Author: Lucy Keating
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, magical realism, young adult
A girl realizes her life is being written for her in this unique, smart love story that is Stranger Than Fiction for fans of Stephanie Perkins.
Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine.
It turns out, Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her.
But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word?
The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance blurs the line between reality and fiction, and is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut Dreamology, which SLJ called, “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.”
Source: Thanks so much to Indigo Books & Music Inc. for providing me with a physical ARC of this book!
How I Found Out About It: Goodreads/Blogging
Ever since I devoured Lucy Keating’s debut book Dreamology, this new book of hers had been very high up on my TBR. I loved the super unique premise that her debut had, so being impatient for more of her creativity, I requested an ARC of this book from the Indigo newsletter.
I did end up liking this book just fine, but it did not blow me away like Dreamology did. I absolutely loved the idea revolving this book’s storyline, but I don’t think it 100% worked.
To briefly summarize, Literally focuses on a teen girl named Annabelle. When author Lucy Keating visits her fiction class at school and describes her work in progress, the storyline sounds just like Annabelle’s life, and this alarms her. It turns out that she is indeed the main character in her upcoming novel. Soon, Annabelle begins to question herself and her existence, and attempts to see if she can break out of the boundaries that Lucy Keating created for her.
Annabelle was, in a nutshell, a whiny and stubborn character. She always wanted to have things go her way and couldn’t really take “no” for an answer, and this bothered me. Her complaints really turned me off, but luckily there were enough other great things about this book for me to look past that.
There was quite a lot of romance in this book (including a love triangle with two guys whose names I can’t remember for the life of me right now), and the two love interests were cute with Annabelle, but I honestly don’t know who to ship her with.
(It could help if they were memorable enough to remember their names…?) The love triangle definitely got annoying, though, as she quickly travelled between the two boys.
As I said before, the premise of this book was beyond amazing and Lucy Keating is very talented with her ideas, but I found that it wasn’t really executed correctly. To me, it was just a normal romance story with a tiny twist that should have been much more emphasized. There were also many cliché tropes included that Dreamology contained none of, but I don’t want to make it seem like I disliked this book (which, for the record, I didn’t), so I’m going to stop right there.
All in all, Literally was a fluffy, adorable book with great writing and a rather interesting premise, but for what I was expecting from it, it lacked so much and left me feeling disappointed. Lovers of Dreamology may want to take a skip on this one to avoid disappoint, but if you haven’t read it, I’d totally suggest that you take a leap into these fine pages!
*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review.*