STORY: Becoming an authoress is both wonderful and horrible. For young Josephine March, the publication of her first novel, Little Women, isn’t everything she dreamed. For one thing, the title is nothing like what she’d like her book to be known for. Still, she receives letters from readers telling her what her story of the March sisters mean to them. Trouble is, in the wake of the novel’s successes Jo owes her publisher a sequel. She simply cannot write it.

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Things change when her best friend, Theodore “Laurie” Lawrence proposes marriage to Jo; her sister, Meg begins to fall in love; and Amy, her youngest sister falls ill to a terrible disease. Even her writing becomes more prison than haven for Jo… and yet through it all, she soon realizes the story of the March sisters may not be written in full.

Jo & Laurie, by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz | Book Review

REVIEW: Reading this YA novel has been a long time in coming. I’m pretty sure it was on more than one of my season TBRs and now, close to a year after its release, finally I’m going to mark it as a ‘read’ novel. The set up of Jo and Laurie is a romantic would-be re-telling of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Many weren’t into this idea when the novel was announced and while I’m not married to the idea that Jo and her bestest friend Laurie should have been a thing, I also didn’t care that someone wanted to play with the idea in novel format.

“You’re magic,” he said simply. – Jo & Laurie

I have to say, this is a historical novel I didn’t know I needed. Everything in this curates a delightful read. From the callbacks to the original story to the character of Jo, I adore every little thing about this book. I’m not entirely sure if this is because this is the first real read of the year that I’ve been THIS excited to read more of or the book itself, but either way, Jo and Laurie is all kinds of “magic.”

Little Women isn’t a novel I’ve read, but if my impressions is right, it’s not really a romance. Some of the adaptations make it more so, and romantic that I am (even while understanding Alcott’s agenda), I love every second of the 1994 version. This novel also allows for some creative license in the romance department, and it’s just lovely. Every chapter and moment is like a balm to my reader heart.

While not a book everyone will enjoy, Jo and Laurie is precisely the kind of reading I needed. I also like to think, being a creative who no doubt struggled over her novels, that Alcott would appreciate the way her words can inspire.


‘JO & LAURIE’: THE MAGIC OF AN ALTERNATE LITTLE WOMEN ROMANCE. A review of the 2020 Little Women re-telling. Text © Rissi JC
What do you wish Louisa May Alcott's #LittleWomen touched on? Perhaps this #YALit story remedies your wish list. ‘JO & LAURIE’: THE MAGIC OF AN ALTERNATE LITTLE WOMEN ROMANCE. #BookReviews #Fiction #HistoricalFiction @MStohl… Click To Tweet

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Author: Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Bought
Publication Date: 2020
Add the Book: Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Secular, Contemporary Young Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Content: there’s really nothing to note with exception to a vague reference to thinking about suicide. There’s also one or two minor innuendoes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


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