Kiss. Marry. Kill. Nineteen-year-old June Eyermann has always known exactly which of her favorite Byronic heroes goes where. She'd kiss moody and possessive Rochester from Jane Eyre and marry prideful but repentant Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, leaving obsessive and spiteful Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights to be chucked off a cliff - but no. She couldn't leave any of her heroes behind. She lives for her favorite fictional worlds.
But June is about to get a serious wake up call when she returns home for the summer after her college freshman year. Stuck somewhere between feeling like a kid again under her parents' roof and being forced to start acting like an adult with worries about her future career, June looks at the library volunteer position offered to her as a way to keep her sanity for the next few months before she can go back to school.
What June doesn't expect to find at the library is her favorite romantic heroes brought to life-all in the same man. Obstinate, prideful and even a bit rude, Everett Rockford shouldn't exactly be "dating material," even if June's heart rate accelerates whenever she's near him. But after discovering his enigmatic past and witnessing a few fiery moments of tenderness, June can't help but see Rochester, Darcy and even Heathcliff in Everett. If she's going to make it through the summer without becoming a tragic heroine in her own story, she has to separate the man from the ideals of fiction in her head. Because if there's one thing she knows about Byronic love stories, it's that they don't always end happily ever after.
©2014 Joy Penny (P)2014 Joy Penny
A modern spin on some of the classic romances. The love interest in this book is a combination of the leading men in three of Junes favourite classic romance books, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
I enjoyed that much of the book was set in a library and that the main character loved reading. She never went anywhere without a paperback or her kindle. I loved when she pulled her kindle out of her tiny clutch bag at a formal dinner!
I found the characters likeable and hoped that June would work out what she wanted. I found the romance a bit too "classic" and old fashioned, with declarations of love when they barely knew each other. It seemed to come out of nowhere and I would have liked a bit more tension and build up.
I listened to the audiobook version and the narrator was well spoken and easy to listen to. I recieved this book free in exchange for an honest review.
I'm a 40-something SAH mom who has come to "read" more audio books each year. They work better as my days are active and mobile.
Although this wasn't a good fit for me, if the book blurb piques your interest please read on. If you are a fan of Austen, Hardy or any of the Bronte sisters, please read on. If you enjoy fan faction following any of those authors, please read on. If you are familiar with fan fiction of this type, this may not be a good fit.
I am an avid fan on Jane Austen's books, especially Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. I often read P&P modern-day retellings, P&P what-ifs, P&P continuations and the P&Ps from another character's POV. I have found many authors who can write these retellings or what-ifs or continuations or alternate POVs well and several who do not write these so well. I am nearly always eager to read another simply for th opportunity to wrap myself in Lizzy's and Darcy's story yet again. This is why I volunteered to listen to the audio version of this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank author Joy Penny for gifting me this opportunity.
The audio version of this 225 page story was narrated by Dawn Heustis and is 6 hours in length. Dawn's performance was fine, the production crew created a clean, distraction-free recording. As I listened rather than read, I cannot comment of the final edited text as possible editing flaws can be masked by the reading, including typos and punctuation errors. The only drawback to the audio version was the nearly dozen mispronunciations Ms Heustis made of some "bigger" words, and some not-so-big words.
This is a modern-day retelling, of sorts, combining characters, scenes and elements of Pride & Prejudice, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre -- all classics with large followings of readers who thoroughly enjoy their favorite more with each and every reread, just like our main character, June Eyermann. In this tale, you'll find Jane and Edward (with hints of Heathcliff), Lizzy and Darcy, Caroline Bingley, St John, Lady Catherine du Bourgh, a stone wall by the beach scene reminescent of Bath, and more. This is what I liked best of this book -- identifying and recognizing scenes and characters from these classics authors.
Home after her first year of college, June finds herself volunteering at the local library and thrown in the way of Mr. Edward Rochester. Oh, I mean Mr. Everett Rockford. After their first encounter, when he is thrown off his steed, I mean bicycle, and she comes to his rescue, the two continue to have uncanny encounters that whisper of Darcy's pride and Lizzy's prejudice, or maybe Lizzy's pride and Darcy's prejudice ... Mr. Rochester's and Jane's wrong-class match AND Sinjin's more than passing interest in Jane, oops, June (though St John sounds better -- oh, no matter).
I do not know exactly where to begin explaining my take-away from this book. "A Love for the Pages" has everything I usually like in a retelling, but, despite it's potential and the respectable attempt, the two time frames weren't put together very well. Even as this book didn't work for me, I am sure there is a perfect audience for this book, just not this particular reader. So, why the two-and-a-fraction-stars-not-able-to-be-rounded-up-to-three-stars rating? The attempted meshing of 19th century and 21st century was awkward and disjointed. The fabric of 19th century traits, speech (both sujbject matter and word choice) and hesitations wasn't layered well with 21st century attitudes, expectations and mild cursing.
With the possible exception of June, the characters were disappointingly underdeveloped, including Everett. The romance between June and Everett was rushed and not believable due to the lack of "Darcy's" distant observations scenes, even as these two characters, with traits of "those times", are not given to commonplace impulsive actions of the 21st century. The dialogue, whether June's inner voice or June & Everett's tentative conversations, in this MODERN retelling was off -- sounding so very 1800s in word choice and content one moment, then, bamm!, 2010s defensive tones and mild cuss words, then, whoosh, back to 1800s cautionary civility.
