Dear Reader
Gilmore Girls with magical realism! Dear Reader is an original, poignant modern-day take on Wuthering Heights, as a high school senior searches for her teacher and meets a boy who may just be Heathcliff come to lifeFor seventeen-year-old Flannery Fields, the only respite from the plaid-skirted mean girls at Sacred Heart High School at is her beloved teacher Miss Sweeney’s AP English class. But when Miss Sweeney doesn't show up to teach Flannery's favorite book, Wuthering Heights, leaving behind her purse, Flannery knows something is wrong. The police are called, and Flannery gives them everything—except Miss Sweeney's copy of Wuthering Heights. This she holds onto. And good thing she does, because when she opens it, it has somehow transformed into Miss Sweeney's real-time diary. It seems Miss Sweeney is in New York City—and she's in trouble. So Flannery does something very unFlannery-like: she skips school and sets out for Manhattan, with the book as her guide. But as soon as she arrives, she meets a boy named Heath. Heath is British, on a gap year, incredibly smart—yet he's never heard of Albert Einstein or Anne Frank. In fact, Flannery can't help thinking that he seems to have stepped from the pages of Brontë's novel. Could it be?With inimitable wit and heart, Mary O'Connell has crafted a love letter to reading, to the books that make us who we are. Dear Reader, charming and heartbreaking, is a novel about finding your people, on the page in the world.

Dear Reader Details

TitleDear Reader
Author
FormatKindle Edition
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 9th, 2017
PublisherFlatiron Books
Number of pages304 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Magical Realism, Fiction, Contemporary, Retellings

Dear Reader Review

  • Book Riot Community
    October 20, 2016
    This weird and wonderful book doesn’t come out for months (sorry!) but I just can’t wait to talk about it. Mary O’Connell’s writing transports the reader—to a sun-baked rock in the Flint Hills of Kansas at sunset, to a bathroom stall in a Catholic girls’ school in Connecticut, to the back of a cab zooming through upper Manhattan, as if you are sitting beside Flannery Fields all along as she searches for her missing English teacher with the help of her strange diary that appears on the pages of a This weird and wonderful book doesn’t come out for months (sorry!) but I just can’t wait to talk about it. Mary O’Connell’s writing transports the reader—to a sun-baked rock in the Flint Hills of Kansas at sunset, to a bathroom stall in a Catholic girls’ school in Connecticut, to the back of a cab zooming through upper Manhattan, as if you are sitting beside Flannery Fields all along as she searches for her missing English teacher with the help of her strange diary that appears on the pages of an old copy of Wuthering Heights. Which really is quite the peculiar story, but the writing is so captivating I just went along for the ride, enjoying all the irreverent humor and earnest angst in equal measure. This is a story for anyone who believes in the power books have to help you figure out your life and remind you to go out and live it.— Molly Wettafrom The Best Books We Read In September 2016: http://bookriot.com/2016/10/03/riot-r...
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  • Katerina Kondrenko
    February 19, 2017
    5.5 out of 10 Unique structure, interesting topic, but I missed strong emotions (maybe it's the underplots' fault, those were too simple for my liking).
  • Allison
    October 24, 2016
    Dear Reader is not my usual kind of read, but I'm a huge Wuthering Heights fan and I enjoyed seeing echoes of it in both Flannery's and Miss Sweeney's stories. I'm not sure I loved either narrative voice but this was still compulsively readable and poignantly written. Miss Sweeney's diary had me in slow-rolling tears a few times. There's great crossover potential as well, with the popularity of literary "scavenger hunt" novels, and Flannery's pre-college soul-searching should resonate with prett Dear Reader is not my usual kind of read, but I'm a huge Wuthering Heights fan and I enjoyed seeing echoes of it in both Flannery's and Miss Sweeney's stories. I'm not sure I loved either narrative voice but this was still compulsively readable and poignantly written. Miss Sweeney's diary had me in slow-rolling tears a few times. There's great crossover potential as well, with the popularity of literary "scavenger hunt" novels, and Flannery's pre-college soul-searching should resonate with pretty much any teen.A must-read for fans of literary contemporary YA or classic lit nerds!
