Spoiler free review of By the Book by Amanda Sellet.
Synopsis: Mary Porter-Malcolm is a classic literature lover. She recently transferred to her town’s public high school and as she meets new friends she makes the Scoundrel Survival Guide. She quickly realizes that fiction isn’t reality as she forgets to follow her own rules and falls for the school “bad boy.” Mary has to put everything at stake so she can follow her heart instead of the rules and write her own happy ending.
This book was another delightful contemporary read. It was such an enjoyable and quick read. A few things I liked about this book were all the literary references. For me personally, classics aren’t my first choice but I still appreciated it. It was exciting watching Mary branch out at her new school and build friendships that would last years. I also enjoyed the romance between Mary and Alex. This was a realistic novel that focused on struggles that we have to face in family, friendships, and relationships and how important they are in our lives.
Now one thing I didn’t like about this book: I wish there was more focus on Mary and Alex and not as much emphasis on them not being together. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book. Seeing all Mary’s friends different personalities instead of the classic cookie cutter girl group also added to the realism.
Overall, I would rate By the Book 3.5 maybe 4/5 stars. If you love books about books and looking for a lighthearted and realistic contemporary definitely check this one out!
I gave By the Book an age rating of 13 and up.
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