Emily is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe what she'd change about a classic novel, Emily pounces on Little Women. After all, if she can't change things in her own family, maybe she can bring a little justice to the March sisters. (Kill off Beth? Have cute Laurie wind up with Amy instead of Jo? What was Louisa May Alcott thinking?!) But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the world of the book, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won't be easy. And after being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, it may be Emily-not the four March sisters-who undergoes the most surprising change of all. Lauren Baratz-Logsted's winning confection will appeal to fans of Little Women as well as anyone who enjoys a modern twist on an old favorite.
Let's see, first I'll have to admit this isn't the most exciting book, but then, Little Women wasn't a barn burner either so what can you expect going in. That being said, this one moved slowly for me. Just like Little Women did for me. There just isn't a lot of action. There's a lot of thinking and telling, but no action. Not until the very end and it isn't enough to make up for the lack of action throughout the story.
I think the story probably portrays a very typical New England life back in the 1860's.
So, let's talk characters. I loved the main character Emily. She was a middle child and suffered from not knowing where she fit in, not the oldest, not the baby. Just who was she? Having an older sister, I know how annoying it is to be bossed around, so when she goes through time to live in the world of Little Women (that isn't a spoiler, if you don't know that's what happens then you haven't read anything about the book) she has two older sisters to boss her around. And if Jo March was my older sister we'd have come to blows. I don't remember the characters all that well from the original book, but in this one, they are all a bit grating. Amy so prissy, Beth so sickly, Jo so bossy and Meg so prim. I wish the author had really shaken things up. Had the girls wearing mini skirts and tube tops or something. But no, that didn't happen.
But as I said I liked Emily. She did grin and bear it and tried to figure out why she was there. She accepted things for what they were. And tried to make changes. She seemed to take a sudden character growth towards the end of the story and then it's all tied up.
Truthfully, it was okay. But not that exciting, not unforgettable. Emily had so much potential, but she just didn't do anything much in the end. So, not really liking the original story, reliving it with one extra person in it, really didn't make me like it any more than before. There were some funny things like Emily introducing new words like "dude" and hearing Laurie answer the door with "Dude". And Emily wondering what the fake love letters between Meg and Mr. Brown contained-him"I find your ankles, when glimpsed beneath the bottom of your voluminous skirts, irresistible." and her-"I do love the idea of you looking at my ankles, but do wait until I am a bit older before gazing at them so forthrightly". The mind reeled."(p. 237) So Emily's wit does help.
Who would like this? I think anyone that loved Little Women but does mind a little change up in the story. I just wasn't into the story. I thought the writing was easy to read and Emily was witty, it just wasn't my kind of story. It doesn't mean you won't find it to be one of your favorites.