Rating: 4 / 5
I received BY THE BOOK by Amanda Sellet in my YA Once Upon a Book Club box. This wasn’t a book I was familiar with prior to opening the box, but reading that the main character is a girl in love with reading sold me right away!
BY THE BOOK follows Mary, a modern teen who loves classic literature. From the classics she has some very definite opinions about relationships and where women can be easily swayed by the wrong men. Having attended a specialized school which has sadly lost its funding, Mary is now taking on mainstream high school, unsure how she will fit in.
While covering for the barista at a local book shop, Mary learns that one of the customers is about to fall for a guy she knows is bad news and she speaks up. This bold move lands her a new set of friends and a new mission in life, the creation of the Scoundrel Survival Guide to document all the literary figures best avoided in real life. Even knowing the truth in the message she’s preaching, she’s not beyond influence and the boy who’s bad news is exactly the boy who’s catching her eye.
This isn’t a book that I likely would have picked up on my own, but I am so glad it came in my subscription box! This was such an adorable read! As a fan of literature, Mary’s references to the classics and the characters therein were fun to pick up. The author does have a handy guide at the back for many of the references that Mary doesn’t herself explain, but it was fun to pick up on some myself along the way. I sent a few snippets to my #classicsbuddyread friends when I spotted references to a few of the books we’ve read this year!
Mary is a fun character to follow. She has strong opinions on literature, but she’s led a pretty sheltered life when it comes to attending high school. Her fascination with the classics has her feeling different, but she just needs to find the people who will accept her and her differences. She’s looking to find her own happy ending and trying to avoid Mr. Wrong, but sometimes things aren’t exactly as black as white as the characters she’s used to reading about.
I can see Mary being a great addition to the bookternet world! This was such a fun and cute read, I would absolutely recommend it to any YA fans with a heart for the classics.
If you are interested in checking out Once Upon a Book Club for yourself, DGREADS10 will give you 10% off your first order!