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MommaSaysToRead

Momma Says to Read

Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.

By the Book

By the Book - Julia Sonneborn

Having never read Jane Austen's Persuasion (I know, shame on me), I can't speak of any comparisons or lack thereof. In all honesty, that had nothing to do with my interest in this one. The cover caught my attention and the synopsis piqued my interest. The author certainly has talent and the story is interesting enough, if a bit predictable. I did find myself somewhat confused by the need for so many emails, including addresses, subject lines, etc, interspersed throughout the story. Several were showing the many denials Anne received from publishers, but there were other completely mundane things included as well. They quickly became repetitive and tedious, and I'll readily admit that it didn't take me long to start skimming those parts to get the gist of it before moving on. That said, I never felt like I was reading a romance. I read about a fling and an affair in this tale, but neither of those felt at all romantic. There is plenty about Anne and her ex, their break-up several years earlier, and her discomfort about having to work with him, but the interactions between them are brief and scattered, and completely ordinary. The closest they come to being remotely romantic is one scene when they're having a drink in celebration, but any romance is in Anne's thoughts and doesn't progress any further. So, even though the conclusion for this one held no surprises, there was no real build-up of romantic tension. As far as the characters are concerned, we get a rather odd mix of the likable and not so likable. Our main character, Anne, is interesting if a bit self-centered, but the shining star in this one for me is Larry. He's witty and endearing even when he's making bad choices. To sum it up, the story was okay, but the romance fell a little flat for me.