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  • Gillian
    September 19, 2016
    I super want to read this but I'm mostly confused why this apparent take on Wuthering Heights has a Jane Eyre reference for a title
  • Jamie (Books and Ladders)
    December 30, 2016
    Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book and decided to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.DNF @ 15%Look. I wanted to like this. I wanted to REALLY LIKE THIS. But it is so awkwardly (and, quite frankly, poorly) written that I could not handle it. I was sending quotes to Dani from the book and neither of us could believe this was going to be a published novel. They were just terrible. This is the quote that made me stop:Here it is, here is how one becomes the Alpha Doggett: Listen, de Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book and decided to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.DNF @ 15%Look. I wanted to like this. I wanted to REALLY LIKE THIS. But it is so awkwardly (and, quite frankly, poorly) written that I could not handle it. I was sending quotes to Dani from the book and neither of us could believe this was going to be a published novel. They were just terrible. This is the quote that made me stop:Here it is, here is how one becomes the Alpha Doggett: Listen, dear underling, and you shall learn my evil and triumphant ways. And then Callie pounced. “Flannery? I’m dying for you to come to my party. And maybe you could bring Heathcliff as your date?” Secreted away in her stall, the barfing girl laughed.Like.... I just... No....To be fair, I am not a huge fan of Wuthering Heights and it is technically a retelling of this, but it also included parts of Wuthering Heights and I just could not handle it. I was planning on hate reading this one because it was just SO bad, but I really don't have the time to read a bad book right now so I am stopping it now. I gave it enough time since I almost stopped after the first page.Sadly I do not recommend this one. At all. Sorry folks.
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  • Molly
    September 23, 2016
    This is a story for anyone who believes in the power books to help you figure out your life and remind you to go out and live it.
  • Rachel Strolle
    December 28, 2016
    Dear Reader is one of the most entertaining books you will ever pick up. O'Connell has created world infused with a tiny bit of book-magic and a bit more Wuthering Heights (though manages to keep it totally accessible if you, like me, cannot get through the classic Bronte novel). Filled with sharp quips, complicated mentors, and a one-of-a-kind adventure, Dear Reader is something that you will treasure for a long time
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    March 22, 2017
    Oh my gosh! This book just sounds super cute and I am so excited about the fact that it is a Wuthering Heights retelling. The whole mystery surrounding the teacher’s disappearance and the aspects of magical realism have me very intrigued. Definitely a great addition to my spring TBR!
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  • Laura
    May 10, 2017
    It was the Gilmore Girls comparisons that got me. The book didn't follow through on that one bit. I went into this book for all the wrong reasons. The biggest issue is that I have never read Wuthering Heights. There were references to the classic story, but more than anything this is a modern-day retelling of the novel. Because of this, any similarities between the two were lost on me.Basically Flannery really loves her AP English teacher Miss Sweeney. When her teacher doesn't show up for class It was the Gilmore Girls comparisons that got me. The book didn't follow through on that one bit. I went into this book for all the wrong reasons. The biggest issue is that I have never read Wuthering Heights. There were references to the classic story, but more than anything this is a modern-day retelling of the novel. Because of this, any similarities between the two were lost on me.Basically Flannery really loves her AP English teacher Miss Sweeney. When her teacher doesn't show up for class one day leaving only her purse behind, it worries Flannery so she does something about it. She takes the purse and in it finds an old copy of Wuthering Heights. Oddly enough, when Flannery starts to read Miss Sweeney's copy of her favorite novel, it transforms into her teacher's diary in real-time. Apparently Miss Sweeney is in New York City, so an adventure ensues all equipped with a boy straight out of a Bronte novel.The format is very unique. I loved the use of magical realism. I just can't help feeling like I was missing something possibly due to my never reading Wuthering Heights. It felt like there was a lot going on, but for the most part was going over my head. I think other readers with knowledge of the story it's retelling will have a better go with this one.I won this through goodreads in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Alex Lewis
    January 16, 2017
    Wow. What an amazing read.This is one of the only book reviews I have ever wrote, but this book deserves it.First of all, this book truly applies to all. Yes, it might be considered young adult, but O'Connell's writing displays a fresh novel that will delight all types of readers, young and old. The language is beautiful, the plot feels new, and I was never bored while reading, which is a great accomplishment for any book considering our technology driven nation. Furthermore, a good book, at lea Wow. What an amazing read.This is one of the only book reviews I have ever wrote, but this book deserves it.First of all, this book truly applies to all. Yes, it might be considered young adult, but O'Connell's writing displays a fresh novel that will delight all types of readers, young and old. The language is beautiful, the plot feels new, and I was never bored while reading, which is a great accomplishment for any book considering our technology driven nation. Furthermore, a good book, at least to me, must contain many elements. First, a connection is able to be made. Check. Second, a splendid plot that awes, pulls, and screams at the reader. Check! And third, a good novel must contain a body. A brain, a heart, a blood system. And Dear Reader contains a body, it contains a biological system that breathes with sweat, blood, tears, and words.I recommend this book to anyone who feels inspired, but also to anyone who needs to connect to a story. O'Connell is quite a talent, and I am looking forward to reading her other books.
