reviews

Mini-Review // Jo & Laurie

Hi everyone,

I am looking forward to sharing a review of Jo & Laurie by Melissa De La Cruz and Margaret Stohl. Note that I haven’t read Little Women, the original book by Louisa May Alcott, so I wouldn’t be able compare the two. Also note that I had received a free advanced reader copy of the eBook in exchange for an honest review.

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?

Jo’s voice! It conveyed her strong-willed and independent nature… and in a way that captured the tone of the period too. It made me smile each time she exclaimed “Christopher Columbus!”

The playful banter between Jo and Laurie. I could really feel the romantic tension between them and I wanted them to succeed.

The theme of the book was about the struggle between love, domesticity and independence, and I loved that this book showed that it was possible to be a strong and independent woman and fall in love too. I saw quite a few bad reviews for this book on Goodreads, mostly from those who felt that this betrayed the original intention of the author, but to be frank I didn’t think Jo needed to deny the person she loved to be an independent woman.

Although this book centered on romance, I loved that it didn’t focus 100% on Jo and Laurie. Family was an important component of Jo’s life and it showed through her interactions with her sisters and mother.

Jo’s struggles with writing were relatable for me as an aspiring writer!

Did I mention that classics intimidate me a little bit? This book made me want to read the original Little Women! I think it’s a sign of a good retelling if it can grow the initial audience of the original book!

I thought that the events of the second book leading up to the climax and conclusion were somehow random and not caused by the events later on in the book. It felt like Jo and Laurie were responding to everything that happened around them rather than proactively affecting their future.

3/5 fishies!

I enjoyed this retelling of Little Women. I’m always a bit intimidated by classics but this book made me want to read the original – and this counts as a win in my books!

Did you read Little Women and/or this adaptation? What did you think of the movie? Are you a fan of Jo and Laurie?

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

16 thoughts on “Mini-Review // Jo & Laurie

  1. This is a great review, Sophie! I saw this in the library the other day and was unsure if I wanted to read it because I love Little Women so much, but this made me think that maybe I should give it a chance.💗 I hope you enjoy the original if you read it! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Olivia 🙂 Hope that you’ll enjoy Jo & Laurie if you do end up giving it a chance one day. I’ve been a bit hesitant to pick up classics lately but I should give Little Women a try!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful review! I’ve been so curious about this book, as someone who just read Little Women for the first time this year and loved Jo and Laurie’s platonic relationship so much. I don’t think I’d want to read a book with them falling in love, since their friendship was perfect as is in my opinion, but I do like that this book seemed to also focus on family and Jo’s writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Margaret! I haven’t read Little Women yet, but I think that’s one of the complaints of Jo & Laurie in that their relationship was meant to be a platonic one in the original book. I look forward to reading the original one day – maybe I will like Jo and Laurie even better 🙂

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  3. Yay I so can’t wait to read this!! Although it’s a shame about the second part. It still sounds amazing though. I only discovered the story of Little Women a few years back when I saw a TV adaptation of it. Then the movie last year which I loved 😍 I so need to read this soon.

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  4. I’ve always loved Little Women; it’s one of my fave classics! I’ve been meaning to read this and your mini-review has motivated me to move this to the top of my list.
    I still haven’t watched the most recent movie adaptation of this novel but I’m hoping to get to it soon – especially since it stars Emma Watson (and I’m a big fan of hers).
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad that you’ve enjoyed Little Women. I haven’t read the original but I heard that Jo & Laurie is definitely different. Hope that you will like this book (and the movie adaptation too!)

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  5. I read the original Little Women, so I’m astonished that Jo and Laurie seem to be lovers here, because (SPOILERS), they weren’t in the original book… Well Laurie liked Jo, but Jo only liked him as a friend. She falls in love with another guy.

    Oh yeah it’s problematic when people assume that you can’t both be an independent person AND fall in love at the same time. There seems to be extra social pressure on women to be “independent” too, as if they think women need to prove themselves in order to deserve the lofty title of an “independent and self-sufficient person.” Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sieran 🙂 Lol yes I haven’t read Little Women but I know that Jo and Laurie never made it in the original novel. What are your thoughts about this couple? Do you prefer the outcome in the original novel?
      Yeah I agree that there’s a weird expectation for women that you can’t be both independent and in love. I definitely feel the social pressure sometimes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmm I feel like Jo and Laurie are more like friends… So they enjoy each other’s company, but Jo doesn’t really see him as a partner or soul mate. When I first read the book, I didn’t like how she chose a guy much older than her, but now I’m more open minded towards large age differences. I can see that when it comes to common interests and goals, this guy would be more suitable for her. (I don’t agree with some of this guy’s literary opinions, but this doesn’t necessarily make him a bad husband.)

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