Jo and Laurie Review! // a brilliant reimagining of a classic tale

Hi friends! I’m so excited because today I get to talk about a reimagining of one of my favorite stories! And Laurie. I’m always up for talking about him.

A huge thank-you to Penguin Teen for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! Quotes may not appear in final copy.

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? 

I want to touch on two things before we get into specifics.

One, I am a HUGE fan of Little Women. I’ve read the book countless times, and, well, y’all know all about my obsession with the movie already. So obviously I was really excited, yet slightly nervous about this, and know the story very well!

The second thing I wanted to talk about is the fact that people are prejudiced against this book without even reading it. This isn’t mere fanfiction, nor a simple retelling. The storyline itself takes place in between part one and part two, and even the characters feel more like Louisa May Alcott and her family, and less like attempts at paralleling the originals. So, I think that the Goodreads rating* should currently be taken with a grain of salt, because many people are rating it one star without just cause.

*if you’re like me, then you rely on goodreads WAY too much. goodreads basically controls my life. what a dystopian novel that would be, come to think of it.

anyways. let’s talk about the book!!!

ASDFGHJKL. Ahem. Pardon the gibberish. Okay, but the characters? Give me a moment to list our two title characters off for you:

Jo is both the Jo we know and love, and also how I’d imagine Louisa May Alcott to be. She’s struggling with writing the sequel to Little Women, while dealing with the grief of losing her sister Beth.

Who knew a heart could break open so expansively?

Who knew whole kingdoms-with no master, no queen, no governance, obedient to no rule of law, accountable to no country custom, unruly to all logic whatsoever- could rise in a heartless wake?

Laurie STILL HAS MY WHOLE HEART AND SOUL. He’s still the clever, kind, snarky, passionate boy from the novel. However, we get to see from his perspective, and we watch him struggle with his (seemingly) unreciprocated feelings for Jo.

Marmie is Mama Abba, a small change that Jo had made for purposes of her book. Amy and Meg are familiar but not total copycats of their doppelgangers in Little Women. And that is a small piece of the genius of this novel. Somehow, the authors took beloved, familiar characters, and managed to make them their own.

The plot itself is brilliantly woven with small references to the events that happened in the original story, and little twists of unique ideas. We get to see *certain* relationships develop, and I was never bored reading it!

and oh. the romance of it all.

You might be thinking “well duh, this is a historical ROMANCE. Don’t be so surprised”. And you’re probably right, but that didn’t stop me from being shocked at how easily I fell in love with how adorably awkward the two main characters are. One of the lines that has totally stuck with me concerning Jo and Laurie’s tale is the phrase:

the greatest love story never told.

Am I the only one crying in a corner…? Seriously, their chemistry was always off-the-charts. And it’s no different here, where Jo can’t realize her feelings and Laurie is tortured by the knowledge of his own. IT’S ALL TOO GOOD FOR WORDS.

I would recommend this for fans of all who adore Little Women, and honestly just historical romance in general because AH the feels!

That’s it! This was a bit of a longer one but I would wholeheartedly recommend giving this a chance, because IT’S SO GOOD. It is a story that’s thrilling in its originality, yet comforting in its familiarity. It’s a story I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to read! You can add to Goodreads here, or order on Amazon here. Tell me:

Do you like Little Women?

What’s your favorite historical romance?

Is there a couple you shipped, but didn’t end up together in the end?

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15 thoughts on “Jo and Laurie Review! // a brilliant reimagining of a classic tale

  1. On the one hand I really want to read this because as a romance lover my one gripe with LW has always been that Jo and Laurie should have ended up together (as much as I appreciate Mr. Behr (or however you spell that).
    BUT on the other hand I know that LMA didn’t want to have Jo end up with anyone (and only added her husband after being pushed by her publisher iirc).
    I’m kind of torn. But I guess you could think of this as an amazing fanfiction of it. 🙂
    Glad you loved it so much, I’m gonna check it out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read Little Women (I do plan to) but I loved the movie and definitely want to read this book sometime. It sounds really interesting, the other blogger that I’ve seen mention it was enjoying it too and the cover is stunning 😍 plus I have enjoyed books by both authors in the past.
    It’s terrible that it’s getting rated down simply for being a Little Women carry on. I had no idea that was happening but it’s awful. I noticed the same thing happening with the live adaptation of Aladdin – people were running it down, especially the genie, without even watching it. And if they watched it and disliked it then sure that’s fine but to say it’s terrible just because you liked the original but haven’t even seen the new one?? I don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, I would love to see your thoughts on it!! The movie is SO good.Yayyy, I hope you adore it💜
      Exactly! It’s so sad that people rate things down that are unproblematic, without having seen it. YES I remember the Aladdin drama? That was terrible!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll definitely share my thoughts on both the original and this retelling when I get to them 💕 and thank you ❤️
        Yeah it’s so wrong. I don’t understand why people feel the need to do it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds super cute and romantic!! I… read half of Little Woman for class… and spark noted my way through the rest of it… but that was a long time ago and now I low-key want to try reading it again and see if I can get through it now haha, and I want to read this book too!

    Liked by 1 person

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