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Meg and Jo

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The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra. The March sistersreliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Bethhave grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra. The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger. Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters. One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.


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The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra. The March sistersreliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Bethhave grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra. The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger. Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters. One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.

30 review for Meg and Jo

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Did somebody write the retelling of my all-time favorite book? Oh, yes, it is true. So what Im waiting for to dive in! CHRISTMAS WONT BE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT MARCH SISTERS! BUT That was the worst decision Ive made to decide reading retelling of my all-time favorite story which means so much to me. It wont be wrong if I admit I was raised by reading Little Women because first time I have gotten my hands on this precious, marvelous, heart-warming classic I was only 9! And of course I watched its black Did somebody write the retelling of my all-time favorite book? Oh, yes, it is true. So what I’m waiting for to dive in! CHRISTMAS WON’T BE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT MARCH SISTERS! BUT… That was the worst decision I’ve made to decide reading retelling of my all-time favorite story which means so much to me. It won’t be wrong if I admit I was raised by reading “Little Women” because first time I have gotten my hands on this precious, marvelous, heart-warming classic I was only 9! And of course I watched its black and white movie on TV with my siblings ( 1949 version and it was amazing to watch Janet Leigh as Meg, Elizabeth Taylor as Amy but mostly I loved June Allyson’s memorable performance as Jo and now I’m dying to see Greta Gerwig’s new adaptation, I hope it doesn’t disappoint me!) Then I reread it when I was 15 and I asked myself “did I read the same book?” because it awakens different feelings about me. I also empathized Jo because I was a book-worm tomboy like her, playing soccer with boys (Jo isn’t a midfield player but you got the picture) but I started to find inner Meg and some poshy and spoiled Amy, some good-hearted Beth inside me. Then I reread at 20 and finally 34 … It is miraculous thing to admit but every time the book gave me so much joy, happiness, encouragement and it is like a cure for depression, ill feelings, negativity. This story makes you feel alive and rejuvenated. It gives you purpose, a clear perspective, warming your heart, healing your soul, making you always smile. So it’s normal to expect so much more from a retelling. You have well-crafted characters, an emotional story about sisters’ bounding, fighting against their differences and the message is clear: “family always comes first” But as soon as I started the story takes place in North Carolina, well, at first all those over usage of Southern stereotypes broke my enthusiasm. And I felt like I’m trapped in a regular Christmas movie of Hallmark Channel. I didn’t find creative enough the re-adaptations of characters into 2019’s. And why the author decided to turn Laurie into an uninteresting douchebag! He was a lovely, emotional, sweet boy-next door! I hate his interactions with Jo! And let’s take a closer look to the new version March girls’ lives: So Meg is a mother in a happy marriage ( not so much there are still complications), Jo is independent, as always free-spirited loses her journalism job so she starts food blogging to make her ends meet and works in a restaurant whose chief is Eric Bhaer (now he is food professor) in NYC. Amy turned into Friends’ Rachel’s another version, lives in Paris for Louis Vuitton. Beth is taking a break from her school. What I don’t really like are: Lack of imagination and creativity to retell the modern version of characters’ storyline. Meg acted like a spoiled brat, whining too much about herself and her life. I wanted to make her shut up and push her make some changes if you don’t like who she became! Changes about the original storyline and giving too much role to the girls’ father could work at some way but the character is already emotionally reserved and reading daddy issues of the sisters made me wonder if I read the right retelling. Because the little women is about sister’s bounding against the poverty, hard times, illness and differences between them. It’s about pure love, understanding, compassion, genuineness! But this story is going completely different direction and I didn’t like where it was headed and where it ended. So I could only give 2.5 rounded up to 3 stars. The author decides to achieve a changeling and compelling task to retell the one of most favorite classics. Expectations are naturally so high and it’s really tough job to satisfy the readers who had written the original novel. So I really appreciate the author’s hard work and bravery. I hope to read her upcoming works but this book could never be my cup of wine! Thanks to Netgalley, Berkley Publishing Group to share this ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest reviews. blog instagram facebook twitter

  2. 5 out of 5

    BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)

