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Emily March is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe one thing she'd change about a classic novel, Little Women is an easy choice. After all, if Emily can't fix things in her own family, she might as well bring a little justice to the other March sisters. Perhaps she can--spoiler alert!--keep Beth from dying? Or maybe she can p Emily March is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe one thing she'd change about a classic novel, Little Women is an easy choice. After all, if Emily can't fix things in her own family, she might as well bring a little justice to the other March sisters. Perhaps she can--spoiler alert!--keep Beth from dying? Or maybe she can prevent the boy next door from winding up with Amy instead of Jo? But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the 1860s world of the March sisters, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won't be as easy as she thought... especially when she develops a crush on the very boy she planned to save for Jo. After being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, Emily--and not the March sisters--may be the one who undergoes the most surprising change of all. Lauren Baratz-Logsted's winning confection is a journey of self-discovery that will appeal to fans of Little Women as well as anyone who enjoys time travel or a modern twist on an old favorite.


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Emily March is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe one thing she'd change about a classic novel, Little Women is an easy choice. After all, if Emily can't fix things in her own family, she might as well bring a little justice to the other March sisters. Perhaps she can--spoiler alert!--keep Beth from dying? Or maybe she can p Emily March is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe one thing she'd change about a classic novel, Little Women is an easy choice. After all, if Emily can't fix things in her own family, she might as well bring a little justice to the other March sisters. Perhaps she can--spoiler alert!--keep Beth from dying? Or maybe she can prevent the boy next door from winding up with Amy instead of Jo? But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the 1860s world of the March sisters, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won't be as easy as she thought... especially when she develops a crush on the very boy she planned to save for Jo. After being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, Emily--and not the March sisters--may be the one who undergoes the most surprising change of all. Lauren Baratz-Logsted's winning confection is a journey of self-discovery that will appeal to fans of Little Women as well as anyone who enjoys time travel or a modern twist on an old favorite.

30 review for Little Women and Me

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    I count Louisa May Alcott's Little Women as one of my all time favourite novels ever, and thus, when I read the general premise of Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Little Women and Me, I was definitely and even pleasantly intrigued. I mean, who has not at least at one time or another fondly dreamed about being transported into one's favourite novels, experiencing the joys, the struggles and perhaps even the tragedies of the presented characters? That being all said, I do have to admit that my potential j I count Louisa May Alcott's Little Women as one of my all time favourite novels ever, and thus, when I read the general premise of Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Little Women and Me, I was definitely and even pleasantly intrigued. I mean, who has not at least at one time or another fondly dreamed about being transported into one's favourite novels, experiencing the joys, the struggles and perhaps even the tragedies of the presented characters? That being all said, I do have to admit that my potential joy was also and immediately tinged with and tempered by some rather major trepidation. For while I certainly would NOT have minded changes to a minute few of the occurrences and scenarios described and depicted in Little Women, like perhaps having Beth not die so young, as someone who has always adored Little Women with all my heart and soul, I certainly did not want there to be all that many fundamental changes (and I certainly did NOT want to see Jo March not marry Professor Bhaer, I did NOT want to see Jo March marry Theodore Laurence, because for me personally, Jo and her professor are much more suited for and to one another, just as Amy and Laurie are also much more suited for and to one another). And sadly, unfortunately, my fears, my apprehensiveness have been proven to be rather well founded and justified, as the latter is precisely what transpires in Little Women and Me (namely that the main character, the main protagonist, Emily, whilst sojourning in the novel, whilst sojourning in Little Women as a character and member of the March family does actually and in fact both strive to and then succeed in getting Jo NOT to meet and fall in love with Professor Bhaer; she does succeed in getting Jo to marry Laurie instead, and also, tragically and frustratingly, Beth still ends up dying). Now this fact alone was and remains already enough for me to and from simple personal annoyance desire only at the utmost three stars for Little Women and Me, but considering that there are in fact many readers who actually do seem to prefer Laurie and Jo as a couple instead of Laurie and Amy and Jo and her professor (although it does not make personal sense for me), I was still albeit rather grudgingly willing to at least consider Little Women and Me as an interesting rewriting, an intriguing adaptation (not exactly to my tastes perhaps, but tastes are inherently personal and I was at least willing to give the novel a bit of a chance). However, and that being said, the fact that Lauren Baratz-Logsted has also chosen to make Little Women and Me into very much a strangely modern seeming "mean girls" and family dysfunction type of read rather than the optimistic and generally loving and positive family life portrayal of the original, of Louisa May Alcott's classic, this rather quickly turned my mild annoyance into serious and rabid displeasure with Little Women and Me, and with the scenarios depicted, the changes presented (and while Little Women might indeed feel a bit too saccharine at times, the changes envisioned and made by Lauren Baratz-Logsted are simply too massive and ridiculous, showing the March sisters as generally quite loathsomely mean spirited and nasty, constantly bickering amongst themselves, except of course for Beth, who is though almost depicted as beng somewhat absent if not even feeble minded). And aside from the time travelling (or perhaps I should say and more to the point the book travelling) character and aspects of main protagonist Emily, well she is generally and for all intents and purposes depicted and presented by Lauren Baratz-Logsted as rather too nastily vindictive, too whining and self-centred in the extreme (and often quite callous and calculating) for me to generally be anything but mostly angry at and frustrated with her. Also, truth be told, the author's narrative device of Emily increasingly forgetting both her past outside of Little Women and also the themes, the events, the happenings of the original novel (her so-called story amnesia), while I guess it does perhaps or could perhaps make for intriguing interactions and does serve its purpose for moving along the narrative, the text a bit, it has also (in my opinion) been so much overused and overdone as a trope, as a literary method in fantasy and time-travel (or time slip) novels that it does at least for me now often feel and read like a rather cheap and annoying plot device (and makes Lauren Baratz-Logsted actually even appear a bit desperate to have to resort to this). Furthermore, I also do find it rather massively strange and disconcerting that while originally (prior to being sucked into, being part of Little Women) Emily had basically and yes, laudably, wanted to save Beth (with which I agree) and to get Jo to marry Laurie (with which I of course do not agree but at least am willing to somewhat accept a bit), as soon as Emily becomes part of the March family, she rapidly decides that Laurie is too good a catch, that she actually wants him for herself and thus basically breaks even her own rules (in so far that she originally clearly and obviously had wanted Jo and Laurie to become an item, to become romantically involved). But even then, while definitely increasingly annoyed, I probably could have still wincingly accepted but with rather grinding teeth Litte Women and Me as a high two star and perhaps even a very low three star rating, had I been both more able to connect with Emily on a personal and emotional level and had the author not also made use of another to me increasingly cheap and basically strangely incomprehensible plot device, namely that both Amy and Mr. March also appear as interlopers and time/book travellers akin to Emily (and then for Lauren Baratz-Logsted to have Amy appear almost as an inherently evil character type, well, that does at least for me take the proverbial cake and relegates Little Women and Me to my one star and rejected and despised book pile, as while Amy is definitely a bit spoiled, a bit self centred and arrogant, having her appear, presenting her in Little Women and Me as almost monstrous in many ways makes no sense whatsoever and leaves a lasting and nasty taste in my mouth, aside of this also being rather an insult to the memory Louisa May Alcott and to her family, on whose lives, Alcott so tenderly and lovingly based her Litte Women).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shazzer

