By the Book
An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.Anne Corey is about to get schooled.An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

By the Book Details

TitleBy the Book
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherGallery Books
ISBN-139781501175183
Rating
GenreRomance, Fiction, Contemporary, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Retellings

By the Book Review

  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    By the Book by Julia Sonneborn is a 2018 Gallery Books publication. A splendid, modern day version of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’. Anne Corey is trying to make tenure, write a book, and care for her father, with whom she has a tenuous relationship. All this is enough to keep Anne occupied, along with the exploits of her best friend, Larry. But, life throws Anne another unexpected curve ball when she learns her former fiancé, Adam, has been named president of her college!!Despite the awkwardness o By the Book by Julia Sonneborn is a 2018 Gallery Books publication. A splendid, modern day version of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’. Anne Corey is trying to make tenure, write a book, and care for her father, with whom she has a tenuous relationship. All this is enough to keep Anne occupied, along with the exploits of her best friend, Larry. But, life throws Anne another unexpected curve ball when she learns her former fiancé, Adam, has been named president of her college!!Despite the awkwardness of running into Adam from time to time, Anne has thrown herself into a torrid affair with a famous writer who has a sordid past. But, Anne still finds herself keeping up with what is going on in Adam’s life, and can’t stop herself from thinking about him, or wondering what he thinks of her. In the meantime, hilarity ensues, along with some emotional drama, as Anne faces one challenge after another, while attempting to cover for her friend Larry, who is involved in a scandalous, clandestine affair. Are Anne and Adam star crossed lovers or is there a possibility they might get a second chance at love? Re-tellings can be tricky, but the author did an amazing job with modernizing the classic romance novel by Jane Austen. This book is one of those utterly captivating feel good stories that will cure whatever ails you. The atmosphere is perfect, the dialogue is witty and sharp, and the characterizations are spot on. This book made me laugh, cry, and sigh with romantic satisfaction with what had to be THE best ending to a book I’ve read a in a long, long time. Although Anne is the star of the show, keep your eye on Larry, because he almost steals her thunder a time or two. But, mainly, it’s Adam, who has a big come from behind win that will knock your socks off!! LOVED IT!! This! This is what a good romance should be like!
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  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Austen's Persuasion is rather loosely translated into a light contemporary romance, set among the faculty of Fairfax, a small California liberal arts college. Anne Corey, a 32 year old English professor trying to get tenure, has to deal with Adam Martinez, her ex-fiancé from over ten years ago, becoming the president of the college. Rather than having one good heart-to-heart talk with him, (view spoiler)[which would have pretty much resolved everything immediately, (hide spoiler)]she avoids Jane Austen's Persuasion is rather loosely translated into a light contemporary romance, set among the faculty of Fairfax, a small California liberal arts college. Anne Corey, a 32 year old English professor trying to get tenure, has to deal with Adam Martinez, her ex-fiancé from over ten years ago, becoming the president of the college. Rather than having one good heart-to-heart talk with him, (view spoiler)[which would have pretty much resolved everything immediately, (hide spoiler)]she avoids him and quickly gets involved with a suave author who's at Fairfax for a year as a writer-in-residence. This main plotline shares time with a few interesting subplots: Anne's best friend Larry, a gay professor, falls for a handsome actor who's firmly in the closet; Anne and her sister deal with their aging father's health issues; and Anne is anxiously trying to get her literary criticism book published - if she fails, she'll probably be denied tenure.It was a decent read but never fully engaged me. The writing style, plot and characters are all straightforward, without a lot of depth, and the romance felt a little underbaked. Frankly I was hoping for more from this book, but it's fine for a quick, breezy romance read, if that's what you're in the mood for. The author (who is an English professor) has some telling insights into the travails of life as a non-tenured college professor. Anne's - and by extension Julia Sonneborn's - love for libraries and the classic authors like Austen shines through in many parts of the story.I read a lot of Austen retellings and fanfic (more than I probably should). This one seemed about par for the course, for a retelling set in our modern world, with how much it deviated from the original characters and plot. The one deviation that bothered me most: **spoilerish comments for both this book and Persuasion follow** (view spoiler)[In Persuasion Captain Wentworth is emotionally set against Anne at the start of the book, and much of the story is about how he comes around, eventually regaining his attraction for her and understanding/forgiving her for the choice she made to cut him loose years ago. In By the Book it's clear to the reader, if not Anne, that Adam is just waiting for the chance to make things right with her again and give their relationship another try. (hide spoiler)] It sucked a lot of romantic tension out of the room for me.I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher and NetGalley for review. Thanks!Content notes: There are a handful of F-bombs; all sex scenes are behind closed doors.
