“By the Book” is my latest book in my repertoire. “By the Book” is written by the woman who is named Amanda Sellet. It is a romance book with a lot of references to older works in it. I felt a lot of things about this book… not all of them good.
So, what is “By the Book” about? Well, “By the Book” is about a girl who is named Mary Porter-Malcom. Mary Porter-Malcom is a freshman in high-school. On the first day of school, her old friend, Anjuli, rejects her friendship. Clearly, Anjuli thinks Mary Porter-Malcom is a stick-in-the-mud. The two’s old friendship will not play-on in high-school.
Later on Mary meets three other girls. The three girls become Mary’s new friends. The girls are named Arden, Terry (or Teresa), and Lydia. Mary becomes friends with the girls because she warns them against a resident bad-boy that Terry is eye-ing. The bad-boy’s name is Alex Ritter.
Mary doesn’t stop there. After she warns the three girls about Alex Ritter, Mary also begins to talk about other boys at her school. She connects the boys at her school to different scoundrels in other books. She warns the girls against the different Darcys, Heathcliffs, and Mr. Rochesters out there. The girls create a list of bad-boys. The list becomes the four’s holy-grail.
However, Mary has a secret. She is growing to like Alex Ritter… the number one bad-boy who she warned her friends against.
I had high hopes for this book. I liked the idea of Mary’s list of bad-boys who resemble a cad from another classic book. However, the list seemed forced. Mary comes off as judgmental instead of smart. Mary hides a secret from her new friends… and she doesn’t have to do so.
Arden and the other girls are friendly and real. I think she would have found a shoulder to lean on (or three shoulders to lean on) if she was up-front with her new friends.
I liked this book, but another thing that I didn’t like in it were all the references to other characters in literature. I know that the references may be what draw people to this book but I didn’t like the idea that there needed to be prerequisite reading to do before opening the first page of “By the Book.”
Like I said, I liked this book. But at the end of the day… I give it 3-stars. There was some promise in this book that wasn’t entirely fulfilled.
Always with infinite love,