    What is everyone's problem with Amy? Am I the only one in the universe (besides Ms. Alcott, of course), that doesn't mind that she ended up with Laurie? Without giving away too much of the ending, I was very annoyed. I don't mind messing with the classics a little (I wouldn't read so many Pride and Prejudice sequels/prequels/reworkings if I did), but this one took it a little too far. I felt an active dislike for the source material, and it really turned me off. But I was having trouble with the What is everyone's problem with Amy? Am I the only one in the universe (besides Ms. Alcott, of course), that doesn't mind that she ended up with Laurie? Without giving away too much of the ending, I was very annoyed. I don't mind messing with the classics a little (I wouldn't read so many Pride and Prejudice sequels/prequels/reworkings if I did), but this one took it a little too far. I felt an active dislike for the source material, and it really turned me off. But I was having trouble with the story long before we got to the ending. Emily's "story amnesia" was a cheap plot device thrown around to make things more convenient. Emily herself wasn't much of a character, lacking any substance until the very end, and then only barely. The basic construct of the story isn't anything new, although I will give the author credit for a surprising ending, even if I didn't like it. I think overall, I was just disappointed. I love Little Women so much, I was expecting more from this than what I got. Amy appreciators unite!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    In the Author's Note at the end of this book, Lauren Baratz-Logsted basically excuses herself by saying that, if things in her book seem to come out of nowhere completely at random, that's just because it's written episodically, just like Little Women! I would have screamed, but I had reached a Zen-like state where nothing in this book could move me to extremes of emotion. I was simply too tired. Too tired of listening to Emily, the narrator, whine. Too tired of seeing the March sisters, my belove In the Author's Note at the end of this book, Lauren Baratz-Logsted basically excuses herself by saying that, if things in her book seem to come out of nowhere completely at random, that's just because it's written episodically, just like Little Women! I would have screamed, but I had reached a Zen-like state where nothing in this book could move me to extremes of emotion. I was simply too tired. Too tired of listening to Emily, the narrator, whine. Too tired of seeing the March sisters, my beloved, beloved March sisters, fictional friends of my childhood, portrayed as being mean and foolish. Too tired of seeing Laurie, my first book boyfriend, second only to Gilbert Blythe, portrayed as a hot idiot who gets the vapors if a girl bats her eyelashes at him. Too tired of hoping there would be any clues whatsoever about how Emily had gotten herself into the book, and how she could get herself out. At one point, I hated this book so passionately I wanted to start circling things with a red pen. But by the end I just thought, Meh. There was too much wrong with it, but the premise was so good! This is the awesomest idea for a book EVER. Emily, a modern teen, is given the assignment to write a paper where she fixes something she doesn't like about her favorite book. She chooses Little Women, a favorite of mine as well, and a book that many people think has a couple of flaws. 1. Beth shouldn't die! 2. Laurie should marry Jo, not that suck up Amy! (Though I agree with this first problem, I have come to realize as an adult that the second problem isn't a problem at all. Laurie wants to be a member of the March family, and Jo is like a sister to him. Amy, with her dreams of wealth, is actually far more suited to the rich, well-traveled Laurie than Jo. But I can see how many people disagree, and that's fine.) And then Emily gets magically sucked into the book! She has the chance to change the book, save Beth! Hook up Jo and Laurie! Why not, right? Why not? Because the idea of this book is so much better than the reality. Like I said, I'm fine with people thinking Laurie and Jo should end up together. What I'm not fine with is telling the reader that Little Women is your favorite book, and then mocking it ruthlessly for 300 pages. The sisters are constantly mean to Emily, for no reason, giving her plenty of reason to be mean right back and thus belying her protestations that this is her favorite book. They're all portrayed as being vain and foolish and weird, except for Beth, who is apparently simple-minded. How shy and musically gifted translated to being dim-witted, I don't know. But there were no likable characters to be found here at all. The other thing that galled me is that there's rhyme or reason for the time travel, she's just there. Throughout the story, time jumps forward as it does in the book, which is great, but sometimes Emily's character has changed and sometimes she hasn't, and why? The other characters have no memory of Emily from before she joined their story . . . except when they do. The rules are broken again and again. It could have been very whimsical, to have Marmee forget that she had five daughters, or that no one knows whether Emily had scarlet fever as a child, or can sing well, except that sometimes it's presented very meanly ("Who cares if you were there?") and sometimes they magically do have those memories. Emily tries to get back to her own time exactly once, and then never tries anything again. About three times she thinks, for a second, will I ever go home? But then she goes on with her life in 1880, which she doesn't enjoy and continues to find boring, confusing, and lame. She doesn't miss her family or friends back in the 21st century, she's more concerned with getting the one hot guy around (Laurie), before Jo or Amy does. Why? Does she ever consciously recognize that she's just being competitive, or see any point to it? Nope. She rolls her eyes every time Laurie opens his mouth and thinks he's weird and kind of a sissy. But he's hot! There's a guy, he has to like her and only her, and so she's going to be the third wheel for the next 300+ pages and think she's so clever and alluring! GAH. Also, throwing a 21st century teen into the 1880's could have been an opportunity to compare differences or have some fun fish-out-of-water moments, but time and again those opportunities were missed. Emily gets her period just a couple of days after she arrives in 1880, and doesn't know what to do. Jo explains it to her. No, that's it. It says, "Jo explained it to her." Oh, COME ON. Not that I want gory details, but I think it would have been fascinating to drop a few hints in there about how things were handled in the days before Kotex. Likewise, Emily says that making breakfast is hard and takes a long time and didn't turn out well. No other details. What did they make? Why was it hard? ANYTHING?! Nope. Nothing. She hates sewing, but no mention of what she's sewing or if anyone cares if she's terrible at it. So many missed opportunities! I just . . . I just wish the actual book lived up to my expectations when I saw the title.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I don't think I've ever given a book a one star before but I've never read a book where an author has had so little regard for the three most important things in writing: her readers (this reads like a cartoon from Nickelodeon with the most awful time travel/world transition I've ever read including WHOOSH! as part of that - is that what she thinks her readers want or expect?), her characters (cardboard, 2 dimensional constructions of what teens were portrayed like in movies 10 years ago), and t I don't think I've ever given a book a one star before but I've never read a book where an author has had so little regard for the three most important things in writing: her readers (this reads like a cartoon from Nickelodeon with the most awful time travel/world transition I've ever read including WHOOSH! as part of that - is that what she thinks her readers want or expect?), her characters (cardboard, 2 dimensional constructions of what teens were portrayed like in movies 10 years ago), and the classic that was the inspiration for this book (the main character was meant to love 'Little Women' but spends the whole book being a major whinger and despising the characters). People who pick up this book are looking for more of Alcott's world, they won't get it here! Not even a sniff of it. Even after reading the Author's note at the end of the book, I'm left wondering why this was written or published at all.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    This book is pretty terrible. It takes Little Women chapter by chapter and cheapens it. While any reader who will pick this book up is mostly likely a fan of Little Women (I myself have read it probably about a dozen times), the author - and the main character - seem both to disdain it and never have really read it. The most glaring error, to me, is the description of Marmee giving the girls copies of "Pilgrim's Progress" for the first Christmas that they then read religiously every day, while - This book is pretty terrible. It takes Little Women chapter by chapter and cheapens it. While any reader who will pick this book up is mostly likely a fan of Little Women (I myself have read it probably about a dozen times), the author - and the main character - seem both to disdain it and never have really read it. The most glaring error, to me, is the description of Marmee giving the girls copies of "Pilgrim's Progress" for the first Christmas that they then read religiously every day, while - though never mentioned explicitly in the novel - it is clear to any re-reader that the book she gave them was the Bible. And the contrivance that Emily couldn't remember ANYTHING about the book she was in, that she supposedly loved, including things every one knows - even people who've only seen the movie (or never have!) - that Amy burns Jo's manuscript, that Beth gets sick but dies later, that Meg marries Mr. Brooke... come on! I have always found that Little Women gets richer as I get older, there is so much there that I didn't get when I read it when I was a kid - I kind of thought this would be the kind of thing Emily learns through her experience (not that Meg is stuffy, Jo annoying, Amy selfish, and everyone else so prim and boring and stupid that she can't stand it), including that Amy grows up and really is better with Laurie than Jo would ever have been, because partnership is more complex than who played together most when they were children. Anyhow, she never actually does try to change anything - how could she, when she can't remember anything about the book?