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  • Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    Super cute and fun for a summer book club read! The paperback contains book club discussion questions at the end too.By the Book is about college professor, Anne Corey, who while working towards tenure learns that her new university president is her ex-fiance from a decade ago. Of course he is successful and looking dreamy as ever while Anne is still working towards job security and can't even pay her overdue library fees. Oh, and there is also a handsome, charming new professor who is wooing An Super cute and fun for a summer book club read! The paperback contains book club discussion questions at the end too.By the Book is about college professor, Anne Corey, who while working towards tenure learns that her new university president is her ex-fiance from a decade ago. Of course he is successful and looking dreamy as ever while Anne is still working towards job security and can't even pay her overdue library fees. Oh, and there is also a handsome, charming new professor who is wooing Anne. What the heck is she going to do? Well, read and find out.I took this book with me on vacation and its a perfect beach/pool read. For 362 pages, it was a quick read: I whipped through it in two days.It's a retelling of sorts of Jane Austen's Persuasion. Having not read Persuasion, I just went into the story looking to be entertained. And the book did just that. It was adorable, I quite liked it. It's one of those stories that brightens your mood: perfect to read on a sunny day (or those rainy/snowy days where you are looking for something to lighten your mood).To view my reviews visit: www.saturdaynitereader.com
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  • Beverly
    January 1, 1970
    As I get older, I have come to love Jane Austen's Persuasion more and more. It is the book of her adulthood and the Autumn of her life, as she died much too young at 41. Just think of the works stolen from us if she had lived to be old.By the Book is a modern update of the classic book. It is well written and engaging and succeeds in paying homage to Persuasion, love of books and learning. It is a modern love story with a heroine whose life hasn't turned out well. She is stuck, in her early thir As I get older, I have come to love Jane Austen's Persuasion more and more. It is the book of her adulthood and the Autumn of her life, as she died much too young at 41. Just think of the works stolen from us if she had lived to be old.By the Book is a modern update of the classic book. It is well written and engaging and succeeds in paying homage to Persuasion, love of books and learning. It is a modern love story with a heroine whose life hasn't turned out well. She is stuck, in her early thirties, still trying to gain tenure as a literature professor and needs to publish an academic book in order to gain that coveted prize. Out of the past comes her ex-fiance who is now the president of her college. Embarrassment ensues.
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  • Geri Reads
    January 1, 1970
    By the Book is a loose, modern retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen, and for the most part, I enjoyed it quite a lot. There were a lot of insights into professorship tenure track which I find really interesting. I really liked Anne, the heroine. She's a struggling professor who just want to get tenure at the liberal college she teaches at and pay off her college loans. The problem was the path to tenureship isn't as easy as Anne would've liked to be. For one, she needs to be published before t By the Book is a loose, modern retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen, and for the most part, I enjoyed it quite a lot. There were a lot of insights into professorship tenure track which I find really interesting. I really liked Anne, the heroine. She's a struggling professor who just want to get tenure at the liberal college she teaches at and pay off her college loans. The problem was the path to tenureship isn't as easy as Anne would've liked to be. For one, she needs to be published before they can even consider giving her tenure. And no one seems interested in the book she's writing. Two, her ex-fiance, the one who got away, is back and he's now the new president at her college. It threw Anne for a loop because there are still feelings, feelings she doesn't quite know what to do with. Worse still, Adam seems to detest her. And how could he not, she broke it off with him in the first place and their relationship, even their friendship didn't survive her rejection.Third, her personal life is a mess. Her relationship with her father is still difficult. Anne has long suspect that her father was disappointed in her career of choice and although they never really talked about it, the tension between them coupled with Anne's guilt hovers in the background throughout the book. All of these elements held my attention throughout. In fact, this book was pleasantly readable. But there are some things that could've been handled better like Anne's obviously gay professor best friend whose romantic entanglements was sort of a side plot in the book and didn't really go anywhere. But what really disappointed me was the lack of romance. Reading from the blurb, you'd think that the romance would be stronger but it's not. The two main characters, Anne and Adam barely spent time together in the book. They see each other here and there but they never interacted in meaningful ways until the very end. There was no spark or intrigue. In fact, Anne spent 80% of the book getting cozy with another man. Now I wouldn't have minded if the man in question was a character that I at least liked but unfortunately, he's the worst character in the book. I hated his smug face. I wanted Anne to spend more time with Adam but alas, that didn't happen until 90% of the book and by then, the book was over. I understand that it's a modern retelling of a classic but I would've wanted more Adam and Anne pining for each other or loving each other from afar instead of her bestie's side plot and the inordinate time she spends pining for another guy. Overall, this was a good, well written novel. But if you're looking for more romance, then you might be disappointed with this one. An ARC was provided by the publisher
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  • Chris C - A Midlife Wife
    January 1, 1970
    What a refreshing story! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I have to admit I have never been one to read many of the classics. I know that’s a horrible thing to say. Other than what has been assigned in school, which I probably wouldn’t remember anyway, I am not one to delve into the flowery romance and poetic writings from the Masters.So the fact that the story is based on a classic really didn’t matter to me. What does matter to me is what this author brings to the table. How the story makes me feel during t What a refreshing story! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I have to admit I have never been one to read many of the classics. I know that’s a horrible thing to say. Other than what has been assigned in school, which I probably wouldn’t remember anyway, I am not one to delve into the flowery romance and poetic writings from the Masters.So the fact that the story is based on a classic really didn’t matter to me. What does matter to me is what this author brings to the table. How the story makes me feel during the reading and after I’m finished.I can completely say that this is a delightful, clean romance, full of the realities of life and the hope of a happy future. You will fall in love with the warm writing that wraps around you like a cozy blanket.With memories of a college love in the past intertwined with life as a college professor and as a child of an aging parent, the author weaves a story that is memorable, rich with detail, and a delicate balance of family, friendship, emotion, and romance.I have to say I was not expecting this type of depth and writing from a new author. The descriptive details and her character development makes you just want to get to know them and become a part of the story.I want to live in this town and work at this college. I want to experience the homes on the streets that remind me of classic traditional Ivy League school towns on the East Coast. Downtown Americana at it’s finest.By The Book by Julia Sonneborn is an experience in literature, life, and love and it’s not one to be missed if you are a true romance story lover.* copy received for review consideration* full review - http://amidlifewife.com/by-the-book-b...
