Author: Mary O’Connell
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Gilmore Girls with magical realism! Dear Reader is an original, poignant modern-day take on Wuthering Heights, as a high school senior searches for her teacher and meets a boy who may just be Heathcliff come to life
For seventeen-year-old Flannery Fields, the only respite from the plaid-skirted mean girls at Sacred Heart High School at is her beloved teacher Miss Sweeney’s AP English class. But when Miss Sweeney doesn’t show up to teach Flannery’s favorite book, Wuthering Heights, leaving behind her purse, Flannery knows something is wrong.
The police are called, and Flannery gives them everything—except Miss Sweeney’s copy of Wuthering Heights. This she holds onto. And good thing she does, because when she opens it, it has somehow transformed into Miss Sweeney’s real-time diary. It seems Miss Sweeney is in New York City—and she’s in trouble.
So Flannery does something very unFlannery-like: she skips school and sets out for Manhattan, with the book as her guide. But as soon as she arrives, she meets a boy named Heath. Heath is British, on a gap year, incredibly smart—yet he’s never heard of Albert Einstein or Anne Frank. In fact, Flannery can’t help thinking that he seems to have stepped from the pages of Brontë’s novel. Could it be?
With inimitable wit and heart, Mary O’Connell has crafted a love letter to reading, to the books that make us who we are. Dear Reader, charming and heartbreaking, is a novel about finding your people, on the page in the world.
Thank you so much for Flatiron Books and Raincoast for providing me with an ARC copy of this book.
Having been attracted to the book as it appeared somewhat like a mystery, I decided to push forth and read it. In my opinion, it would have been beneficial to have read Wuthering Heights (as it is a modern-ish retelling of it). Many of the similarities between the two I could not tell as I had not read the other book previously.
This does not mean that I did not enjoy the tale that was written though. As described in this book, it is every book-lovers dream to be a part of their favourite book, but for only a few is it really possible. Miss Sweeny is one of those lucky people.
Another aspect that I enjoyed is how the characters were named after famous literary authors/characters. Although it mentioned how they hated the names, I have always loved literary names and think it is cute to have something that connects someone to something bigger (do you get what I’m trying to say?).
Some of the chapters were a bit lengthy, and I feel like there was quite a bit of filler information in them. As well, I feel that the ending was rushed in tieing all the ends. It introduced new characters, so there may be room for a sequel, but I am not sure about that.
Overall, this is a daring book of adventure and trying to find one’s self. If you are a fan of classic retellings, then this book it just for you!