  6. 4 out of 5

    The Library Lady

    As someone who has been reading and re-reading the real, actual "Little Women" for going on 40 years I am going to hide this one on the shelf rather than putting it in the highlighted "new books". That's how appalled I am by this hunk of junk. And I've got a rant to write about assholes who buy into the Prince Charming myth as told by Disney and can't get why Jo and Laurie are SO wrong for each other and why Professor Bhaer is SO right for Jo. Snarky crap featuring the sort of whiney teen you'd f As someone who has been reading and re-reading the real, actual "Little Women" for going on 40 years I am going to hide this one on the shelf rather than putting it in the highlighted "new books". That's how appalled I am by this hunk of junk. And I've got a rant to write about assholes who buy into the Prince Charming myth as told by Disney and can't get why Jo and Laurie are SO wrong for each other and why Professor Bhaer is SO right for Jo. Snarky crap featuring the sort of whiney teen you'd find on a dreadful Disney channel show. Which come to think of it,is exactly what this resembles. I'd give this zero stars if I could. And in the words of my grandma, a choleryeh upon the Kirkus reviewer who liked this one and doubtlessly is in the "Jo and Laurie 4Ever" clique. Sigh...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura L

    Enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Although it lagged in the middle and it felt like the author was pulling from each chapter of little women; I did enjoy the twist at the end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    From Books and Threads I think I need to preface this review by saying Little Women and Me was not for me. I definitely think there’ll be readers who’ll enjoy this romp through the classic nineteenth century novel, but I can’t count myself as one of them. I try to take a book’s premise at face value – e.g. I don’t have a problem with the main character being sucked into a book, and I don’t feel the author needs to explain how this happened, but I greatly prefer the rules of the ‘magic’ stay consis From Books and Threads I think I need to preface this review by saying Little Women and Me was not for me. I definitely think there’ll be readers who’ll enjoy this romp through the classic nineteenth century novel, but I can’t count myself as one of them. I try to take a book’s premise at face value – e.g. I don’t have a problem with the main character being sucked into a book, and I don’t feel the author needs to explain how this happened, but I greatly prefer the rules of the ‘magic’ stay consistent once they’re established. While Emily’s within Little Women, at times she remembers what’s going to happen next and at times she has ‘story amnesia’ and which happened when never seemed to have a reason beyond increasing tension. The original book characters also seem to have a difficult time remembering that Emily is there which was an intriguing idea but also frustrated me because again there didn’t seem to be any real consistency which happens when. I’d have been able to overlook a lot of the above if I was more engaged with the main character. Emily never really gelled into a real ‘person’ for me. Instead - like some of the plot devices - I felt like Emily’s personality bent at the whim of the story. She was definitely amusing, and I especially enjoyed her observations about the nineteenth century and the March family as a whole. Her relationship with Beth was also incredibly sweet, but beyond that Emily seemed more inclined to chase boys (all the while declaring that she needed to change the book so Jo ended up with Laurie) than interact with either her real sisters or her March sisters in any meaningful way. Being self-centered isn’t anything new for a YA heroine, but that coupled what seemed like a complete lack of empathy (other than towards Beth), Emily never seemed to develop beyond this until her sudden realisation at the end of the book. Reading the author’s notes, I saw that she had written the book by reading one chapter of Little Women and then writing one chapter of her book, and suddenly much of the book made more sense to me. Perhaps the author wished to have an episodic style, but while Little Women obviously has overarching themes and plot, Little Women and Me never seems to achieve that. Even Emily’s realization at the end of the book seemed out of nowhere, and I think the novel as a whole would have benefited from a more consistent dramatic arc to aid in both gradual character development and thematic structure. There was a twist towards the end that made me laugh out loud, but when looking back at it, I still can’t see more than one indication that it was coming. I really love surprise twists where the framework is laid more consistently throughout the book. As it is, I’m left feeling like the author simply wished to throw a plot twist in the ending pages. I’m seriously disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this book more. I’d been really excited to get the opportunity to read it – especially since Little Women is one of my favourite books. (Though I have to admit that I’m possibly the only reader ever who thinks that Jo marrying Laurie would be a terrible, terrible idea.) But unfortunately neither the book nor the characters lived up to my expectations. It may be that my love for the source book is standing in the way of a love for this one, but I don’t think so. I enjoyed the outsider’s perspective on the March family and their admittedly slightly insane way of life, and I enjoyed the idea that some of the family’s most charming traits for a reader would be incredibly annoying to a participant. What kept me from enjoying the book as a whole was an uneven structure and a frustration that the main character was never developed fully enough to love or hate. Many thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for allowing me to read this!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    I regret to say that I didn't like this book that much. I was enjoying it right up to the point of the story where Emily is sucked into the story. It went downhill for me from there. My beef is mainly with the character of Emily- when she arrives in the 1860s she has no regard for the past. She introduces her modern slang to the characters and is constantly whining to herself about how different the time period was. Her teenage mannerisms were very over the top and detracted from what might have I regret to say that I didn't like this book that much. I was enjoying it right up to the point of the story where Emily is sucked into the story. It went downhill for me from there. My beef is mainly with the character of Emily- when she arrives in the 1860s she has no regard for the past. She introduces her modern slang to the characters and is constantly whining to herself about how different the time period was. Her teenage mannerisms were very over the top and detracted from what might have been a good plot. I also didn't care for the fact that Emily refers to her adventure as "time travel." I don't think it qualifies as time travel when you are traveling to a fictional place. What I did like was that the character of Emily grew as a person throughout the novel. It was refreshing to see, despite the fact that her mannerisms remained over the top. I don't want to spoil the book's ending, so I will just say this: I especially didn't like the last chapter's revelations, nor did I care for the epilogue. Reading the "Author's Note" at the end of the novel really helped me get a better grasp on what Baratz-Logstead was trying to do with the novel, but without that explanation I really would not enjoyed this book that much more. The reader shouldn't have to rely on the "Author's Note" to understand the book. at Pandareads.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kiirsi Hellewell

    I was really excited to read this book...the premise sounded amazing and so fun: modern girl gets sucked into the actual book of "Little Women." Unfortunately, Emily (the main character) was rather annoying, stuck-up, rude, selfish, and forward. She denigrated and mocked the March girls, for the most part, and their whole world and story. That attitude prevailed for 99.9% of the book. It kind of ruined the story for me. I liked some things: the major plot point the author changed...I don't know an I was really excited to read this book...the premise sounded amazing and so fun: modern girl gets sucked into the actual book of "Little Women." Unfortunately, Emily (the main character) was rather annoying, stuck-up, rude, selfish, and forward. She denigrated and mocked the March girls, for the most part, and their whole world and story. That attitude prevailed for 99.9% of the book. It kind of ruined the story for me. I liked some things: the major plot point the author changed...I don't know anyone on the planet who doesn't think that's the way things should've gone in "Little Women." So a big thumb's-up from me on that. It was nice having some things explained that I remember throwing me for a loop as a child...like "What's a 'fortnight'?" I also liked getting a closer glimpse at the March family's world, though Emily described and reacted to it in such a way that it made it seem dowdy, stuffy, and boring. "Little Women" has been one of my favorite books since I was a child and I would have liked Emily to "get a clue" long before she did and really immerse herself in the world.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Currently reading this book because I purchased it on Kindle accidentally and felt weird about wasting $1.99. First, this book was obviously not written for people my age. However, I think any decent human being at any age would find Emily to be wildly selfish, highly delusional, and downright mean. Also, bold move on the author's part to take digs at some of the most beloved female characters in literature. It's true: we gals definitely have way too many strong leading ladies with whom to identi Currently reading this book because I purchased it on Kindle accidentally and felt weird about wasting $1.99. First, this book was obviously not written for people my age. However, I think any decent human being at any age would find Emily to be wildly selfish, highly delusional, and downright mean. Also, bold move on the author's part to take digs at some of the most beloved female characters in literature. It's true: we gals definitely have way too many strong leading ladies with whom to identify - glad she had the courage to knock a few off that tiresomely long list. (Sidenote: I cannot understand the reason for the recurring mention of size, weight, and the eating habits of a 14-year old. And, because I'm feelin' a bit snarky, I have to point out: you can't "snap [your] phone shut" if it's an iPhone.) I feel for the young girls who receive a copy of this for their birthdays instead of say, Little Women. For some reason, I press on.