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  • Reading.Between.Wines
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5My reviews and (maybe) some other random thoughts can also be seen at https://readingbetweenwinessite.wordp... ____________________________________________________________After a highly disappointing read (The Beloveds), I was THRILLED to read By the Book. It made me laugh out loud so much, and it was just generally a very feel-good, entertaining story. And of course, I am completely obsessed with the cover. It is so bloody gorgeous! A modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persusión, By the ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5My reviews and (maybe) some other random thoughts can also be seen at https://readingbetweenwinessite.wordp... ____________________________________________________________After a highly disappointing read (The Beloveds), I was THRILLED to read By the Book. It made me laugh out loud so much, and it was just generally a very feel-good, entertaining story. And of course, I am completely obsessed with the cover. It is so bloody gorgeous! A modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persusión, By the Book centers on Anne Corey who is an English professor trying to be granted tenure at the college she is working at. All of a sudden (!) her ex-fiance becomes president of the college. Throw in a very attractive writer as the college's new writer-in-residence and we have one drama filled book folks!I loved Anne as a character, and I though the book was HILARIOUS. Books that can make me laugh out loud are my favorite. Plus I loved the emojis! I hope they make it to the finished copy because it was something I have never seen before in a novel and it was very unique. Especially fitting for a contemporary book in a time where everyone is on their phone, and Apple is constantly coming out with new emojis. The end made me tear up, and even though it may seem a little "rushed" to some, I loved it. It was the perfect ending to this novel, and there were even a couple of surprises that I didn't see coming. When I actually had time to read it, I flew through this book. So I would definitely consider it a fast read as well. One small caveat I had was with the emails that are dotted throughout the book. I loved them in concept and they were enjoyable to read, but at times they were a little confusing. The characters they involved aren't all known ahead of time, then you find out who they are right after. I got used to it, but it would have been better for me if I had known all the players before they ended up showing up in emails. Because of nicknames and such, I also didn't always know who the email address was referring to. I still loved that they were in the book though; it added a little something different from other books besides just the emojis. Final Thought: Loved and adored this modern retelling of a classic, and I highly recommend it. I have never read the Austen version, but this book was fantastic and so funny. I will most definitely be buying my own copy once it is released! *This book is set to be published on 06 Feb 2018**HUGE thanks to Gallery Books for providing me with an electronic ARC of this book via NetGalley. My review is completely honest and unbiased*
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  • MaryBeth's Bookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    By the Book by Julia Sonneborn is an absolute delight to read!A modern re-telling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, By the Book follows the life of Anne Corey, English Literature professor at a local college. Anne is trying to get her book published so she can secure tenure when she finds out the new president of the college is none other than he ex-fiancee from 10 years; the devastatingly handsome Adam Martinez. She is also dealing with an overbearing sister and a father in a nursing home. Her best By the Book by Julia Sonneborn is an absolute delight to read!A modern re-telling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, By the Book follows the life of Anne Corey, English Literature professor at a local college. Anne is trying to get her book published so she can secure tenure when she finds out the new president of the college is none other than he ex-fiancee from 10 years; the devastatingly handsome Adam Martinez. She is also dealing with an overbearing sister and a father in a nursing home. Her best friend, Larry, provides the much needed comic relief (seriously laughed out loud more than once).This is the perfect, light, beach read to enjoy!!
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  • Jaime Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    I’m so torn on this book because 1. That cover is absolutely what made me download it and isn’t it adorable and 2. Second chance love stories are my jam… this one just fell kind of short for a couple of reasons. This is touted as a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion… which to be honest (and don’t yell at me, I’ve admitted this before) I have never read. Classics really aren’t my thing and I can’t pinpoint why, but I’ll read retellings for days. In By The Book, Anne Corey is an English I’m so torn on this book because 1. That cover is absolutely what made me download it and isn’t it adorable and 2. Second chance love stories are my jam… this one just fell kind of short for a couple of reasons. This is touted as a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion… which to be honest (and don’t yell at me, I’ve admitted this before) I have never read. Classics really aren’t my thing and I can’t pinpoint why, but I’ll read retellings for days. In By The Book, Anne Corey is an English professor looking for tenure and a permanent placement at a college she loves. All she has to do is write a book and get it sold. When the school year starts and she’s at a reception to meet the new President, she’s blindsided by the fact that it’s none other than her former fiancé and first love, Adam. I really enjoyed Anne as a character… struggling to make ends meet, struggling to build a meaningful relationship with her sister, struggling to wrangle her ailing father. She was relatable and I felt for her struggles.That said, this story was portrayed as a romance… and I guess it was, just not between the two characters I was expecting. Anne connects very early on in the story with the writer in residence, Rick, who doesn’t like Adam and vice-versa, so a lot of the interactions between Anne and Adam are tense and uncomfortable. Plus there’s the whole history of their relationship between them that neither have broached to clear the air. Additionally I felt that Rick’s character was a big cliché and ugh so predictable. I knew from the get go that he really wasn’t the person we’re supposed to believe him to be and I struggled to understand why Anne didn’t see it. There’s this whole side story between Anne’s best friend Larry and another character that I thought was weirdly included too… I don’t know, it just didn’t work for me. So here’s the kicker that really had me frustrated… and it might be considered a spoiler so read with caution. For the majority of the book we get brief interactions between Adam and Anne, but at no point was there enough of them talking, connecting, rebuilding enough to warrant the ending that this story threw at me. It was completely unbelievable to me and I feel like I needed a bit more of a reconnection in order to make it work for me. Overall, a cute read, but with some clichéd characters and a rushed ending this one just didn’t completely work for me. Thank you to the publisher for an early copy for my thoughts.