This book was a good attempt at a difficult task of lifting elements of then and placing them into now. Unfortunately, this attempt didn't achieve a believable balance between the then with the now. This balance is not an impossibility, it simply wasn't achieved well enough for this particular reader.
Nevertheless, I would recommend this book, but not to everyone. I think fans of Austen or the Brontes might enjoy this, but only if they are younger (not simply adults who enjoy YA books, but the actual YA audience) and if the reader has not read many other Austen or Bronte retellings. Teens and younger 20-somethings probably won't care for this book if they have not read P&P or Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre. The dialogue and relationship between June and Everett will feel more out of place for those not having read any or all of these popular selections of literature.
To continue with my full disclosure policy on this blog, a friend of mine was the narrator for this audio book and gave me a review copy on audible in exchange for a review.
To start this review, I'm not fond of books which are strictly romances and this story is completely a romance. That's it's focus both in the physical world (by choosing what events to show) and in June's mind, nearly all of her thoughts have to do with Rockford and those that don't revolve around a subplot with her old friends which is resolved rather awkwardly. There is no progression in June's relationship with anyone else, from family to coworkers, and that felt strange, I'm very curious to know what books Joy Penny has written under her real name in YA. I was surprised to see that on her Amazon bio since this book feels like a self-published/Amazon original work. Some editing would make the book stronger but the plot itself isn't that engaging, it tries to throw in twists instead of realistic conflicts and the characters feel flat as well. Rockford gets the brunt of the strange twists, I think Penny was trying too hard to emulate the dark, creepy reveals you have in books by the Bronte sisters but yet she didn't want the overall tone to be gothic so she pulls back. There are some very strange twists which are half hand-waved away a chapter or two later as "that person is crazy and was lying to you" and half not, as if the characters couldn't even be bothered to properly explain what had happened and hoped that the readers would forget. I also thought it was a bad choice to try and make him emulate so many Bronte and Austen characters, they aren't exactly paradigms of good, romantic leads or realistic characters.
June feels like a slightly more realistic character than Rockford but she's also oddly boring. Penny tries to mimic the awkward dialogue that you find in real life but most of the time June's spoken words and thoughts are an odd combination of stilted and overly quippy, she also narrates to herself a tad too much. I feel that I would have enjoyed this story better if there had been more focus on other parts of June's life outside of the library, especially since for an audio book that was only six hours this seemed to drag on. Good Omens was about four hours long and felt much too short, Neverwhere was also between 4-6 hours and felt perfectly done (admittedly these were a bit different from regular audiobooks), A Strange Maid (which I listened to recently) had a much more complicated story and was 12 hours long, and Shadows on the Moon was also about 11 hours long, I'm used to listening to long books! There simply wasn't enough of a story to fill six hours and if I hadn't already agreed to review this book I would have turned off the file and simply listened to something else instead.
I probably wouldn't recommend this to a friend, unless it was a very young friend. It seemed more of a book for a teenager.
Dawn Huestis's voice is very young sounding, which is appropriate for the 19 year old main character in the book. Her child voice is very well done.
I was given this audio book in return for an honest review.I liked the references throughout the book to characters in the classics. I don't know why the whole book didn't quite work for me. I'm not sure if it's because it's written in the first person, or that that perspective made it seem like the story was told minute by minute (kind of like: I woke up, I went to the bathroom, I brushed my teeth...). I assume the target age for this book is young adult and I think that age group would probably really enjoy this book.
Everett is a character I started off disliking but by the end I found him to be my favorite character.
Yes, because it wasn’t to long I was definitely more willing to listen to it and I was not disappointed.
I heard a little static in the background which didn't really bother me but I noticed it.
Nineteen year old June Eyermann is back home for the summer after her first year of college. Back home where her mom and step father continue to push her towards academic and career choices they want for her. June, a classic romance book junkie at heart, begins to make some choices for herself starting with volunteering at the Rockford Library instead of a paid position at her step father's office. Here she meets Everett Rockford, a man whose personality has many of the traits from her favorite book heroes: Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, Darcy from Pride and Prejudice and Rochester from Jane Eyre. Some of their interactions even mirror scenes from those books. As June's relationship with Everett becomes more complicated; so does her inability to see him for who he is and not the book characters she's begun to associate him with.
I found the narrator, Dawn Huestis, to be a great match for June's character. She has a voice that captures the age of being almost grown up yet still vulnerable. She was very competent at being able to read clearly and at a reasonable but energetic pace. She was also able to differentiating between voices with ease.
For the most part, the story was light and sweet and at just under six hours on audio, it was short as well. I was actually uncertain as to who June's love interest was going to be and found that there was always an underlying bit of tension that left me thinking things were not going to work out the way I thought they would. I appreciated June being able to make mature decisions in love, in school, and in work, but more importantly that she was able to make them for herself.
***This audiobook copy was provided to me in exchange for an honest review***
Report Inappropriate Content