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  • Rachel WritesThings
    August 11, 2016
    Poignant, thoughtful, and engrossing, the parallel stories of two young women longing for more, it was absolutely encapsulating and I could not put it down. Flannery's hunt for her missing teacher, and her own true self, are two things any young person could relate to. With language that is delectable, Dear Reader will capture the hearts of those who loved Tell the Wolves I'm Home. Look for it in 2017.
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  • Mandy
    April 30, 2017
    Dear Reader by Mary O'ConnellRelease Date: May 9, 2017 (TODAY)DNF @ ...mystery percent again*I won this as part of a Goodreads giveaway - trust me, this totally didn't sway my review XD*I read this book back in the day called Wuthering High. It back when I totally had questionable book likes, but I still thought it was pretty good. It included all of these epic literature classic references, and even though I totally did not know most of them. XD That's what I expected this book to be, but what Dear Reader by Mary O'ConnellRelease Date: May 9, 2017 (TODAY)DNF @ ...mystery percent again*I won this as part of a Goodreads giveaway - trust me, this totally didn't sway my review XD*I read this book back in the day called Wuthering High. It back when I totally had questionable book likes, but I still thought it was pretty good. It included all of these epic literature classic references, and even though I totally did not know most of them. XD That's what I expected this book to be, but what I got was...weirdness. The first thing that went wrong was in the writing style. It felt like it was too forced? Like, it wanted to sound like a create classic story, but it just fell flat. There were lines that I just sat there and blinked at the book going, this isn't right. This doesn't sound right. o.o It just didn't work for me, and I felt like I couldn't connect to it.The second thing - and really the most important thing - was the storyline. It was very strange. I only read a few chapters in, but I'm dead serious when I tell you this is how the story progressed:Flannery goes to schoolFlannery sits in her teacher's classroom and starts to worry about her teacher because she's not there on time Flannery discusses how she loves this teacher because she gives her really harsh advice on her papersFlannery sits quietly and awkwardly for the whole class period while the mean girls do mean girl stuffFinally, a teacher comes around and finds out the teacher is missing and then the princi-PAL shows up and tries to be their friendClass ends, and somehow Flannery knows that Miss Sweeney's purse is in her desk and steals it Flannery takes stolen purse into restroom to dig through itFlannery finds Miss Sweeney's beloved copy of Wuthering HeightsFlannery starts reading it but alas, it's not Bronte's words on the pages but it's about Miss Sweeney who has run off to New York with possibly talking about a guy is who dead?Flannery read this ridiculously awkward passage about her teacher totally hooking up with her high school boyfriend and NO awkwardness is mentioned whatsoever (even when the teacher goes, Oh, Dear Reader, this is too spicy to read...but we woke up naked [oh OOPS])Flannery only stops reading this awkward part because someone is barfing in the stall next to her and the smell bothers her and couldn't be part of this "dream"The next page is a conversation about the puke and then the next page is her going on how they possibly clean puke - BUT NOTHING ABOUT HOW YOUR TEACHER JUST HAD RELATIONS IN A MESSED UP VERSION OF WUTHERING HEIGHTS.At that point from consultation of my friend and her friend that was randomly there, they gave me wise advice: STOP. DO NOT PASS. DO NOT COLLECT GO. THIS IS WEIRDNESS.I concurred with them, and I stopped the madness. XDThe End. No stars since I didn't get far enough and a Snow White rating!
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  • Steve
    March 8, 2017
    Smart, funny and beautifully written. Flannery is the kind of heroine you feel good about rooting for, and O'Connell's skillful rendering of her hopeful embrace of Heath and her genuine affection and worry for her teacher is a dead-on portrayal of the balancing act that is adolescence. This story packs an emotional punch for anyone who has ever despaired of finding their place in the world.