  12. 4 out of 5

    F. O.

    Oh God. Unforgivably bad. It's like listening to a middle school mean girl retell Little Women, chapter by chapter.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    Emily has just received probably the coolest English assignment ever: write about your favorite book, tell three things you like and one thing you'd change. She quickly decides to do Little Women, but is having problems deciding exactly what she'd change. Beth dying? Or Laurie ending up with Amy instead of Jo? And then she gets sucked into the story. As in, all of a sudden, she's helping Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy figure out what to buy Marmee for Christmas. FINALLY, a chance to right the wrongs in L Emily has just received probably the coolest English assignment ever: write about your favorite book, tell three things you like and one thing you'd change. She quickly decides to do Little Women, but is having problems deciding exactly what she'd change. Beth dying? Or Laurie ending up with Amy instead of Jo? And then she gets sucked into the story. As in, all of a sudden, she's helping Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy figure out what to buy Marmee for Christmas. FINALLY, a chance to right the wrongs in Little Women! This is such a cute story and probably one of every reader's dreams, right? The chance to be in the book, even without the chance to fix it? And I do think that everyone wants to see Beth live and Jo and Laurie end up together. Big applause for that and also for her realization that while Jo is awesome when you're reading the book, she's also kind of annoying when you have to live with her. (Personally, I also think that they'd all be really annoying, but you know, whatever. That's just me and I'm mean.) I had one big problem with the story. I didn't read Little Women until I was an adult, and I read it for the first time a few years ago and have not read it since. I have seen several movie versions, so I know the story fairly well but would probably not win any trivia quizzes. I tell you that to bring this up: Little Women is Emily's favorite book and she's read it several times. So how does she not know the story very well? Several times, she's like, "Wait, what's going on?" But again, this book is really, really cute. Recommended for fans of Little Women.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    So this author knows better than the true author of a wonderful, nuanced, bittersweet, multi-layered classic? Excuse me while I... This is for people who want the obvious, "Disney-ed", sugared-up take (I stole that term from another Goodreads reviewer, who put it better than I could) on life. Alcott kept Laurie and Jo apart for a very good reason, which was that they weren't right for each other. It says everything that Jo always called Laurie, a little condescendingly, "My boy". She could never So this author knows better than the true author of a wonderful, nuanced, bittersweet, multi-layered classic? Excuse me while I... This is for people who want the obvious, "Disney-ed", sugared-up take (I stole that term from another Goodreads reviewer, who put it better than I could) on life. Alcott kept Laurie and Jo apart for a very good reason, which was that they weren't right for each other. It says everything that Jo always called Laurie, a little condescendingly, "My boy". She could never take him seriously as a lover because he was too immature for her. Make no mistake -- I loved Laurie. He was a total charmer. My heart broke for him when Jo turned him down. But Amy (who grows steadily throughout the book, something Baratz-Longstead seems to have missed) was a much better fit for him. For one thing, she adores Laurie (while not being blind to his shortcomings) and with her he will have the romantic, satisfying relationship he never would have had with boyish Jo. I confess that I did do some chuckling throughout the book. If Baratz-Longstead hadn't claimed Emily LOVED Little Women -- if say she had had it assigned to her, and read it with mixed feelings -- it would have made more sense for her to have all the snarky perspectives on the March lifestyle, the 1860s, etc. that she does; but despite that caveat, I thought some of Emily's comments and 2012 perspectives WERE humorous. But the absurdity of changing this beloved book and believing you're improving on it? Unforgiveable.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sinai C.

    ...Now. I think I'm a reasonable person when it comes to rating books. I have very few books I've rated one star. But THIS... piece of literature...what can I possibly say about it that hasn't already been said? My perspective on Little Women: Now, unlike others, I really think Jo and Laurie would have made a great couple--I'm ALWAYS for the guy that was there first. And if it wasn't Jo...Amy? REALLY? I see where Emily comes from with wanting to change that. And for some reason...I NEVER remember ...Now. I think I'm a reasonable person when it comes to rating books. I have very few books I've rated one star. But THIS... piece of literature...what can I possibly say about it that hasn't already been said? My perspective on Little Women: Now, unlike others, I really think Jo and Laurie would have made a great couple--I'm ALWAYS for the guy that was there first. And if it wasn't Jo...Amy? REALLY? I see where Emily comes from with wanting to change that. And for some reason...I NEVER remembered Beth dying. I'd have to reread Little Women again, because I just never got that. But yes, fixing those two bits of reader-cruelty were certainly things that caught my attention. Starting out with Little Women and Me: When I saw this in the library, it was a no-brainer. Those plot points were things anyone would change! It would be a happy ending and at the same time manage to rekindle my love for the March girls. But I had too much faith in that little blurb. I'm glad I read this book, it will warn me later on in the future about getting my hopes up. From the first few pages, Emily seemed so shallow and it was only her relationship with Beth and Jo that, to me, saved her from my complete condemnation. Characters: Emily's not a bad kid, she's just sick of being the middle child. I do have a problem with the characters though. Emily, just...being so...unsure of how to behave. I felt like she really grew older near the end of the book, and more mature, but by golly, it could have been a lot better without her talking all the time about Laurie and how he was spending time with her sisters or something about the future. Besides that, I don't really get a good sense of either of her sisters or her mother or dad (Does she have a dad?) The characters in the book...were just stripped to their very core. We practically lost Meg and nothing really happened with her except for Mr.Brooke. Beth was a complete sweetheart, and I loved her a lot for it. Jo was...RUDE, and so...enveloped in that pact, my goodness-I didn't think she'd care. And she was just...confusing to me, I guess. Amy and Papa...being time travelers too...that just threw me for a W-T-H is going on right now loop. I NEVER saw that coming till the end, and really, neither did the author. I didn't understand how they got stuck in the book and just changed it like that. It was just...so last minute. There was NO development of that papa dude either--like, really, I wanted some connecting there. It was just...everyone was like a half-made piece of art, and not very beautiful either. Issues with Writing: It was RIDICULOUS how many times modern things were mentioned--she invented the ponytail, milkshake, and penicillin? You're kidding me! You have got to be kidding me with that. Her narration was unbearable, and there was like, NO action with Laurie besides the time she just randomly kisses him (I was shocked! This girl has NO understanding of guys whatsoever!) And every time she opened her mouth, I was completely appalled by how out of place the things she said were--either rude, or just random ways to show that she's a 21st century girl. I make it a rule not to read things narrated by characters younger than myself, since it can be a tad bit annoying, but oh my goodness, I thought--she's just one year younger, I can deal with this. I most certainly CANNOT deal with it! AGHHH!! FRUSTRATION! And also, honestly, how DID she time travel!? I was expecting maybe, zooming out of the book, maybe someone else is writing it to show her a lesson or something, but it was NEVER revealed. If EVERYONE who EVER complained about Little Women got stuck in the book, why, we'd have a TON more modern references from girls ranging from the 1880's to the 2010's and the March family would be HUGE. I didn't get the last point either about death and Amy trying to prevent it but it still happening. Like, Emily tried to explain it, but I was like: BS! Total BS! Why IS Amy still here? She doesn't even know that she ends up with Laurie! GAH! Okay, overall, I am so sorry to Ms. Baratz-Logsted that I didn't like her book, especially with such a nice Author's Note in the end. But I just couldn't like it at all. It was just...such a great idea, that was not executed in a way that was pleasing at all. It was painful and a bit random and just overall, not my cup of tea. I hate writing a bad review because it IS someone's baby, but just, maybe with some revision, this could be a really better book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    When I spotted this on the New Books shelves at my library, I snatched it up so fast that my head nearly spun. I have a huge, huge love for Little Women and thought that this would be a fun, light-hearted twist on a much-beloved classic. (view spoiler)[I ended up hugely disappointed. Emily is incredibly shallow and spoiled, constantly whining and complaining about being the middle child. She sets her sights on boys simply because they're paying attention to one of her other sisters, whether it's When I spotted this on the New Books shelves at my library, I snatched it up so fast that my head nearly spun. I have a huge, huge love for Little Women and thought that this would be a fun, light-hearted twist on a much-beloved classic. (view spoiler)[I ended up hugely disappointed. Emily is incredibly shallow and spoiled, constantly whining and complaining about being the middle child. She sets her sights on boys simply because they're paying attention to one of her other sisters, whether it's Jackson liking her sister Charlotte or Laurie liking Jo. She spends nearly the entire time of the book being incredibly self-absorbed, and only finally gets a clue that the world doesn't revolve around her in the final ten pages of the book. I also ended up despising the attempts to 'change' Little Women. While I can understand the desire to save Beth -- I don't think there's ever really been a reader who hasn't wished that Beth hadn't died -- the whole 'Laurie should end up with Jo instead of Amy' plot just makes me want to scream. Just what is wrong with Laurie ending up with Amy? Yes, Laurie developed a crush on Jo, a crush that wasn't returned and after time and space put things into proper perspective for him, he moved on and eventually found something to love in Amy. This is life, this is realistic, and it's wonderful. Heck, IIRC, LMA didn't want Jo to marry anyone at all, had intended her to be the good-natured spinster aunt to Meg and Amy's children, and only had her fall in love to satisfy her readers. So, yeah, the book is a quick read, but if you're someone who loved Little Women the way it was (Beth's fate aside, of course), you'll probably spend the entire book gnashing your teeth in frustration. Possibly the only worthwhile moment in the book was when Emily finally, after three hundred pages, learned not to want things for herself simply to spite her sisters, but to do things for others. And that took, again, three hundred pages. (hide spoiler)]

