Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Little Women and Me

Little Women and Me
Lauren Baratz-Logsted
336 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: The publisher via NetGalley

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

I read Little Women in 2010 and loved it.  It was the first time I'd read the classic in full (i.e.: not an abridged version for children) and I doubt it will be the last time.  So when I saw there was a YA novel coming out about Little Women, I jumped at the chance to read it.

The story starts out with Emily receiving an English assignment at school: pick your favorite book and talk about the things you would change about it.  Emily chooses Little Women, deciding that Jo needs to end up with Laurie and Beth needs to live.  But as she starts writing her assignment, she is sucked into the actual book as the fifth March sister!  How on earth will she get out?

I regret to say that I didn't like this book that much.  I was enjoying it right up to the point of the story where Emily is sucked into the story.  It went downhill for me from there.  My beef is mainly with the character of Emily- when she arrives in the 1860s she has no regard for the past.  She introduces her modern slang to the characters and is constantly whining to herself about how different the time period was.  Her teenage mannerisms were very over the top and detracted from what might have been a good plot.  I also didn't care for the fact that Emily refers to her adventure as "time travel."  I don't think it qualifies as time travel when you are traveling to a fictional place.

What I did like was that the character of Emily grew as a person throughout the novel.  It was refreshing to see, despite the fact that her mannerisms remained over the top.

I don't want to spoil the book's ending, so I will just say this: I especially didn't like the last chapter's revelations, nor did I care for the epilogue.  Reading the "Author's Note" at the end of the novel really helped me get a better grasp on what Baratz-Logstead was trying to do with the novel, but without that explanation I really would not enjoyed this book that much more.  The reader shouldn't have to rely on the "Author's Note" to understand the book.

The book has merits and I do think there are readers out there who would really enjoy it; it just wasn't for me.  The book is out today if you're interested.

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