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  • Ady Grafovna
    February 23, 2017
    A recieved an ARC of this book on March 30th in a Goodreads giveaway. My expressed opinion is my own though.This was a wonderful escape! It is a peculiar story, but charming.I did not see this as a modern day Wuthering Heights at all though. I have never read a book with such an unusual structure and premise before and I did not see it as being derived from any other book. While the book was not what I expected, I delighted in every second of reading it. I recommend it to anyone who believes in A recieved an ARC of this book on March 30th in a Goodreads giveaway. My expressed opinion is my own though.This was a wonderful escape! It is a peculiar story, but charming.I did not see this as a modern day Wuthering Heights at all though. I have never read a book with such an unusual structure and premise before and I did not see it as being derived from any other book. While the book was not what I expected, I delighted in every second of reading it. I recommend it to anyone who believes in the power of books to help you find direction and motivation in life.
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  • Lenna • Sugar Dusted Pages
    March 7, 2017
    This was interesting. At first I liked this book but then it got really, really weird. The writing style is super detached and almost old fashioned but also not? I can't even describe what I mean, it was so weird. I couldn't connect to any of the characters AT ALL. Also, Flannery's obsession with Miss Sweeney was really...strange. It got weird to the point of being uncomfortable. Like she would think about how if her thoughts were written her teacher would correct them. She mentioned that at lea This was interesting. At first I liked this book but then it got really, really weird. The writing style is super detached and almost old fashioned but also not? I can't even describe what I mean, it was so weird. I couldn't connect to any of the characters AT ALL. Also, Flannery's obsession with Miss Sweeney was really...strange. It got weird to the point of being uncomfortable. Like she would think about how if her thoughts were written her teacher would correct them. She mentioned that at least once a page. It was odd. Anyway. I DNF'ed this on page 75 because I couldn't handle anymore. Also, I hate when Wuthering Heights is portrayed as a love story and I knew that's where this was going and had no desire to see it. This is just a pet peeve, but Flannery is described as having bobbed dark brown/black hair. So why does the cover model have blonde braids??
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  • Abby Rubin
    December 24, 2016
    ARC from PublisherA modern retelling of Wuthering Heights with a magical twist. High school senior, Flannery Fields, finds her AP English teacher missing one day with her purse left behind. Flannery discovers her teacher's copy of the book but with a twist. The text transforms into Miss Sweeney's real-time diary. Adventures in New York City and a boy who seems ripped from a Brontë novel await Flannery if she just decides to do the unexpected. Page turner that will keep you guessing, and laughing ARC from PublisherA modern retelling of Wuthering Heights with a magical twist. High school senior, Flannery Fields, finds her AP English teacher missing one day with her purse left behind. Flannery discovers her teacher's copy of the book but with a twist. The text transforms into Miss Sweeney's real-time diary. Adventures in New York City and a boy who seems ripped from a Brontë novel await Flannery if she just decides to do the unexpected. Page turner that will keep you guessing, and laughing at the English teacher in the head of every aspiring writer.
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  • Jamie Blanchard
    March 13, 2017
    I was okay. Not my type of YA. It dragged and I couldn't tell was type of genre it was.
  • Brittany
    May 7, 2017
    This has got to be one the weirdest and awkward books I have ever read, but I love it! This is a new kind of YA novel that I feel like a lot of us will appreciate. I highly recommend finishing it once you start. I know that's weird to say like "why wouldn't I finish it?", but I can see how some readers might get a bit frustrated. In this book we meet Flannery who is a very smart girl who loves to learn. She's pretty much the only person in her whole school who loves to learn and read. She's also This has got to be one the weirdest and awkward books I have ever read, but I love it! This is a new kind of YA novel that I feel like a lot of us will appreciate. I highly recommend finishing it once you start. I know that's weird to say like "why wouldn't I finish it?", but I can see how some readers might get a bit frustrated. In this book we meet Flannery who is a very smart girl who loves to learn. She's pretty much the only person in her whole school who loves to learn and read. She's also quite the teacher's pet and she knows it. More so she is very fond of her English teacher Ms. Sweeney who shares the same book interests. One day her beloved teacher goes missing and Flannery takes it upon herself to go off to New York and find her. She only has Ms. Sweeney's book Wuthering Heights full of tons of notes to guide her. She eventually meets Heath who is practically straight out of Wuthering Heights and Flannery can hardly believe it. He joins her without questioning her craziness to help Flannery find her teacher. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Flannery reminded me of myself when I was in high school and even now. So I pretty much saw myself in her and could relate which is a big reason why I like this book. I don't hear about many characters like this anymore and it made my heart happy. The only thing I had a problem with was Heath. Don't get me wrong, I really like this character. Actually, I experienced something similar to her where the person I'm with completely reminds me of a character from my favorite series. I know it sounds crazy, but it can happen. Anyway, Heath disappears near the end of the story and we have no idea if he was even real. I had a feeling based on everything that was happening that, that was going to happen. It really made me upset because I'm in the minority where I don't like it when books leave me to my imagination. It's like writing my own fanfiction which I'd rather other people do. I wish the author would've just flat out told me "it's all in her head" if that was the case. Regardless I still really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it if you're into weird and awkward characters!