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angelc

    The idea for this book seemed really cute to me, and the writing is fun and sweet. I think we'd all love to be plopped down in the middle of our favorite book. However, I seem to find with most variations on classics, that they seem to be repetitive of the original book. I know that goes with the territory, but still, I feel like I already know the story. Ah, Laurie and Jo, there's a controversial couple if ever there was one. When I read the original story, at first I was disappointed when they The idea for this book seemed really cute to me, and the writing is fun and sweet. I think we'd all love to be plopped down in the middle of our favorite book. However, I seem to find with most variations on classics, that they seem to be repetitive of the original book. I know that goes with the territory, but still, I feel like I already know the story. Ah, Laurie and Jo, there's a controversial couple if ever there was one. When I read the original story, at first I was disappointed when they didn't get together, but then as I kept reading, I also liked Laurie with Amy too. I guess I thought that Jo turned him down so that was her loss. I also liked Amy in the original, so I was a little disappointed to see how she was portrayed in this version. Of course, I definitely don't blame Emily for having her own crush on Laurie, though! There was a twist ending that I thought was really cool and inventive. I really didn't see it coming, that's for sure. I think if you're really a fan of the original book, you will like this variation. You will especially like it if you are fans of the 'classics variation' genre in general! I also think a tween might be interested in reading this, since it's modern, and maybe that would inspire her to read the original version. I'd recommend the book to a young YA audience or older MG/tween. This is a cute variation on a classic book, and you'll have to read it to see if you like the changes she made! ARC sent by author in exchange for honest review reviewed for http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ensiform

    Emily March, a middle sister who constantly schemes to get boys’ attention from her sisters, is magically drawn into the 1860s world of Little Women, as a fifth sister. Deciding that she has been put into the story for a reason – to save Beth’s life – she charges forth, oblivious to her anachronistic speech and behavior… only to get sidetracked by rivalry with the similarly creative Jo and by the arrival of Laurie, the love interest for one or more of the girls. This is a generally simplistic nov Emily March, a middle sister who constantly schemes to get boys’ attention from her sisters, is magically drawn into the 1860s world of Little Women, as a fifth sister. Deciding that she has been put into the story for a reason – to save Beth’s life – she charges forth, oblivious to her anachronistic speech and behavior… only to get sidetracked by rivalry with the similarly creative Jo and by the arrival of Laurie, the love interest for one or more of the girls. This is a generally simplistic novel, aimed unabashedly at teen girls (there’s talk of bras and strategic shaving and periods). The “romantic” plot and Emily’s lesson that she doesn’t always need to get boys’ attention just for the sake of attention is fairly heavy-handed, and there’s very little a young reader could learn about the world of Jo and Amy March in these pages. I thought Baratz-Logsted was trying to have her character both ways – literate and book-loving, yet completely, like, spacey about language and customs the way any teen girl would be. The extra twist at the end was unexpected and rather fun, but the plot ran too much toward the boys-and-makeup line than the trapped-in-a-good-book story I was expecting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    I did not actually finish this book. I gave it 50 pages. However, the last 11 of those were pity pages, because I knew as soon as the author used "itch" in place of "scratch" on page 39, that this book was hopeless. I grabbed it because I LOVE Little Women, but she butchers it, and I love it too much to allow this kind of thing. If I could give it negative stars I would. I want to point out that I usually give a book 100 pages, but even then, I almost always finish them, unless they are truly te I did not actually finish this book. I gave it 50 pages. However, the last 11 of those were pity pages, because I knew as soon as the author used "itch" in place of "scratch" on page 39, that this book was hopeless. I grabbed it because I LOVE Little Women, but she butchers it, and I love it too much to allow this kind of thing. If I could give it negative stars I would. I want to point out that I usually give a book 100 pages, but even then, I almost always finish them, unless they are truly terrible and have no redeeming qualities. So not finishing means a lot, coming from me. Edit: The other negative reviews made me curious so I skimmed the ending. Ugh. It managed to get worse. Anyone with half a brain knows that Amy and Laurie are perfect together and Jo and Laurie would be miserable. Having Jo and Laurie end up together would RUIN Little Women. One of the reasons it's my favorite book is that Jo and Laurie do NOT end up together. Louisa refused to bow to the pressure to couple them up because it just would have been wrong. In conclusion, this is the worst book I've ever attempted to read. Do yourself a favor and pass on it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Although a lot of people disagree with it (based on the other reviews I’ve seen) I love this book. The fact that it is literally a fan sucked inside the story is amazing. Although I wish the story could have less “story amnesia” and a little more characterization and discovery of the time period on Emily’s part, I think that this is a novel every bookworm should read in their life. The idea that we’ve all thought about weaved into reality is a great, hopeful, and creative topic all readers shou Although a lot of people disagree with it (based on the other reviews I’ve seen) I love this book. The fact that it is literally a fan sucked inside the story is amazing. Although I wish the story could have less “story amnesia” and a little more characterization and discovery of the time period on Emily’s part, I think that this is a novel every bookworm should read in their life. The idea that we’ve all thought about weaved into reality is a great, hopeful, and creative topic all readers should explore.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Caitlinleah

    This was a pretty annoying book. The protagonist was such a flat, childish whiner. I rushed through it I found it so unpleasant. The idea was great, the execution much less interesting.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katy Boehmer-Abbott

    As if Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was not enough Lauren Baratz-Logsted decided to put her own spin on this classic novel. With five sisters rather than four, Little Women and Me follows the same storyline as the original novel but of course with a twist. Written like a middle school English project (well it basically is one) Baratz-Logsted wrote this book for a younger audience. Starting off in the 21st century Emily is an average teenager and of course feels the burdens of being the mid As if Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was not enough Lauren Baratz-Logsted decided to put her own spin on this classic novel. With five sisters rather than four, Little Women and Me follows the same storyline as the original novel but of course with a twist. Written like a middle school English project (well it basically is one) Baratz-Logsted wrote this book for a younger audience. Starting off in the 21st century Emily is an average teenager and of course feels the burdens of being the middle child. She faces normal teenager issues including boy drama and of course school stress. For an English project, she is assigned to change one thing in a novel of her choice; she decides to change her favorite childhood book, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Before we know it she opens the book and is pulled into the book literally (yes it was this cliché). This is when the novel actually begins, starting off on Christmas morning in the March house in the 1800s. Exactly like the original, the four March sisters— Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy— are all together preparing for Christmas, but this time there is another sister added to the family: Emily March. Jo yet again states,”Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents (15),” and that is the moment Emily realizes she is actually in the classic novel. From this point on Emily realizes she must take action and change the book if she wants to return back to the 2000s. She makes it her mission to *SPOILER ALERT* prevent Beth from dying and more importantly ensure Laurie, the boy next store, ends up with Jo. With these simple plans, Emily figures she will be sent back to the real world in no time. However Emily soon comes to realize it might be harder than it seems since she has feelings for Laurie, “Laurie was good-looking, he was nice...” (75). This sudden love for Laurie made it hard for her to keep to her mission; it was made even harder when Beth comes down with scarlet fever. Emily has to struggle to save her dying “sister” before it's too late. Four years past and Emily is still stuck in the 1860s and the events of the original novel are coming to an end. This only leaves Emily to wonder what will happen to her; however, she soon comes to realize she is not the only one stuck in the novel— Amy and Papa are also from the modern world. Amy describes Emily’s same experience, “we were reading it side by side, I was saying I didn’t like certain parts of it, he was agreeing and as you say— WOOSH!-- we got sucked right in” (292).This gives Emily hope that with Amy’s help she will one day return to the world she really belongs to... Baratz-Logsted uses original events from the classic and infuses them into her writing. Therefore the author allows the reader to easily pick up this book without prior reading of the classic. However having said that, Baratz-Logsted lacks originality and basically rewrites the classic novel but adds an additional sister.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Silver Petticoat