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  • ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
    January 1, 1970
     I LOVED this loosely based modern take on Jane Austen’s Persuasion. This was a sweet and fun second chance novel that made me smile. I really liked the characters especially gay best friend and side kick, Larry! This story even gave me a happy tear at the ending! I recommend this book for anyone who likes a great women’s lit novel and second chance romance!
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. Persuasion is one of my favorite Jane Austen novels and I am always ready to jump on board a re-telling. Unfortunately, By the Book did not really live up to my expectations.One thing that I thought was really odd for a re-telling is that the main character, Anne, is a college lit professor and teaches on authors such as Jane Austen. Also, Anne’s favorite book is Persuasion. I have never seen the actual source material I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. Persuasion is one of my favorite Jane Austen novels and I am always ready to jump on board a re-telling. Unfortunately, By the Book did not really live up to my expectations.One thing that I thought was really odd for a re-telling is that the main character, Anne, is a college lit professor and teaches on authors such as Jane Austen. Also, Anne’s favorite book is Persuasion. I have never seen the actual source material referenced in a re-telling. At first I thought maybe it was just going to be really meta or something, but Anne never references how her life is paralleling her favorite novel. To be fair, though, there were very few instances that really resembled it.The Anne of this book was not nearly as likable as Anne from Persuasion. She was short tempered and kind of whiney. I did not like her best friend, Larry, at all. He was very over-dramatic and he was also having an affair with a closeted married man. Anne was friends with that man’s wife and she didn’t seem to find anything wrong with what Larry was doing and the whole storyline very greatly frustrated me. Anne dates an author and fellow visiting professor, Rick, for most of the book and he was another awful person. The only character I really liked was Adam (our Captain Wentworth). He never really did anything wrong the whole book and in my opinion was way too good for Anne.Overall, I found By the Book really disappointing. I didn’t think there were enough recognizable parts from Persuasion that I like to see in re-tellings and just couldn’t get over how odd it was that Jane Austen and the actual book were referenced so often. I’m adding an extra half-star to my rating, though, because the writing itself wasn’t that bad and it did include a version of my favorite part of Persuasion– the letter.Overall Rating (out of 5): 2.5 Stars
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  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    Life for a single, nontenured English professor on a college campus becomes complicated when her ex-fiance' becomes her boss, her dad's health takes a turn for the worse, she needs to get her book published or lose her job, and a dashing writer is giving her smoldering eyes and offers to help her with her book. Incidentally, this is also a loose modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. But, never fear if you are unfamiliar, By the Book can be enjoyed by any sweet contemporary romance or wom Life for a single, nontenured English professor on a college campus becomes complicated when her ex-fiance' becomes her boss, her dad's health takes a turn for the worse, she needs to get her book published or lose her job, and a dashing writer is giving her smoldering eyes and offers to help her with her book. Incidentally, this is also a loose modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. But, never fear if you are unfamiliar, By the Book can be enjoyed by any sweet contemporary romance or women's fiction lovers out there.I was immediately drawn in by the heroine's dilemma of having the man she pushed away ten years before now, handsome and successful, is her boss when her world isn't all that put together. She looks at him and all that his life has been and has big-time regrets for her choice. I thought her troubles with her family, her financial and career worries, and her her college town life were well written and drawn out. Anne's pretty much a likeable, average woman who is suddenly confronted with a second chance or a new chance all at once.To be honest, I see this story as more of a fiction story than romance after listening to it. It's a strong story and I liked it, but I did have to adjust my thinking on it. For much of the book, the evidence of romance is with the wrong guy and I didn't see a lot of connection (from Anne, that is. Adam was attempting to connect) with the right one until near the rushed ending. Much of the book is Anne growing and learning in all areas of her life which is something I enjoy in fiction stories. I'm going to give the ending the benefit of the doubt because it felt like there might be a follow up book possibility. There was definitely some good heartwarming romantic closure in the end even if I had a few threads needing tying up with secondary plots.I was cheering for Anne (and Adam), but I wanted to shake her a few times. And, this is where I felt like this story was actually more Pride & Prejudice than Persuasion. Anne is stubborn and prejudiced against Adam and is blindly allowing Rick to deceive her for too long like a certain lying villain in P&P did with that heroine. A straight forward conversation would have cleared things up so quickly, but her avoiding Adam got old especially when Adam's interest and kindnesses were not subtle. And, while I'm on the subject of niggles. I liked Larry, her best friend, but was not thrilled that he's having an affair with a married guy.On a side note, the insertion of text speech and emails was a fun change up from the straight narration. The emails led into the chapters nicely.As to narration, I thought Amy McFadden did alright. She had good pacing and a nice range for her voices, male and female, and did accents and emotions. However, I found her individual voice distracting. I can't exactly describe what my hang-up was. It wasn't bad, but I could never quite settle into the storytelling. Maybe… just not a match with me, if that makes sense.All in all, it was sweet, light and gently paced. I enjoyed the college campus world from the professorial side. I enjoyed seeing Anne find her happy. And, I'd definitely pick up more from this new to me author including a sequel to this book.My thanks to Brilliance Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Pre-read:Jane Austen's PERSUASION retelling? SIGN ME THE FUCK UP.Post-read:DNF at 20%It's just...........boring. Anne's voice kinda annoyed me. & I can't get into the writing.I AM SO DISAPPOINTED-
  • Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a delight to read and a great break from all the murder and mayhem I normally read. “By the Book” is a modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Our heroine, Anne Corey is an English professor in California, and she is one hot mess. Except, when she is in her classroom teaching. And I enjoyed her character so much! She was just so normal (and really what is normal?) and so gloriously flawed. Right from the beginning you understand Anne is on a mission to get published so sh This was such a delight to read and a great break from all the murder and mayhem I normally read. “By the Book” is a modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Our heroine, Anne Corey is an English professor in California, and she is one hot mess. Except, when she is in her classroom teaching. And I enjoyed her character so much! She was just so normal (and really what is normal?) and so gloriously flawed. Right from the beginning you understand Anne is on a mission to get published so she can can get tenure and secure a promotion. And then walks in, Adam Martinez (sigh), the new college president, can I just insert here how much I just loved him, Adam also just happens to be her first love and ex-fiance’. I had so many laugh out loud moments with Anne’s journey. Especially her relationship with her BFF Larry. He was such a hoot! I want a Larry for my own. I also shed a few tears, but they were beautiful sad moments that life throws at us all. If you are familiar with Austen’s Persuasion, then you know the turns this story takes. But, Sonneborn had me second guessing if we would really get that ending. Her writing flowed quickly and beautifully. The only issue I had, is I wish we had more time with Anne and Adam together, the ending seemed a bit rushed, but I still teared up. This author has found a new fan with me. Also, that cover, stunning!This would make a great Rom-Com movie and I would love to see this on the big screen. Unfortunately, Hollywood always takes a great book and destroys it. Thank you NetGalley, Gallery Books and author Julia Sonneborn for a free advanced e-book copy for an honest review.
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  • J. W. Garrett
    January 1, 1970
    “…I have loved none but you.” –Jane Austen, PersuasionModern retelling of Austen’s classic Persuasion. Rating PG->18: mild language, sex scenes between consenting adults, discussion of adult themes and sexual orientation. This story is completely a stand-a-lone. It could easily be read without knowing anything about Austen’s Persuasion. In fact, there were times when I found it hard to follow because I was trying to make it fit my concept of the Persuasion time-line. I knew what needed to hap “…I have loved none but you.” –Jane Austen, PersuasionModern retelling of Austen’s classic Persuasion. Rating PG->18: mild language, sex scenes between consenting adults, discussion of adult themes and sexual orientation. This story is completely a stand-a-lone. It could easily be read without knowing anything about Austen’s Persuasion. In fact, there were times when I found it hard to follow because I was trying to make it fit my concept of the Persuasion time-line. I knew what needed to happen next and kept wondering how the author was going to bridge the two stories. It might have been better if I had just accepted the story for what it was… a love story. Because very few of the names were similar to canon, I found it hard to keep track of the Persuasion characters and the story. We have Anne Corey and we have Dr. Russell as her college advisor. When she fell in love with Adam Martinez, Dr. Russell advised her against having a relationship prior to entering grad school. Getting her doctorate was going to be hard enough… and for Anne to try and maintain a relationship would be doubly hard on her academic goals. Anne subsequently broke it off with Adam.“Persuasion is often more effectual than force.” AesopThose familiar with the Persuasion story know that Anne gave up Wentworth [in our case Adam] and lived to regret it years later. In our modern story the time difference is fifteen years rather than the eight canon years. Anne had not seen Adam in all that time and now he was president of her college, thus making him her boss. There were many new characters added to the story and several characters combined in order to lessen the traffic. In this version, Anne only had the one sister, a scary combination of the canon sisters, Elizabeth and Mary. Many JAFF [Jane Austen Fan Fiction] stories/books are located in or on a college campus. The characters are typically college-aged students and in keeping with the age Austen set forth in her stories. This is the first book I’ve read where Austen’s characters are much older and are actually the professors on campus. This was so cool. I really enjoyed the academic atmosphere and the day-to-day activities between the staff within the different branches of the college. From the chatty/nosy support staff, to the various professors [with tenure, on a tenure-track and the non-tenured hopeful], to the incoming president of the college… the interplay between our characters was entertaining. There was something for everyone. The descriptions of Anne as she researched for her book, the visits to the library archives [I could almost smell the ink, dust and paper], the various books and their authors discussed, poetry, opinions and the arguments supporting the stance on women writers in literature… was simply amazing. I hope I am not being crude when I say I drooled… yeah, I did.Unfortunately, there wasn’t an epilogue and several threads were left dangling. Not sure if there is another book… it left me wondering what happened to several of the characters and their story.I would like to thank the publisher, Galley, Threshold, Pocket Book, Gallery Books for this ARC [Advanced-Reader-Copy] via NetGalley. Expected publication date February 6, 2018. The views expressed are my own.