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  • Lindsey
    April 29, 2017
    DNF. There is a very clear Bronte hierarchy - it goes Anne, Charlotte, and then, barely registering, Emily. Anne is criminally underappreciated, though Tenant of Wildfell Hall has more worth than all of Charlotte's and Emily's literary contributions combined, and her remaining novels are no less wonderful. Anne is, without question, the superior Bronte. Charlotte produced two good books (one of them NOT being Jane Eyre, which is merely decent) and a few stinkers. Emily wrote perhaps one of my mo DNF. There is a very clear Bronte hierarchy - it goes Anne, Charlotte, and then, barely registering, Emily. Anne is criminally underappreciated, though Tenant of Wildfell Hall has more worth than all of Charlotte's and Emily's literary contributions combined, and her remaining novels are no less wonderful. Anne is, without question, the superior Bronte. Charlotte produced two good books (one of them NOT being Jane Eyre, which is merely decent) and a few stinkers. Emily wrote perhaps one of my most hated novels in all of literature. Wuthering Heights. A baffling number of people love it, a lot of them having discovered and fallen in love with it while teenagers. It makes sense to me that persons who have not quite matured would love it because it is not a mature novel. It's silly, over-dramatic, the characters are extremely unlikable and do things that boggle the mind, the writing is juvenile, the plot is even more juvenile. Overall it's a poor example of good literature. And yet....Which brings me to this novel. First, I'm confused by the fact that the novel is a love story to Wuthering Heights but the title is a reference to Jane Eyre. Second, the writing is not good. At all. It's juvenile (not surprising) and is not enjoyable. I found myself actually laughing out loud at the stupidity of some of the passages. Also, the narrative structure of the teacher's real-time diary mysteriously appearing in her copy of Wuthering Heights, while the student reads it, was not executed well at all. It could have been a cool concept but instead it was labored and forced. And all I could think while reading the teacher's "diary" was "this woman has no business teaching ANYONE how to write." It was terrible.I was more than willing to give this book a chance even though I hate Wuthering Heights. When I read the synopsis and entered the Giveaway for it I thought it sounded really interesting, despite the homage to one of my least favorite novels of all times. Unfortunately it was not executed well and was poorly written.I received a copy of this book through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Melissa
    March 16, 2017
    Utterly unique premise and voice for daaaays. Anything that engages with book fandom and injects magic into a real-world setting is the read for me!
  • Cheryl Shults
    May 5, 2017
    I only got to page 61 in this book before I had to stop reading it. Unless you are a huge fan of Wuthering Heights, which I am not, you will become easily bored with this story.
  • Thomas
    March 7, 2017
    Received as a Goodreads giveaway...Thank you!
  • Bauerjudy35gmail.Com
    February 19, 2017
    In Dear Reader, Mary O'Connell's unique style and word-smithing capture the story of Flannery, a teenage girl whose most respected teacher mysteriously goes missing. This magical story, part mystery, part coming of age, part literary reincarnation, part pop-culture expose, unfolds as Flannery pursues Miss Sweeney to New York City, hoping to save her from disaster. O'Connell's original and poetic language swept me into this alternate reality and delivered me to the final scene with great sensitiv In Dear Reader, Mary O'Connell's unique style and word-smithing capture the story of Flannery, a teenage girl whose most respected teacher mysteriously goes missing. This magical story, part mystery, part coming of age, part literary reincarnation, part pop-culture expose, unfolds as Flannery pursues Miss Sweeney to New York City, hoping to save her from disaster. O'Connell's original and poetic language swept me into this alternate reality and delivered me to the final scene with great sensitivity. A must read!