    4 Stars for this Charming Contemporary Retelling of a Beloved Classic! Virginia Kantra has reimagined Little Women and brought it to life with a modern day spin that I was so excited about as a fan of the original book. She found a way to remain true to the spirit of the classic revolving around family while making the characters modern and a bit more relatable to newer audiences. I mean Jo is a blogger - I loved that!!! The traditional gender roles were still very much front & center and 4 Stars for this Charming Contemporary Retelling of a Beloved Classic! Virginia Kantra has reimagined Little Women and brought it to life with a modern day spin that I was so excited about as a fan of the original book. She found a way to remain true to the spirit of the classic revolving around family while making the characters modern and a bit more relatable to newer audiences. ⁣I mean Jo is a blogger - I loved that!!! ⁣ The traditional gender roles were still very much front & center and while I would have liked to see a bit less of that it did coincide with the original book and the thinking in the time in which it was written. ⁣ As with the original what I loved most was the bond between the sisters. When faced with a family crisis, who can you turn to if not your sisters even if it tests the strength of your relationship. ⁣While this book centered mostly around Meg & Jo, all the sisters played a part and I can't wait to read book 2 surrounding Amy and Beth! Overall, I found this to be a charming and inspired take on a cherished classic.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    5 Brilliant Stars. My Feel Good Book of the Year! Growing up, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, was one of my favorite novels. I always imagined that I was Jo. Bookish, stubborn, smart, fiery Jo. Oh How I loved her! As soon as I heard about Meg and Jo the contemporary retelling by Virginia Kantra, I knew that I had to read it. Meg and Jo is the story of the eldest March siblings, though Beth and Amy also appear. The story takes place in both North Carolina and New York City, in the 21st Century. 5 Brilliant Stars. My Feel Good Book of the Year! Growing up, “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, was one of my favorite novels. I always imagined that I was Jo. Bookish, stubborn, smart, fiery Jo. Oh How I loved her! As soon as I heard about “Meg and Jo” the contemporary retelling by Virginia Kantra, I knew that I had to read it. “Meg and Jo” is the story of the eldest March siblings, though Beth and Amy also appear. The story takes place in both North Carolina and New York City, in the 21st Century. Though it takes place now, it still has the feel of “Little Women.” Somehow, Virginia Kantra was able to capture the heart of the characters in “Little Women” perfectly. This story made my heart all warm and gooey. (Yes, I actually said that (outloud), lol). In my opinion, this story feels fresh, and new, while also making me feel nostalgic for what was. In short, “Meg and Jo” is sublime. Jo is an indie food blogger, and a prep cook living in New York City, working for Chef Eric, while Meg is a married, stay at home mom living in North Carolina with her husband John. Meg and Jo talk every single day and are as close as can be, (which I just adored). Jo is impetuous, hot tempered and totally wicked at times, (so true to character, she is!) which often gets her into trouble. Having fallen for her boss, Chef Eric, Jo finds herself in all kinds of trouble. What else is new?! Meg, too, has her struggles. Between her marriage, and taking care of her family, Meg has more than a few crosses to bear and lessons to learn. In the end, what makes this book so special for me, is the March family unit. How close and strong they are, and how they always come together when times are tough. They are like a whirlwind, there is literally no stopping these folks! For those of you who loved “Little Women,” and/or are simply looking for a heartwarming read, I highly recommend that you pick up “Meg and Jo.” Just thinking about this book brings a smile to my face and that is a feat in and of itself. Thank you to Mimi Chan and Goodreads and Virginia Kantra for the galley to read and review. Published on Goodreads on 3.7.2020.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Ooh la la! A contemporary retelling of Little Women, one of my favorite childhood classics, had me all in! The March sisters we all know and love are here. Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth. Jo heads off to New York to study journalism, but her career takes a nosedive. Meg is taking the safe route with the life she has always planned and dreamed of- as a wife and mother. She has it all, and she knows it, but somehow she still feels lacking? Their mother falls ill and all the sisters return home to North Ooh la la! A contemporary retelling of Little Women, one of my favorite childhood classics, had me all in! The March sisters we all know and love are here. Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth. Jo heads off to New York to study journalism, but her career takes a nosedive. Meg is taking the “safe” route with the life she has always planned and dreamed of- as a wife and mother. She has it all, and she knows it, but somehow she still feels lacking? Their mother falls ill and all the sisters return home to North Carolina (!!!) to her and to each other. Their bonds as sisters and family will be tested now more than ever. This story is reminiscent of Little Women largely because of the characters and their personalities, and I loved revisiting them in modern roles. As the title suggests, the story is mainly about Jo and Meg, but we do get some cameos of Amy and Beth also. Overall, Meg and Jo is a story inspired by one of our favorite classics. It’s about family and sisterhood and pulling together during the tough times. It was a heartwarming read. Jo, as always, was my favorite! I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    Laurie (who goes by Trey in this book, like whyyyy??) owns a car dealership... and Jo is a food blogger in NYC. The audiobook also has them all speaking in strong Southern accents and relies heavily on Southern stereotypes and values... no thanks, I'll pass on this retelling and reread the original instead.