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  • Dilinna
    January 1, 1970
    Wasnt up to my many many expectations...it ws so annoying that i got to 80 percent and decided to ditch it...i couldnt handle it anymore. I dont even knw where the story is headed...it was jst all over the place
  • r3ad3rsan0nym0us
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe I am still in the swooning phase of Persuasion so I’m going to need just a few minutes to process my thoughts on this modern day retelling. Maybe because I haven’t read any before I’m having a little time finding my comfy space. By the Book’s main character Anne Corey is similar to beloved Anne Elliot (Persuasion) in that her first and only true love (Adam) is back in her life after 13 years, he’s the new President at the liberal arts college she’s currently a professor at in Fairfax. Anne Maybe I am still in the swooning phase of Persuasion so I’m going to need just a few minutes to process my thoughts on this modern day retelling. Maybe because I haven’t read any before I’m having a little time finding my comfy space. By the Book’s main character Anne Corey is similar to beloved Anne Elliot (Persuasion) in that her first and only true love (Adam) is back in her life after 13 years, he’s the new President at the liberal arts college she’s currently a professor at in Fairfax. Anne needs to get a book deal offer to secure a tenured teaching position but time is running out. She’s 32 and seems to have it together until Adam (aka Captain Wenworth) shows back up. The book was a quick read on a snowy day. I even stayed up reading it late (or is that early) into the morning. The author does a good job in keeping you turning the pages, but I wonder was it a smidge over the top in that it deviates from the true essence of the characters portrayed in Austen’s Persuasion? The author of By the Book had some nuisance to the story, her Anne had one sister (successful and married with 3kids) and her father who might have dementia, seems to be aloof and distant, especially since neither (her dad and sister) have been pleased with Anne’s choice in career and other life decisions. There’s a scene when I laughed at Anne being stuck with one of her nephews who proceeds to treat Anne’s shoulders, head and hair like a ride on a pony. To the rescue Adam. When Anne’s father ends up in the hospital and Adam quickly comes to her aide, I thought, Anne is going to get it, she’s going to realize Rick (Mr Eliot is a fraud) and see Adam for who’s she’s always known him to be. At this point, I expected Anne (BTB) to be Anne (Persuasion) and come to her senses. This is when I expected my Persuasion experience to pick up. Of course I realize I don’t have much experience with reading retellings so I think I need just a little bit more time to compare the two, or maybe that’s the problem, I shouldn’t compare?***I received an advanced copy to read and review in exchange for honest review. Thanks at Gallery Books
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Disclosure: This is a retelling of Persuasion, which I have never read. Therefore, I have no opinions about how well Sonneborn pulled off re-doing Jane Austen. I can tell you, that I found this book very delightful, and I shed my signature "happy tears" over the ending. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought I was signing on for a second chance romance, but really, this was more women's lit to me, because the focus was so solidly on Anne coming to terms with her past decisions a Disclosure: This is a retelling of Persuasion, which I have never read. Therefore, I have no opinions about how well Sonneborn pulled off re-doing Jane Austen. I can tell you, that I found this book very delightful, and I shed my signature "happy tears" over the ending. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought I was signing on for a second chance romance, but really, this was more women's lit to me, because the focus was so solidly on Anne coming to terms with her past decisions and trying to gain control of her life. "I suddenly felt faint. My former fiancé was my new boss."Anne, a 30-something college professor, was at a critical time in her fledgling career. Her contract was coming to an end, and she needed to get a book deal or lose her position. At the same time, she was dealing with an aging parent, never ending bills, and the return of her one-time epic love, Adam. Coming face to face with her past, has her reflecting on her current life circumstances and questioning her previous decisions. I really liked Anne. She was very down to earth and relatable. She also had a fantastic sense of humor. I really enjoyed her narration, commentary, and self-reflection. I absolutely adored Larry and thought him and Anne formed a perfect friendship. He definitely filled the role of quirky sidekick, and he did it well. Anne was funny, but Larry was hilarious. He side plot, was amusing, and a besotted Larry was a ton of fun too. There were also all those tangled webs of relationships that are ever-present in novels, such as Austen's. It was quite a web Sonneborn wove, and it did its job, leading me down certain paths of thought and making me laugh. I liked the way Sonneborn wove the flashbacks into the story. The placement was thoughtful, and fit nicely with the present-time events giving us a little insight into why Anne was making the decisions she was making. Some of these flashbacks really broke my heart. When I read about past Anne&Adam, I was totally shipping them, and I was eager to find out what led to the demise of their relationship. With each part of the past that is revealed, I understood Anne more and more. I loved the ending. I was wearing a big, stupid grin and had tears in my eyes, but I do wish it wasn't as rushed. It wasn't that it was not satisfying, I just wanted more, which is never a bad thing. Overall: A fun retelling, which I am filing under "makes-me-happy", because it did. ARC received in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Tia
    January 1, 1970
    Being a Janeite and a Persuasion lover I may be a bit biased, but I LOVED it!I gobbled this book up. I enjoy books whose settings are boarding schools and universities. Anne Corey is the modern Anne and Adam Martinez is the Mr. Wentworth. Anne is a Professor who needs to publish a book for tenure and discovers her college boyfriend (she turned down his proposal) is the new President of her University. Anne is very naive, irritating and comes across as having low self esteem. In 'Persuasion' by J Being a Janeite and a Persuasion lover I may be a bit biased, but I LOVED it!I gobbled this book up. I enjoy books whose settings are boarding schools and universities. Anne Corey is the modern Anne and Adam Martinez is the Mr. Wentworth. Anne is a Professor who needs to publish a book for tenure and discovers her college boyfriend (she turned down his proposal) is the new President of her University. Anne is very naive, irritating and comes across as having low self esteem. In 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen Anne was naive, but had a mind of her own and was good with making rational decisions. Adam mirrored Mr. Wentworth more closely. There's a devil in this mix, of course (the distraction) and that is Rick. I knew he was a bugger and Anne just couldn't see it. This is were I find annoyance in the plot. I wanted better of Anne's character. Anne's Bff Larry and his scandalous relationship with Jack is the high of the book. It really keeps it going. I had a great time reading 'By the Book' and will re-read it again and again. I was provided an eArc by the Publisher via Netgalley.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I have not read Jane Austen, so the comparisons are lost on me. But I truly enjoyed this book. Anne was a wonderful character, filled with humor, intelligence and flaws. While I was pretty sure we were going to end up exactly where we did, the trip itself was fun. The characters were all well developed and interesting, my favorite being Anne's BFF Larry. So funny, I could hear him talking in my head! I learned a lot about the literary world, college, and teaching. Fast paced, contemporary, and f I have not read Jane Austen, so the comparisons are lost on me. But I truly enjoyed this book. Anne was a wonderful character, filled with humor, intelligence and flaws. While I was pretty sure we were going to end up exactly where we did, the trip itself was fun. The characters were all well developed and interesting, my favorite being Anne's BFF Larry. So funny, I could hear him talking in my head! I learned a lot about the literary world, college, and teaching. Fast paced, contemporary, and fun.