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  • Nicole
    April 10, 2017
    Rating: To ComeThank you publisher and author for for providing this book as a Goodreads giveaway which I am gratetful to have won.After reading the summary of this book, I am beyond excited to receive and dive into this book. I, honestly, have never read Wuthering Heights but I am intrigued with the contemporary twist of the story. I don't normally read contemporary YA novels but it becoming a genre I enjoy. Dear Reader, sounds like it will be an amazing read!April 17, 2017 UPDATE!!!I have fina Rating: To ComeThank you publisher and author for for providing this book as a Goodreads giveaway which I am gratetful to have won.After reading the summary of this book, I am beyond excited to receive and dive into this book. I, honestly, have never read Wuthering Heights but I am intrigued with the contemporary twist of the story. I don't normally read contemporary YA novels but it becoming a genre I enjoy. Dear Reader, sounds like it will be an amazing read!April 17, 2017 UPDATE!!!I have finally received my arc in the mail today! I am so excited! The cover is more beautiful in person, it has a vintage-like look to it which I LOVE!! I have made no hesitation in diving into this book and so far I like it. It hooks you from the very beginning!Full review to come upon completing!
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  • Heather
    May 17, 2017
    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I wish I had won literally any other book or not even won a book at all. That's how terrible this book is. Let's list the reasons:1. The premise makes literally no sense. One day this girl Flannery shows up at school and her favorite teacher Miss Sweeney hasn't come in. So Flannery steals her purse (???? WHY WOULD YOU EVER???) and then discovers that her teacher's copy of Wurthering Heights has turned into a real-time diary. So what does Flannery do? SHE I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I wish I had won literally any other book or not even won a book at all. That's how terrible this book is. Let's list the reasons:1. The premise makes literally no sense. One day this girl Flannery shows up at school and her favorite teacher Miss Sweeney hasn't come in. So Flannery steals her purse (???? WHY WOULD YOU EVER???) and then discovers that her teacher's copy of Wurthering Heights has turned into a real-time diary. So what does Flannery do? SHE READS IT AND FOLLOWS HER TO NEW YORK CITY. WITH NO GAME PLAN. WITHOUT A COAT IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER. Like an idiot. And then, she meets a man in the city named... wait for it... Heath Smith. And she keeps reading this diary and running around the city with him on a quest to find Miss Sweeney. But listen. Flannery is the stupidest person I've ever met. Because she literally has this book that TELLS HER WHERE HER TEACHER IS GOING and she doesn't jump to the end to meet her there. She reads page by page and then will stop randomly and be like "we need to go here" even though there are more pages in the book. Miss Sweeney has clearly moved on. And yet??? Flannery is this gigantic idiot?? And she gets distracted with stupid conversations with Heath for like, 80 pages. What kind of idiot is this girl??2. Flannery is weirdly obsessed with Miss Sweeney. And not in a way like "oh she's just her favorite teacher" like man, I have favorite teachers but I wouldn't follow them all the way to NYC over a diary. AND I CERTAINLY DON'T HEAR HER VOICE IN MY HEAD BEING RUDE TO ME. Literally Flannery will think something and then Miss Sweeney's voice will pop in and be like "really Flannery?? you're stupid." And she's your favorite teacher??? I don't get it. (view spoiler)[And yet, at the end of the novel, when Miss Sweeney is dead, Flannery is just like "whatever, I found friends, I'm not gonna answer the phone or even check to see if she's really dead." Like what kind of a**hole is she?? Seriously?? This whole book is about your favorite teacher and then you abandon her for people you met 15 minutes ago?? (hide spoiler)]3. The unrealistic everything. Nothing about this book is any sort of realistic. And I don't even mean the magical realism elements, which I can get into if it was done well (and in this case, I think it was. The magical realism was like, the one thing this book did well.) Everything else was literally AWFUL. The dialogue was so over the top and it's just not how real people speak. It makes me wonder if Mary O'Connell has ever heard real people, much less real teenagers (even book nerdy ones like Flannery) speak. And the mean girl's weren't even mean or clever. But the line is set up like it's devastating and it's just laughable. The line is: [insert line]. That doesn't even sound like real people in any way and it's CERTAINLY not a good mean girl line or even a good line in general. Also, Miss Sweeney's withdraw symptoms from her anxiety medication don't even make sense. Anxiety medication does not make you have hallucinations- it just doesn't. Anxiety medication doesn't affect you like anti-psychotics or hard drugs like heroin. There is no withdraw, even if you take them every day. If you experience