(3 / 5) – It’s Okay
I have come to love Jasmine Guillory and her easy breezy modern romance and I was anticipating reading “By The Book” when it came out earlier this year. As a book lover, I am a sucker for any book that is about books, publishing, writing, etc. and though I knew it was a modern interpretation of an old fairy tale (not my favorite) I looked forward to seeing where Guillory went with the story.
For me this was an okay book. Certainly not my favorite of Guillory’s nor a good example of her work. “By The Book,” felt like it was trying too hard to fit into both a modern romance and the structure of The Beauty and the Beast fairy tale without either of them working well. The main protagonist, Izzy, is a fun, quirky character, with odd “obsessions” but who knows herself even as she navigates a new situation. She is characteristic of Guillory’s other female protagonists and though still not my favorite, I didn’t mind walking around with her for a while. I did not find the male protagonist as relatable as others of Guillory. His cold, aloof demeanor was in deference to the “beast” character which I understand, but I still didn’t care for him personally.
Overall the book was fine. It was an easy read and distracted me from life for a while. I wouldn’t read it again but wouldn’t tell anyone not to read it either. Romance meets a specific niche in folks reading and Guillory certainly delivers a book to meet that need. Just not a favorite of hers for me.