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  • Paige
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a delight and an absolute joy to read! This modern retelling of Persuasion was so wonderful to me because it was so perfectly adapted to a contemporary setting. The storyline and main characters were recognizable to readers familiar with Persuasion without this being simply a retelling dressed in a modern wardrobe. The situations and characters were believable and relatable, which helped make this so enjoyable. This book is so well written that it is effortless to read, and it is This book was a delight and an absolute joy to read! This modern retelling of Persuasion was so wonderful to me because it was so perfectly adapted to a contemporary setting. The storyline and main characters were recognizable to readers familiar with Persuasion without this being simply a retelling dressed in a modern wardrobe. The situations and characters were believable and relatable, which helped make this so enjoyable. This book is so well written that it is effortless to read, and it is difficult to put this book down. This is a story for all lovers of witty contemporary love stories, and a background knowledge of Persuasion is not required. The title and the cover are beacons and shout outs to book loving girls. This is a fun and touching read that will have wide appeal. I highly recommend it!
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  • Chris Conley
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! This is a terrific book. As a former English major, I found the world of college literature classes and literature, in general, so lovely. Anne Corey is a delightfully flawed heroine.
  • Lisa Wolf
    January 1, 1970
    Hmm. I tore through By the Book, and definitely had a good time while I was reading it. At the same time, for a book being billed as a retelling of Persuasion, it's pretty loose when it comes to making the plot stick.Anne spends much of the book in a relationship with a smarmy writer who drops lines about being on the front lines in Fallujah and his battle-related PTSD, but it's just so clear from the get-go that he's a con artist and a fraud. When Adam makes a comment to Anne about Rick's shady Hmm. I tore through By the Book, and definitely had a good time while I was reading it. At the same time, for a book being billed as a retelling of Persuasion, it's pretty loose when it comes to making the plot stick.Anne spends much of the book in a relationship with a smarmy writer who drops lines about being on the front lines in Fallujah and his battle-related PTSD, but it's just so clear from the get-go that he's a con artist and a fraud. When Adam makes a comment to Anne about Rick's shady past, I couldn't help but wonder how Darcy and Wickham sneaked into Persuasion! Anne is a decent protagonist, a smart woman who's chose her professional career over love (although the history of her break-up with Adam on the eve of their college graduation didn't make a whole lot of sense to me.) Of course, as a retelling, the ending is inevitable -- but if I didn't know Persuasion, I wouldn't have been convinced that Anne had actually been mooning over Adam and regretting their break-up the whole time. When they do finally declare their love, it's about as out of the blue as it gets.Still, I wouldn't want to imply that this isn't a fun read. Anne's best friend Larry is a hoot, even if his romantic indulgences are ill-advised. The big blockbuster movie that's all the rage is called Jane Vampire (a supernatural version of Jane Eyre, of course), and it becomes a pretty silly recurring subject throughout the book. Anne's family life is messy and has a realistic ring to it, and I enjoyed seeing campus life through a professor's eyes, showing that behind the intellectual, scholarly facades are real people, looking for love and friendship and just a little bit of fun once in a while.Don't expect anything too deep, and don't expect an Austen retelling that's particularly attached to the original -- but given those caveats, By the Book is an entertaining, funny, and even charming read.Note: I received a review copy courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley.
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  • Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    This was an example of the right book at the right time--I started it and couldn't put it down but didn't want it to end. I needed an escape, and this was a well-written modern take on Jane Austen's Persuasion. You might know where it's going, but it was fun getting there, and the author has cleverly incorporated elements of the original into this text. Reading Austen is not necessary, but it has inspired me to re-read the original.
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  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    What a delightful read! I loved the college setting and the literary focus, and although I have never read Persuasion, I have heard that this is a solid retelling :-) I'm a major lover of books about books, and this one did NOT disappoint. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy of this title - all opinions are my own.
