Literally by Lucy Keating

Literally by Lucy Keating

Release Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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?

Lucy Keating's latest book is about a girl trying to stop the story that she's been written into. The best way to put it is probably Stranger Than Fiction meets a young adult contemporary novel. And the best part? I really, really enjoyed it. This is a book I didn't know I needed, let alone wanted. I love meta stories and breaking the fourth wall, and Stranger Than Fiction is one of my favourite films–I could watch it over and over again and not get bored. This book, like the film, fictionalised the idea of literally breaking the barrier between creator and creation, and in the end has brought to life an imaginative, original and quirky story.

It must be pretty weird writing yourself in as a character! Sure, some of it is fictional, but I am pretty curious about the process that Lucy Keating went through writing this book and how she decided to portray herself on the page. Especially since she comes off as sort of a counter (not exactly antagonistic) force in this novel. The characters in this novel were fantastic by the way. You're really made aware that they are characters, but they tend to redefine themselves in unexpected ways. I actually don't think there was a single character I hated in this one–Annabelle was strong character (whose organisation skills I envy), I adored Elliot, I loved the developments with Will, and our protagonist's family was wonderful.

My only complaint would be about the resolution. I kind of didn't get it, and it seemed to cut too quick to the problem being solved. I enjoyed the several obstacles Annabelle has to go through–Lucy Keating doesn't make it easy for her!–but it just fell flat after. I liked the ending, but as I said, it seemed slightly too tidy for me. The book is pretty short, but I felt like exploring the meta-ness of this concept in tying up the main problem, as well as maybe delving a little more into the characters, the romance, the problems that family faces, the character-author relationship, and so on, could have made this an even better read (that's just my opinion).

Literally was sweet, quirky, full of heart, unique, adorable and–above all–fun. I love books with a larger-than-life premise, even though they take place in 'our world,' and this book had it all. Lucy Keating's books all seem to have this special spark to them, and I can't wait to read more from her (Dreamology: I'm coming for you!). 

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  1. I like this book too. I found it fun the way Keating poked fun at a lot of the stuff you see in many YA books. I like tidy endings, so that did not bother me, and I agree, it was fun and quirky. Great review!

  2. I've never heard of this one but it sounds so good. Such a cool concept. Great review!

  3. I was going to say,"This sounds a lot like Stranger Than Fiction!" and then I actually read your review! I've never heard of Lucy Keating before, I might have to check this one out.

  4. I think this is the first actual review I've read for this one. Sorry that the ending fell flat for you! Still, this really does sound like an interesting read and I'm glad that you enjoyed it for the most part. I'm curious to see how the author incorporated herself in the narrative! Thanks for the great review!

    Cass @ Words on Paper

  5. This one is new to me but I love the premise behind it! It sounds like it would be a really interesting thing to read about. I'm curious to know about Keating's writing process behind this too! I hate that the ending made it fall flat in the end. It sounded like it had such promise. I think I'll be adding this to my TBR just so I can see what's it's like.


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