Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Book Review

 Hey everyone! Yeesh. Can you believe I haven't blogged all month? I guess that happens when your internet dies for long periods of time. The good news is, it's back up! Yay! So I'm back. And I have a ton of book reviews due! One thing about lack of internet... You have more time for reading. Later this coming week I'll be reviewing When Love Stirs but for now I'm reviewing Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

 Back cover: Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

This story is reminiscent of books like Daddy Long Legs. It tells the tale of an orphan who has been selected as part of a scholarship program to go to a school for journalism. This girl with trust issues has one requirement to fill: pen letters to her mysterious benefactor who dubs himself "Mr. Knightley" - a character from the Jane Austen novel Emma. Now, I'm a big fan of Daddy Long Legs, and though I have yet to complete a Jane Austen novel (I know... shame on me... but they're on my reading list!) I enjoy the films based on them, and plan on reading the books soon. Aside from these sources, I found quotes and references to many other famous works of fiction--my favorite being a scene taken from The Voyage of The Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis.This just made the book even more awesome.

 One thing that really added to the experience was that I read this with my mom. Reading a book out loud can be a hilarious occupation, adding to the humor. I found myself laughing out loud as I read to mom while she drove or made dinner. It became our special time, and that made me like the story even more somehow.

 I love the characters. Alex is awesome. I was jealous of Sam because of her friendship with an actual novelist. Okay, maybe not jealous, but you get the idea. And I felt for Sam. As her past was revealed, and she worked with other kids who had suffered similar things, it just made my heart ache.

 I loved this book. It had all the things I love, and this writer has a wonderful talent! With every reference and awkward situation I found myself more and more won over. This was a pleasure to read and review, and I can't wait for her next book. I can't believe this is her first published story. But congratulations to her for being nominated for a Christy award! She deserves it.

Buy it here.

I hope you enjoyed!

~ a rambling author

Oh, and by the way... I have another blog I'm apart of.... this one crazier than all the rest! See it here.

1 comment:

Maddie Jay said...

Hi :) I was just gonna let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Award on my blog