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    Anne Corey is a professor at Fairfax College in Southern California tryingTo gain tenure, write a book , and take care of her father when she discoversthat Adam Martinez, her first love and ex-fiancé has become the newPresident of the College.Anne must overcome the interest of another writeras well as doing what she must to reach her goal. This is a fast, enjoyable,light read about bookish women. It has wit, charm and heart , humor as wellas drama to be enjoyed by readers.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    This book. ❤ The acknowledgements say the book is a love letter to book lovers, and it’s absolutely correct. I loved everything about this book. The love story wasn’t cheesy and over the top, it was actually believable (until the end). I loved Anne. She didn’t hopelessly pine after the men in her life and was very real and down to earth. I saw a lot of myself in her. The friendship between her and Larry was also so real, from the wine drinking to the forwarding of emails and snarky comments. I l This book. ❤️ The acknowledgements say the book is a love letter to book lovers, and it’s absolutely correct. I loved everything about this book. The love story wasn’t cheesy and over the top, it was actually believable (until the end). I loved Anne. She didn’t hopelessly pine after the men in her life and was very real and down to earth. I saw a lot of myself in her. The friendship between her and Larry was also so real, from the wine drinking to the forwarding of emails and snarky comments. I loved it. I did feel like the ending was rushed and a little unbelievable, but I loved the rest of it so much that it didn’t phase me. My only other dislike was Larry’s relationship. It was odd and a little distracting. Maybe if there was more explanation of how it came about and how it progressed I would've found it more appropriate. A huge thank you to NetGalley and Gallery books for this advanced copy!
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  • Arlena
    January 1, 1970
    Title: By the BookAuthor: Julia SonnebornPublisher: Gallery BooksReviewed By: Arlena DeanRating: FourReview:"By the Book" by Julia SonnebornMy Thoughts....I found this read very similar spin to 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen novel, however it was still a interesting read that can give you a good feeling after the read. The main character Anne Corey I didn't know if I felt sorry for her or what at times. What will happen when Anne finds out that her true love and ex [Adam Martinez] is the Fairfax Co Title: By the BookAuthor: Julia SonnebornPublisher: Gallery BooksReviewed By: Arlena DeanRating: FourReview:"By the Book" by Julia SonnebornMy Thoughts....I found this read very similar spin to 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen novel, however it was still a interesting read that can give you a good feeling after the read. The main character Anne Corey I didn't know if I felt sorry for her or what at times. What will happen when Anne finds out that her true love and ex [Adam Martinez] is the Fairfax College President at the college as she is trying to get her tenure as an English professor? It was hard for me to see her giving up her true love of her life because a 'all knowing' professor persuaded her to do so if she wanted a career. One thing I will say is thank God for a best friend like Larry that Anne did have in this good story. Be ready for some twist and turns but in the end will Anne and Adam get their second chance and have a HEA? Well to find out you will have to pick up this overall enjoyable read "By The Book." Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of By The Book by Julia Sonneborn.
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  • Lacey (Booklovers For Life)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5-4 stars! This surprised me, both in good and bad ways. I was intrigued because I knew this was a retelling of Persuasion (which I loved), plus I love a good second chance romance, so this seemed perfect for me. I enjoyed the book overall, but it was the romance that felt lackluster. Honestly, I would barely even call this book a romance at all, it felt more like a fiction novel. That being said, the story was one that I couldn't put down – I finished it in only a few hours. I was hooked on t 3.5-4 stars! This surprised me, both in good and bad ways. I was intrigued because I knew this was a retelling of Persuasion (which I loved), plus I love a good second chance romance, so this seemed perfect for me. I enjoyed the book overall, but it was the romance that felt lackluster. Honestly, I would barely even call this book a romance at all, it felt more like a fiction novel. That being said, the story was one that I couldn't put down – I finished it in only a few hours. I was hooked on the heroine and her struggles. I had different expectations for the romance, but other than that, I'd recommend this if you're interested in books related to academics and literature!Full review to come!Thanks to the publisher for generously providing me an ARC to review.
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  • SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    I’m always up for a second chance romance, but unfortunately this book was not for me. From the plot line to the characters were things I disliked. For one we had way to many clichés in this. Both character and story wise.  Also it was way to predictable for me, while we get a little of that in a lot of books, this was just too much along with the clichés. The main characters who us a English Professor is also a bit of a  literary snob, so is also her co-worker who also happens to be her best I’m always up for a second chance romance, but unfortunately this book was not for me. From the plot line to the characters were things I disliked. For one we had way to many clichés in this. Both character and story wise.  Also it was way to predictable for me, while we get a little of that in a lot of books, this was just too much along with the clichés. The main characters who us a English Professor is also a bit of a  literary snob, so is also her co-worker who also happens to be her best friend. He wont read anything published after 1920 which would be fine if it didn’t come  over so snotty. Speaking of the best friend who also happens to be gay, he could have not been more of a stereotype, the way her dressed or talked or behaved. I think that could have been much better and less cliché and it would have been more enjoyable. We have come so far when it comes to LGBTQs so there is no reason to throw out all these cliches. I also was not a big fan of the Anne, who also was been way to overplayed . She lived to much in the what has been and not in the what is happening now. She seemed to play with people because she only thought f herself at times. Overall, I was not a fan but I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will overlook all the clichés like the book much better. I rate it 2 ★
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