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5 Full disclosure, I read Little Women a very long time ago and honestly don't remember much about it, but that didn't stop me from loving Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra! I listened to the majority of the book on audio and I really loved the narrators. I ended up listening at 1.75 speed which was apparently perfect, and their voices were still very understandable. The narrators were both amazing, but I especially love the voices Meg's narrator did for her twins. I would gladly listen to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 Full disclosure, I read Little Women a very long time ago and honestly don't remember much about it, but that didn't stop me from loving Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra! I listened to the majority of the book on audio and I really loved the narrators. I ended up listening at 1.75 speed which was apparently perfect, and their voices were still very understandable. The narrators were both amazing, but I especially love the voices Meg's narrator did for her twins. I would gladly listen to either of these amazing women (Shannon McManus and Karissa Vacker) on any other audiobooks. I'm not sure I would have loved the book as much as I did had it not been for them really bringing Meg and Jo to life for me. I'm not a huge fan of the fact that the cover of Meg and Jo promotes it as a retelling, the synopsis and readers guide say it was inspired by Little Women and I like that description much better. It's a re-imagining of these characters and I really liked what Kantra did with them, although as I said, I don't remember much about Little Women. I also don't think you have to have read Little Women in order to read Meg and Jo. If you are a fan of contemporary novels that are inspired by other books I would still recommend checking this out. Meg and Jo has some romance, some tears, and some downright strong female characters. I loved both Meg and Jo, and Jo's feistiness really made this book for me. At first I wasn't sure I would like it all that much, but as I got into it I became really invested in the characters and by the time I was done I was in love with it. It wasn't quite as funny as I had hoped it would be (funny seems to be the case with a lot of retellings), but I still laughed plenty of times and gasped a couple as well. Song/s the book brought to mind: We Are Family by Sister Sledge Final Thought: I read a little under the last 100 pages and the whole time I was reading I could hear the narrators from the audiobook in my head reading. This has never happened to me before, so I am chalking that up to amazing narration. I got pretty teary during Meg and Jo so I would have some tissues nearby if you are the emotional type like I am. I haven't seen many 5-star reviews, but for me it was a real winner and I cannot WAIT to read the next book, Beth & Amy. Thank you to Edelweiss for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    A delightful modern retelling of the beloved classic Little Women. Virginia Kantra Took on the tough task of taking this cherished classic and giving it a modern feel and I think she did a remarkable job of it. Admittedly I read LW over 35 years ago and if Im being honest Im not even certain I finished it. I think the fact I do not hold the original in high esteem really allowed me to appreciate this book on its own. Retellings can be tricky you have to honor the original while making the story A delightful modern retelling of the beloved classic “Little Women”. Virginia Kantra Took on the tough task of taking this cherished classic and giving it a modern feel and I think she did a remarkable job of it. Admittedly I read LW over 35 years ago and if I’m being honest I’m not even certain I finished it. I think the fact I do not hold the original in high esteem really allowed me to appreciate this book on its own. Retellings can be tricky you have to honor the original while making the story your own, and I think any author who takes this on is very brave. Having said all this I think you can absolutely read this without having read the original I think it stands extremely well on its own merit. A lovely story about the strength of family, the power of love, The need to know how to express yourself, all wrapped up in a pretty Christmas bow. This book primarily focuses on the older two March sisters Meg and Jo. Meg is the responsible sister now living the life she thought she always wanted. A stay at home mom with two adorable toddler’s, a lovely home, and a devoted husband. Jo is the fierce independence sister who now lives in NYC. She recently lost her job as a journalist and now is a popular food blogger working undercover at a popular restaurant. I could relate to and see a little of myself in both of these characters. Admittedly Meg drove me a bit nuts in the beginning, she was such a martyr and a control freak, the girl really needed just to chill out.Jo had some frustrating qualities as well she seem to have a hard time accepting help from others, but she didn’t feel the need to micromanage everyone else’s life either. When their mom gets sick all the girls including Amy and Beth come home to help out. My favorite part of the story was definitely the dynamics between all the sisters. Not having a sister myself I find this to be such a wonderful and complicated relationship. This was a buddy read and the discussion definitely got interesting when it came to the men in the story. We were all in agreement that Mr. March was terrible, he had this amazing wife and these incredible daughters and showed none of them any respect. The other men in the story I think some of us found a little more palatable than others. My favorite hands-down was Chef Eric, I mean who wouldn’t love a man that can cook!?! This is the perfect December read with the strong emphasis on family and festive holiday vibes. This book in emojis 👭 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 👩🏻‍💻 👨🏻‍🍳 🤼‍♂️ 🎄 *** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