anything it's maybe a headache and a stomach ache. It's not whatever Miss Sweeney was going through. And all of these "symptoms" happened like, once and then she didn't have a migraine any more! I was just like ".... are you for real?" I take anxiety medication btw, so I know what I'm talking about.And finally, Flannery meets some people in a coffee shop because it's crowded and she shares their table. Okay, that's cool. But then they start chatting with her, which is nice but I don't know about you, but when I invite a person to sit at my table I maybe exchange some small talk and then ignore that they're there. I focus on my friends, not really on them. But okay, I'll be okay with them talking but then they literally invite her to stay in their dorm room. Like??? SHE'S A STRANGER GUYS. SHE'S A LITERAL STRANGER. YOU MET HER 15 MINUTES AGO. In what world. In what world.Also Flannery's full name is: Flannery O'Conner Fields and that makes me want to choke. 4. The writing. God. Just save me. This was literally the most flowery, most long-winded, most pretentious, most literally disgusting prose I have ever read. I am not exaggerating. It was literally painful to read this. There were so many lines that were pointless and added nothing to the story. And Flannery would go on and on in so many metaphors (which Miss Sweeney's voice made fun of her for) and then she'd say something that just made no sense. And then she'd beat herself up about that. It was just so repetitive and so useless. I would offer quotes but I'd be quoting the whole book.5. The characters. There was literally no character I liked in this. Flannery and Heath were pretentious and awkward but not in a relatable way. In a way that makes you cringe and if you saw them in public you'd avoid them at all costs. Because they literally talk like they're the most dramatic, oldest characters from novels that are classics but that you hate. Flannery was basically a 12 year old girl in everything from attitude to her self-image to how she acts around a boy she likes. It's just... so sad. And Heath (who is supposed to be Heathcliff come to life) is just disgusting. He's pretentious and again awkward but not in a lovable way but in a way that makes you want to say "get this weirdo away from me." Miss Sweeney was rude and cruel and yet somehow feels she's entitled to Brandon (her ex boyfriend who died) even though she was terrible to him. And she feels that she's just entitled to so much MORE than what her life is, but she made her life. She chose everything. So it's just like??? They may seem like real people, but not people I would ever want to know.Ultimately, I can't recommend anything about this novel. I've covered everything I hated which was... literally everything. Also if you're wondering why I still gave it one star- I wanted to drag down the overall rating of this book cause I hate it that much but this is actually 0 stars.
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  • Mary
    February 26, 2017
    I did not like this book. I read it in the hopes that I could recommend it to a student or two, but I was so disappointed at so many turns. I like the idea, but something failed in the execution. The characters fell flat and the story ended with a burp, not a bang. Sad face.
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  • Lauren Goff
    March 11, 2017
    This makes me so sad because Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books ever.
  • April
    February 19, 2017
    Rating: 4/5; B- The Good-It took a while to get going, but I was hooked at 70 pages or so. The mystery reversed the driving question of the book from "Where is she?" to a race against the clock to keep up where Miss Sweeney was-The switch between Flannery's narrative and Miss Sweeney's narrative was seamless. I was also more invested in Miss Sweeney's story, albeit it was very frustrating and quite sad that (view spoiler)[ she held herself responsible for Brandon's death and could not find anot Rating: 4/5; B- The Good-It took a while to get going, but I was hooked at 70 pages or so. The mystery reversed the driving question of the book from "Where is she?" to a race against the clock to keep up where Miss Sweeney was-The switch between Flannery's narrative and Miss Sweeney's narrative was seamless. I was also more invested in Miss Sweeney's story, albeit it was very frustrating and quite sad that (view spoiler)[ she held herself responsible for Brandon's death and could not find another happy solution to her issue besides committing suicide (hide spoiler)]-The book raised a lot of questions, but didn't necessarily answer all of them which could be frustrating for some but intriguing to others, like me-A lot of the reviews I read said it was poorly written but I really enjoyed the style and tone.-The novel is very much a love letter to Manhattan and showed some great elements of the borough with a lot of atmosphereThe Not-So-Good-The biggest question I had while reading this book was Why? . A lot of the plot was unrealistic (more minutia details) but a lot also didn't make logical sense in places. Like, how could the Wuthering Heights story be replaced with Miss Sweeney's story while it was still occurring? Wouldn't it have some lag time? -Speaking of having a lot of questions, the ending was very unclear. Although we know how Miss Sweeney turned out, nothing else was really resolved. I wondered if Heath was even real, did Flannery have some mental disorder of her own? Or, my most far-fetched question, was anyone real or alive in the first place, or is this book some weird inception "book within a book" thing?