Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review of Little Women and Me

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 1860s 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.
[from Goodreads]
Rating:  2  out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Either those that love Little Women or those who can't stand it--I'm not sure which
High point: Emily's commentary
Low point: Being restricted to the original story
Reader maturity: 13+

Unlike (it feels like) every other book-reading female on the planet, I'm not a fan of the original Little Women. I feel like I ought to be, since it's a classic beloved by many, but something about it rubs me the wrong way. While this certainly isn't the point of Little Women and Me (the remix, if you will), it gave a name to all the things that have bugged me over the years (with the exception of Laurie and Amy--I still like them together better than Laurie and Jo).

As for the plot of Little Women and Me, I found it restricted by the events of the original, as retellings often are. The narrator actually points out the jumps in time and the sudden appearance of characters who seem to be important but only show up once or twice. Another problem with retellings is that they tend to be predictable, and unfortunately, Little Women and Me is no exception. While I liked the idea of the book, I found it a little dull, although I did enjoy Emily's commentary on Jo's personality and other happenings in the story.

As for age-appropriateness, Little Women and Me contains language and topics that would make Louisa May Alcott blush, but it's not too wild for today's intended audience.

Title:  Little Women and Me
Author:  Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Genre:   Fiction - Fantasy
Year:   2011
Book Source:  Won from I Like These Books

1 comment:

  1. I have a bit of a problem with some retellings of the classical stories, at least when I know the original story, as I feel like sometimes it is butchered in the new version. Same goes with the modern ecranisations.
    But sometimes it is fun to see it through different eyes.
    I am sorry it didn't work for you, it wouldn't prbably for me either, and I am not even a fan of Little woman ;))

    Happy midnight reading!