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Read this entire review here: YA BOOK REVIEW: LITTLE WOMEN AND ME – CHANGING THE ENDING Review by Bailey Cavender Overall Rating = 4.5; Romance Rating = 3 I love the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I love the characters, the setting and the way Alcott takes her readers seriously by adding in references to classic literature. I always thought Meg was the best of the March sisters; she was always trying to wrangle her sisters and reminded me a lot of Jane Bennet. Though I will admit, Jo is pr Read this entire review here: YA BOOK REVIEW: LITTLE WOMEN AND ME – CHANGING THE ENDING Review by Bailey Cavender Overall Rating = 4.5; Romance Rating = 3 I love the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I love the characters, the setting and the way Alcott takes her readers seriously by adding in references to classic literature. I always thought Meg was the best of the March sisters; she was always trying to wrangle her sisters and reminded me a lot of Jane Bennet. Though I will admit, Jo is pretty fun, Beth might be as close to perfect as a person can get, and Amy grows on you. There are, however, two big problems with Little Women, and I think most fans would agree. First of all, Beth dies. Not only that, she dies from a disease that she caught helping people. How horrible is that?! The second thing that I, at least, hated, was that Jo didn’t end up with Laurie at the end, instead he married Amy. Now, I have nothing against the Professor and I think Alcott made it all work out in the end, but I always thought that was ridiculous (it’d be like Hermione ending up with Harry or Neville instead of Ron! In my opinion, anyway). Beth dying, however, is infamous for being terrible and might be the same trauma level for some of us as Bambi’s mom. There’s even an episode of Friends where Joey is reading Little Women and is so distraught when Beth gets sick that he has to put the book in the freezer, where he keeps the things that scare him. In this book, Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, the main character, Emily, is asked an interesting essay question. If she could change one thing about her favorite book, what would she change and why? Torn between saving Beth and setting Jo up with Laurie, Emily somehow ends up getting sucked into the book, finding herself the Middle March (yes, that’s actually how they phrase it in the book). What follows is hilarious. Baratz-Logsted has gone through Little Women and added the character of Emily in, so as we follow the familiar yet different plot, Emily is working to fit into this world, falling for Laurie, trying to keep Beth alive and, at the same time, trying to not destroy her favorite book. She has mixed success because her very presence is a bit of an upset, but as time goes on, she finds her place among the familiar characters. Read this entire review and others at: THE SILVER PETTICOAT REVIEW

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna Gray

    Little Women has been one of my favorite books ever since I chose it for a book report back in middle school. Jo March is probably the one literary character that I identify with over everyone else, and I imagined how cool it would be to be one of the March sisters. I crushed on Laurie and thought him to be extremely wonderful. So when I heard about this book, I thought it would be something that I'd love. I hate to say that I was wrong. While I have a lot of issues with the book - and I will get Little Women has been one of my favorite books ever since I chose it for a book report back in middle school. Jo March is probably the one literary character that I identify with over everyone else, and I imagined how cool it would be to be one of the March sisters. I crushed on Laurie and thought him to be extremely wonderful. So when I heard about this book, I thought it would be something that I'd love. I hate to say that I was wrong. While I have a lot of issues with the book - and I will get to those momentarily - I have to admit that I did really love the premise of this novel. What person doesn't want to find themselves as a character in one of their favorite books? The idea of being literally sucked into a novel is one that I've always been fascinated with, and I loved seeing that get played out. The idea that just sitting down and choosing something you'd change about a novel would actually suck you into the novel and give you the chance to change it is an exciting concept. I also liked seeing how Emily fit in as the fifth March sister and seeing the things that she caused to change with her presence. That being said, this is where I stop really enjoying this book. This is a minor annoyance, but occasionally, the author would have Emily use a long, impressive word and then have her state "PSAT word!" in her inner monologue. This did nothing to move the story along, it did nothing for character development, and it didn't happen enough for it to really matter to the story. It just took away from what was actually happening at that point, and I was over it after the first time that popped up. There were also a lot of passages where characters like Jo and Amy summarized big sections of the original novel as if they were explaining things to Emily. These were tedious and annoying for several reasons because they were overstating the obvious and didn't feel natural. It was like SparkNotes for someone who never actually read Little Women, but honestly, if you've never read Little Women, I doubt you'd ever consider reading this. These passages only annoyed me as I'm already very familiar with the story, and I just wanted the plot to move along. And here's where the spoilers start, so peek if you dare. (view spoiler)[ I absolutely hated the ending. Despised it. Loathed it entirely. To be frank, about twenty pages from the end, I had a "wtf?" moment and hate read the book to the ending. What could possibly piss me off that much? Oh nothing really. Just the fact that Amy March was actually a time traveler, and she wasn't in the original story. Oh, and Papa is actually only her dad and is a time traveler as well. I wish I was joking. The author has Amy reveal that in the original novel there were only three sisters, Jo is the one who ends up going to France, and Jo ends up marrying Laurie after he goes there to comfort her when Beth dies. There's no Professor Bhaer. No burning of Jo's manuscript. No accident while ice-skating. Nothing. It was just a novel about a mother and her three daughters living during war time while the father was away at war. Then Amy and her dad were sucked into the novel, and she started changing everything. That's why Amy is the one that goes abroad and marries Laurie. That's why my biggest literary romance disappointment happened. No, So much no. But that's not the only thing that angers me about this. Of course, the novel ends with Emily being sucked out of the novel and back into her own time where she finishes her paper and decides to write about how she would change the book so that Jo and Laurie end up together. But when she hands in her paper, her teacher tells her that she'll need to rewrite it because she's obviously never finished reading Little Women. She's confused, and that's when he tells her that Jo and Laurie do end up together. The things that she did and said to Jo while she was in the novel changed the story in such a significant way that Jo and Laurie ended up together like in the "original" story that Amy talked about. And I honestly have to say that this made me extremely upset. If Emily wasn't in the book anymore, things should have gone back to the way they were before she was there. Especially since Amy was still in there and had told her that every time the book ends, she just goes back to the beginning and relives it all over again. Emily wouldn't have altered that much of the universe if the book just reset itself when she was gone. The book also left some unanswered questions for me. Because of the timeline altering, was there a period of time where people reading Little Women were treated to a story with five March sisters instead of four? Or since Emily was sent back to the moment she was sucked into the book when she went back to her own world, did the book stay in tact? And were there times where people noticed all of the changes that Amy made to the story? If it can be assumed that every change Amy made to the story affects the way the book looks to people in the real world since Jo and Laurie are together in the novel at the end, are there people who have read multiple different versions of Little Women in this universe? Or are they oblivious to the fact that it was ever any different from the current reincarnation like Emily's teacher was at the end? It was wrapped up too quickly, and making the characters ignorant to the answers of these questions didn't stop me from being upset that I didn't know the answers much like Beth when she didn't know how to tell Emily about the parts of her life that she couldn't remember. (hide spoiler)] All in all, this was an entertaining read, but I feel like fans of Little Women would be frustrated by it and dislike the ending since it seems to throw away the beautiful ending to Alcott's book. I feel like the only people who would enjoy this book would be those who aren't familiar with the story of Little Women, but like I said before, I don't really see this as having an audience outside of Little Women fans. Definitely not my favorite book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Renee Hall