-As the novel continued further, there was less of Flannery's story and more of Miss Sweeney's story and Flannery became a background character to Miss Sweeney.-A lot of the references and plot points went over my head because I have not read the source text (Wuthering Heights) but that's more of a "me" problem than a problem with a novelWould I Recommend It?I honestly can't say for certain if I enjoyed this novel or not, but I can say it made me think and theorize about the book, which I particularly enjoy. If you liked Wink Poppy Midnight or are a fan of the Bronte sisters, I would give this one a try as I found it very similar to that.Favorite Quote "Certain characters seem to reach out from the page to offer you their hand and show you how they've triumphed over their own sorrows and difficulties"
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  • Sionna
    May 21, 2017
    *insert groan here*I pretty much stopped reading at 50%, skipped forward a bit to see if anything interesting would be there-- was interested, kept reading-- got annoyed, skimmed and read only the teacher's POV--annoyed, but I finished anyhow. What I liked: *insert long pause* I liked... Brandon was pretty cool, until he was an ass, but drunk I think. I did enjoy the magical copy of Wuthering Heights and how it lead Flannery on an adventure.What I disliked: Biggest problem for me upfront was al *insert groan here*I pretty much stopped reading at 50%, skipped forward a bit to see if anything interesting would be there-- was interested, kept reading-- got annoyed, skimmed and read only the teacher's POV--annoyed, but I finished anyhow. What I liked: *insert long pause* I liked... Brandon was pretty cool, until he was an ass, but drunk I think. I did enjoy the magical copy of Wuthering Heights and how it lead Flannery on an adventure.What I disliked: Biggest problem for me upfront was all the flowery language and useless paragraphs (pages?).I also don't quite understand what the book is about because she didn't 'find her people' and omg she is the worst at tracking people down-- KEEP THE BOOK OPEN AND FOLLOW ALONG! That is all she had to do, but she didn't.Also, I was really liking Mrs. Sweeney and wondering if she loved this guy so much, wtf happened? Oh, (view spoiler)[ you effing cheated on him. I don't want to sympathize with a cheater-- how dare she. (hide spoiler)] I see how she was supposed to represent Cathy in the past (right?) but I almost threw the book. Poor, Brandon-- what an amazing person he was, with shitty luck. The ending also did not sit right with me and totally didn't get it. Also, where is Heath and how was he (as the synopsis says) 'seems to have stepped from the pages of Brontë's novel' yeah, I did not see that at all. An interesting idea, but I really couldn't get into it.
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  • Carly
    May 8, 2017
    Review:Thank you so much for Flatiron Books and Raincoast for providing me with an ARC copy of this book.Having been attracted to the book as it appeared somewhat like a mystery, I decided to push forth and read it. In my opinion, it would have been beneficial to have read Wuthering Heights (as it is a modern-ish retelling of it). Many of the similarities between the two I could not tell as I had not read the other book previously.This does not mean that I did not enjoy the tale that was written Review:Thank you so much for Flatiron Books and Raincoast for providing me with an ARC copy of this book.Having been attracted to the book as it appeared somewhat like a mystery, I decided to push forth and read it. In my opinion, it would have been beneficial to have read Wuthering Heights (as it is a modern-ish retelling of it). Many of the similarities between the two I could not tell as I had not read the other book previously.This does not mean that I did not enjoy the tale that was written though. As described in this book, it is every book-lovers dream to be a part of their favourite book, but for only a few is it really possible. Miss Sweeny is one of those lucky people.Another aspect that I enjoyed is how the characters were named after famous literary authors/characters. Although it mentioned how they hated the names, I have always loved literary names and think it is cute to have something that connects someone to something bigger (do you get what I’m trying to say?).Some of the chapters were a bit lengthy, and I feel like there was quite a bit of filler information in them. As well, I feel that the ending was rushed in tieing all the ends. It introduced new characters, so there may be room for a sequel, but I am not sure about that.Overall, this is a daring book of adventure and trying to find one’s self. If you are a fan of classic retellings, then this book it just for you!
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