on. But the thing was, I didn't give a damn. There were some things that, in another book, in another author's hands, would have really bothered me. Maybe even made me put it down. But I couldn't. I could not stop reading this, much to the detriment of everyone who had to work with/speak to/look at me the next day... (Customer service, what?!) This was so much more angsty and tortured and maudlin than anything I would have expected or wanted for my D&L, and I loved every minute of it. It had its fair share of faults, and I ignored every one of them. I felt foolish and giddy and utterly like a silly girl, but man, my butterflies had butterflies.
Abigail Reynolds is a witch.
I can't even take it. Gah! I kinda wanna read this book again.
ETA: And I did. THREE MORE TIMES.
[Oh, and further proof of what Abigail Reynolds will do to you? THIS is what I posted on Goodreads the morning (early, early morning) I finished this:
Fucking hell. Why would I start a book I know I'm going to like at 2am? It's now 7. Why do I do this to myself.See? Wizard.]
As many issues as I had with this book - and they were big ones - I loved every minute of it.