    First this book annoyed me, then it made me angry, then it made me confused, and then I was just left feeling bored and dissatisfied. Granted, the jacket copy calls this book a "confection," so I wasn't expecting great literature. Even so, I was disappointed by how fluffy and silly this was. Here's the thing: The assignment the main character (Emily) is given by her teacher is to choose a book she loves and write a paper about what she loves about it and the one thing she'd change about it. But First this book annoyed me, then it made me angry, then it made me confused, and then I was just left feeling bored and dissatisfied. Granted, the jacket copy calls this book a "confection," so I wasn't expecting great literature. Even so, I was disappointed by how fluffy and silly this was. Here's the thing: The assignment the main character (Emily) is given by her teacher is to choose a book she loves and write a paper about what she loves about it and the one thing she'd change about it. But then when she chooses Little Women, we find out that she hasn't read the book in years, apparently doesn't remember much of anything about it, and, honestly, from the way she acts when she's transported into the book, I never felt like she really loved the book or the characters. Emily's first-person narration is written in a voice I would best call World's Most Irritating Teenage Girl Stereotype, which often made me want to throw the book across the room (it was a library book, so I restrained myself). The rest of her personality, sadly, isn't much of an improvement. She's constantly snarking at one aspect or another of the time period or characters or story, so there's this whole "OMG, can you believe this place?" undercurrent running through all her narration for at least the first two-thirds of the book. And this is the problem: I actually do love Little Women. Even the dated parts. (Maybe especially the dated parts.) As a matter of fact, I'd read it for the umpteenth time just the week before I started this book. I even happen to agree with Marmee that Jo and Laurie wouldn't have been well suited if they'd married, and I like how everything turns out for both Amy and Jo and who they end up with. So I started to get really, really irritated with Emily for how she was acting and thinking and talking about something I liked and characters I liked. At many points, I wanted to be transported into this book so I could shake some sense into the girl and tell her to stop acting like a whiny brat and, most of all, stop throwing herself (literally) at Laurie for no apparent reason other than the fact that he's the only available guy and is good-looking. (I really don't know why she's attracted to him; there's no explanation in the text that I can remember, and nothing that really happens between them, other than him being the only available guy.) Another aspect I found frustrating was that so much of the book is a scene-by-scene rehash of the original story. That's not such a big issue in and of itself, but there seems to also be the assumption that the reader isn't familiar with Little Women either -- and to top it off, Emily has this convenient "story amnesia" so she can't quite remember what's coming up next, even though readers like me who do know the book are about ten thousand miles ahead of her every step of the way. So you don't even have the fun of watching Emily play around with things she knows are supposed to happen, and try to change them or whatever, because most of the time she doesn't even remember what's going to happen. I suppose the author/publisher had to cover all the bases to try to make this entertaining even for readers who don't know the original story -- but on the other hand, if you don't know the original story, you're probably not part of the target audience for this book anyway. The confusing part of the book (other than why the main character was throwing herself at Laurie) came in with the twist near the end. (view spoiler)[ We find out that the characters of Amy and Mr. March weren't actually original to the book, but that they were time travelers as well and just got stuck there and gradually changed the story. That might have worked out better if we weren't talking about an actual real book that exists outside of this book's storyworld -- because at first I thought maybe there really had been some real-world version of Little Women that didn't include those characters, and then I realized no, it's just the author playing around with the ending. (hide spoiler)] What it felt like, though, was that the ending didn't match the rest of the book, and was trying so hard to be surprising and clever that it overshadowed any kind of character transformation that I was unconsciously expecting. Basically, I came into the story (courtesy of the blurb/jacket copy) expecting a book about a girl who travels into the world of her favorite book and is transformed by it for the better, and instead I feel like I got a story about a girl who travels into a book she never really liked all that much, and winds up not really changing all that much herself, beyond rather selfishly forcing things to happen in the book the way she wants them to happen, regardless of the consequences to anyone else. I guess that's what really got under my skin about this one -- I love the concept, I wanted to enjoy it, I hoped to enjoy it, but in the end, nothing about it worked for me at all. (One tiny postscript: Marmee doesn't give them copies of Pilgrim's Progress for Christmas; she gives them Bibles -- in Alcott's words, "that beautiful old story of the best life ever lived" -- and Beth's doll Joanna, constantly described in this book as "headless," making it sound creepy, was not actually headless; it had "no top to its head," so Beth tied on a cap. Yeah, these are pretty minor things, I admit, but it just felt sloppy to get them wrong, and obviously the tone of the book had me in a bad mood anyway, so they stood out even more.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    I picked up this book on a whim in my library's sale section. No regrets! Even though I saw it was poorly rated on Goodreads, I decided to keep reading it. Overall, the book is a fun, fast-paced read that I wanted to finish and not put down, which is always good. The premise is clever. I read Little Women as a kid, though I must admit that I don't know if I ever finished the book. I watched the movies countless times, and I always wanted Laurie and Jo to end up together. I'm not sure the ending I picked up this book on a whim in my library's sale section. No regrets! Even though I saw it was poorly rated on Goodreads, I decided to keep reading it. Overall, the book is a fun, fast-paced read that I wanted to finish and not put down, which is always good. The premise is clever. I read Little Women as a kid, though I must admit that I don't know if I ever finished the book. I watched the movies countless times, and I always wanted Laurie and Jo to end up together. I'm not sure the ending of this book works any better for me, but there are only so many places to go with the getting trapped in the past storyline. I found a lot of this story enjoyable and fun. What kept me reading what wondering how Lauren Baratz-Logsted would tie all the loose ends and revisiting some of my favorite characters. It was just pure fun to enter this fantasy. Skimming the other reviews, it sounds like some folks took issue with the way the characters were portrayed and the changes made to the original. Remembering that this is a cute, Y.A. book and not the original is helpful. I'm sure some people think of Amy as a beloved character. If you feel a tenderness toward Amy's character and don't care about Jo ending up with Laurie, this book probably won't resonate. I will say that even though I always loved the idea of Jo and Laurie ending up together, I don't think that Baratz-Logsted really represented Jo's feeling that she's more like a sister to him. She's flirting and competing over him the whole time. To me, Jo is this rebellious tomboy, and the original book and film adaptations make it clear that she's not interested in marriage. Some of this nuance is lost in this Y.A. book, though I do like the idea that some of the March sisters' lovable qualities can becoming annoying to Emily. This keeps them from seeming like the wooden cutouts on the cover of Emily's edition. I also understand why Baratz-Logsted changed the original characters. They couldn't all be perfect women. She wanted them to seem like real sisters to our main character, Emily. So I'm really not mad about that portrayal. I may not agree and some of it may not feel close to the original characters and how they would behave, but this is supposed to feel real to Emily. There are a few qualms I have with the way this story is told. This book is a good lesson in how quickly slang can sound dated. It came out in 2011, and the word "colio" already sounds distinctly uncool. I also found the author overusing certain words. I swear there was one chapter where Emily thinks "HA!" to herself about fifty times. I also didn't really love Emily's constant use of the word "skank." I will, however, admit I laughed out loud when she sang a Miley Cyrus song to Beth. That was funny! As far as storytelling goes, Emily's stakes weren't always clear and a few things got in the way. I never got the true sense that Emily actually missed her family or her life. There were a few moments of thinking back to the past, but mostly Emily seems to accept her new *old* life very quickly. I know that this sense of aimlessness and purposelessness is part of her character, but I think the whole "Mildde March" idea sometimes took away from tension and suspense. I wanted to feel more certain that Emily being trapped in the past was either delightful or horrifying to her. Further, the idea that Emily was on a mission to a) save Beth and b) help Laurie and Jo get together in the end is really important given my comments about Emily's stakes. However, I'm puzzled by the choice to give her what the author calls "story amnesia." Terms like this one feel clunky and unnecessary. If anything, doesn't it add more tension and suspense to the story if Emily knows exactly what is going on and that she can't stop everything from happening? I also thought the choice to only allow Emily to exist in (mostly) scenes from the original book was not necessary. It added somewhat to the mystery, but then she always ends up asking Beth to catch her up. Wouldn't it be simpler and a little more elegant just for time to pass in a Narniaesque way? There are some things in the story that just made it feel a little clunky. The idea is definitely clever and promising, but the writing could be better. It's hard to root for Emily sometimes, and it's frustrating to watch her be this shadow of a sister. I realize that her being so easily forgotten is part of the storyline, but it didn't add anything for me. The fantasy in my eyes is in response to the question: What would it be like to be a March sister and have the power to live in the story? Yet, I felt that as an easily forgotten sister who is left out, we are taken out of the fantasy. As for the message of the story, it could have been a little subtler overall. The end has a little bit of an "I want my money back" cheesy quality to it. If the audience is likely familiar with Little Women already (Why else would you pick up the book?), I wish the author would give the reader a little more credit and leave a few things unsaid. All that said, my enjoyment of the book is at odds with my rating. It just goes to show that even if I would make changes to this book, just like Emily, I can still enjoy it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karissa

    Oh my. Where to start. Emily was a spoiled, selfish girl that needed a good shaking. Maybe being sent into a world in the 1860's would shake her up a bit and make her less so, but no, no it doesn't. All she can do is complain about not logging onto any social media site (which trust me, I will get to) and the clothes they have to wear. I must say, the author could have at least tried a little better to have me connect with her. But I couldn't. The idea of literally getting sucked into a favorite Oh my. Where to start. Emily was a spoiled, selfish girl that needed a good shaking. Maybe being sent into a world in the 1860's would shake her up a bit and make her less so, but no, no it doesn't. All she can do is complain about not logging onto any social media site (which trust me, I will get to) and the clothes they have to wear. I must say, the author could have at least tried a little better to have me connect with her. But I couldn't. The idea of literally getting sucked into a favorite book of yours sounds amazing! When I was younger I would have loved to be in the world of Ella Enchanted or Judy Blume's "Just as Long as We're Together". But instead I dealt with rereading them hundreds of times. Now, I'm not a huge fan of Little Women, and I honestly do not believe that I've read the whole thing through (shame on me!) but I have seen the 1994 movie with Christian Bale (as Laurie *sigh*), Winnona Ryder, and Susan Sarandon so I knew how everything went down. I thought it a noble gesture on Emily's part to want to change the part where Beth dies. I think literally everyone wants to change that part, but it's something that even the author of this book decides cannot happen. I always thought it was weird that Amy ended up with Laurie. I mean, what, he can't have one sister so he goes for the youngest, most vain and vulnerable? What if Beth had lived? Would he have gone for her before Amy? I don't know. It sounds mean to say, but honestly. I like how Jo and Emily were so similar. Maybe give Emily a taste of her own medicine. And I like how the author went chapter by chapter until she was done with the book. I didn't care much for what Emily did manage to change, and how when she returned from her adventure that the book had changed accordingly. I mean, doesn't that screw with a bit of history? Hello! Step on a butterfly and destroy the world! Here is my biggest complaint of the book: The author was trying way too hard to connect with her audience via pop culture references. And by the way, I'm pretty positive that iPhones don't flip shut!!! In the first few pages, Emily sends a text on what she makes sure to mention is her iPhone to her friend who then calls her immediately after. When they are done with their conversation, she "snaps" the phone shut. How did the editor miss this????? Moving on, she wonders whether she should write about Harry Potter or Twilight. Later on, she mentions how she would do a post on Facebook. Then she thinks how the March girls lives would change if they knew about YouTube. She later makes a comment about Twitter. I mean, seriously. I do not need all of this pop culture propaganda in order to know what time period this is in. Give me a freakin' break! So, if you're a fan of Little Women then you can give it a chance, but I honestly don't recommend it. If you really want to rewrite the story, then do it yourself.

  28. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Emily March is a typical 21st century teen. She goes to school, does homework, fights with her sister and dreams of getting together with the cute jock with whom she eats lunch every day. Emily feels sorry for herself though. She's the middle sister and never gets anything she wants, not even the boy, for he has a crush on her older sister! When Emily's English teacher gives an assignment to change something about a favorite book, Emily knows she wants to write about Little Women. She identifies Emily March is a typical 21st century teen. She goes to school, does homework, fights with her sister and dreams of getting together with the cute jock with whom she eats lunch every day. Emily feels sorry for herself though. She's the middle sister and never gets anything she wants, not even the boy, for he has a crush on her older sister! When Emily's English teacher gives an assignment to change something about a favorite book, Emily knows she wants to write about Little Women. She identifies with Jo and wants to be a writer like Jo. She cried when Beth died and was outraged when Laurie married Amy. Emily decides that she's going to change Little Women and make sure Laurie marries Jo. As she prepares for her assignment by rereading the book, there's a noise like a vacuum cleaner and suddenly Emily is swooshed back into time and sucked into the pages of the novel. Once again Emily finds herself the middle March sister and she does not like it. She's jealous of Meg and Jo and can't stand snobbish little Amy but Beth, as sweet and loving as always, she can't help but love. Emily experiences all the dullness and privation of the daily life of the March sisters trying to get home, until a boy enters the picture. With the introduction of Laurie, Emily begins to compete with Jo for his affections. Emily decides her purpose is not to get Laurie and Jo together but to save Beth. Soon she finds that even the best stories get away from their authors and things may not turn out as planned. This is a cute story that will appeal mainly to tween and young teen girls. Emily is very selfish and obnoxious but that's the point of her character. She learns lessons along the way that shape who she will become as an adult later on after the story ends. Until then, she's very unlikeable. My favorite March sister, Jo, is also an obnoxious teenager. She doesn't come across as the fun-loving tomboy I grew up loving. She's in desperate competition with her sisters with occasional moments that shine through from the original. The story is interesting though and kept me reading late at night to find out how it turned out. The ending is a bit rushed but there's a big surprise there that I didn't see coming. The author tries a little too hard to impart a moral at the very end that I think could have been left out. Overall though, I liked the story and I think girls in the target age range who love Little Women will enjoy this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    At First Sight: Emily March hates being the middle sister, and she particularly hates that her crush went from liking her older sister Charlotte to liking her younger sister Anne in the blink of an eye without ever turning to look at her. Then, an english assignment gets her thinking about what would she change in a book - any book - and Emily turns to Little Women, and before she knows it she finds herself inside the book as the previously-unheard-of fifth March sister. Suddenly, she's seeing the At First Sight: Emily March hates being the middle sister, and she particularly hates that her crush went from liking her older sister Charlotte to liking her younger sister Anne in the blink of an eye without ever turning to look at her. Then, an english assignment gets her thinking about what would she change in a book - any book - and Emily turns to Little Women, and before she knows it she finds herself inside the book as the previously-unheard-of fifth March sister. Suddenly, she's seeing the March's sisters lives up close and finally has the chance to change things. Second Glance: I wanted to read Little Women and Me because I love Little Women and because I liked The Education of Bet by the same author, sadly, this one wasn't as much of a winner. The writing is quite similar - mostly light-hearted and fun - but my problem was that I didn't like Emily very much. She has jealousy issues and though I get that situations aren't often fair to her, she comes off as annoying and petty more often than not (at least to me), and I don't think she fully learned her lesson by the end (but more on that later). I did like going through Little Women, there are parts of that book that I can recite from memory, and I admit that re-writing Little Women is one of those ideas I pet in my head when I can't sleep at night. So I understand the appeal of the story, I just don't think it had the best execution possible, mostly because Emily wasn't very sympathetic. Then, the ending was so abrupt that I felt like the author ran out of page time, and I barely liked Emily a little better by then. She does do the right thing in the end, but it wasn't enough for me somehow because it kind of felt like it came out of nowhere. And more explanation about why things happened would have been nice too. Bottom Line: How you feel about Little Women and Me will have a lot to do with how you feel about Alcott's Little Women in general. If you manage to like Emily more than I did, you'll probably enjoy this book a lot because the idea and writing are fun.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    I loved the idea of this book. As many readers, I've fantasized about being literally transported into the pages of my favorite books and living out the story as one of the characters. Like many devoted fans of "Little Women," I've also fantasized about changing two main plot points -- Beth's death and the Jo/Laurie/Amy relationship. Baratz-Logsted's original character Emily March gets this opportunity. Dropped into the story of "Little Women" as the middle march sister, Emily experiences a diff I loved the idea of this book. As many readers, I've fantasized about being literally transported into the pages of my favorite books and living out the story as one of the characters. Like many devoted fans of "Little Women," I've also fantasized about changing two main plot points -- Beth's death and the Jo/Laurie/Amy relationship. Baratz-Logsted's original character Emily March gets this opportunity. Dropped into the story of "Little Women" as the middle march sister, Emily experiences a different side of her favorite novel, one that one could liken to Baratz-Logsted's experience rewriting one of her childhood favorites (see her afterword). Emily also comes to a new understanding of herself and her place in both the novel and her real life, reassessing her own personal relationships. This noel is not without its insights and charms, yet on the whole I found the writing style to be immature. This perhaps a testament to the author entering into the lexicon and perspective of a modern teen, but it made for an annoying reading experience. Additionally, I was bothered by obvious misunderstandings, in several places, of the historical contexts and references in the original "Little Women" text, and often blatant disrespect for the original text, and in the end for its publication history and the choices made by the original author, Louisa May Alcott. I'm all for literary license and creativity, but feel that the author could have playfully resolved the story with doing disservice to the original. I'm certain that research could have easily alleviated many of the discontinuities. I was put-off that Baratz-Logstead tired to excuse the weaknesses of her book by blaming the episodic nature of the original "Little Women." The randomness in this novel had little to do with an episodic narrative, and had everything to do with careless treatment of the text -- both the original story and the new creation. I don't regret reading this and I have some positive take-aways, but overall I was disappointed.

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