  8. 4 out of 5

    Darinda

    A retelling featuring the March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The two older sisters, Meg and Jo, are the focus of this novel. Meg is living a picture perfect life as a stay-at-home mother. Jo is living in New York working as a cook and food blogger. When their mother gets ill, the sisters step in to help out. Told from the alternating points of view of Meg and Jo. They live completely different lives, but both women want to be there for their family. A modern tale of family, life, romance, A retelling featuring the March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The two older sisters, Meg and Jo, are the focus of this novel. Meg is living a picture perfect life as a stay-at-home mother. Jo is living in New York working as a cook and food blogger. When their mother gets ill, the sisters step in to help out. Told from the alternating points of view of Meg and Jo. They live completely different lives, but both women want to be there for their family. A modern tale of family, life, romance, work, and sisterhood. An enjoyable read. Recommended for fans of Little Women and contemporary novels. I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    DeAnn

    4 inspired by a classic stars By the end, I was really enjoying this one! When I started it, I was struggling because I had just watched the new "Little Women" movie and I had that in my head for these characters. Once I got more into this storyline and the movie faded, I was able to enjoy this book. Now the family farm is in in North Carolina and Jo is a food blogger living in New York City. Shes working in the kitchen at a restaurant. Meg has the life shes always dreamed of with a husband and 4 “inspired by a classic” stars By the end, I was really enjoying this one! When I started it, I was struggling because I had just watched the new "Little Women" movie and I had that in my head for these characters. Once I got more into this storyline and the movie faded, I was able to enjoy this book. Now the family farm is in in North Carolina and Jo is a food blogger living in New York City. She’s working in the kitchen at a restaurant. Meg has the life she’s always dreamed of with a husband and two kids at home. She’s definitely has some things to work through, but I liked her character too! Mrs. March’s health has taken a turn for the worse and with the holidays coming up, the sisters rally to help at the farm, sell food at the farmer’s market, and try to keep the family traditions strong. I really enjoyed Jo’s love story and I rooted for her to find happiness. I would love to have someone like Chef cooking for me! I like the spin on blogging as opposed to novel writing, very modern! I can’t wait to read the next one in this series! The focus is on the other two March sisters – Amy and Beth. Thanks to Edelweiss, Virginia Kantra, and Berkley for the copy of this one to read in exchange for a review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    A modern retelling of Little Women, MEG AND JO looks at the four March sisters in present day. We have Meg, a mom of twins, married to a man who works at a car dealership. Jo, an aspiring writer, who works in New York City at a restaurant and writes a food blog. Their sisters, Beth and Amy, flit in the background--Beth is pursuing her musical dreams and Amy is chasing fashion in Paris. But when the girls' stalwart mom gets sick, they must come home for the holidays to help at the family farm. A modern retelling of Little Women, MEG AND JO looks at the four March sisters in present day. We have Meg, a mom of twins, married to a man who works at a car dealership. Jo, an aspiring writer, who works in New York City at a restaurant and writes a food blog. Their sisters, Beth and Amy, flit in the background--Beth is pursuing her musical dreams and Amy is chasing fashion in Paris. But when the girls' stalwart mom gets sick, they must come home for the holidays to help at the family farm. There they will learn lessons about family, sisterhood, and following their dreams. This one grew on me. It's not as jarring as I expected to see the girls in real time--I actually enjoyed that aspect. What's odd is that while the modern setting exists, there are a lot of outdated gender norms. Meg has to be the perfect mom who refuses help from everyone; the girls' father is basically worthless, etc. It's hard to overcome at first. But I eventually took to Meg and Jo. I liked Jo's feisty nature, even if some of the problem/distance with her chef/boyfriend seemed a bit contrived. And I could identify with Meg, who felt like the weight of the world was on her shoulders (twin moms unite). Overall, this is a sweet and funny story. It's silly at times, but also heartwarming. I enjoyed seeing where Kantra tweaked the plot (there's a piece with the March patriarch that I particularly enjoyed). It's no Eligible--perhaps my favorite modern retelling of all--but it's a fun read. I've heard there may be a second book featuring Beth and Amy, and I would certainly read it. 3.5 stars. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb I received my copy of this book through one of my favorite websites, Paperbackswap.com, where you can swap copies of all your favorite books (hardcover, paperback, and more).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    A modern day retelling of Little Women, partially (there is an upcoming novel called Beth & Amy that I'm sure will advance the story.) - I have to be honest when I say I never gave Meg one moment of thought, always seeing Jo as the central character, so Meg's story was interesting to me with her epic sense of responsibility. Jo's story was also interesting as a food blogger in NYC, with a pretty memorable love scene, but it was a little hard for me to think of the March sisters as anything A modern day retelling of Little Women, partially (there is an upcoming novel called Beth & Amy that I'm sure will advance the story.) - I have to be honest when I say I never gave Meg one moment of thought, always seeing Jo as the central character, so Meg's story was interesting to me with her epic sense of responsibility. Jo's story was also interesting as a food blogger in NYC, with a pretty memorable love scene, but it was a little hard for me to think of the March sisters as anything but chaste! The relocation to NC instead of Concord was an interesting choice, and the modernization of the father was pretty realistic. One big difference for me is that I root for Laurie in the original, but not here (he's called Trey in this retelling.) I had a copy from the publisher and it came out December 3. I also mentioned it on episode 174.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra is a beautiful story inspired by Little Women, a well beloved classic tale. With the holidays upon us, a lovely retelling is just what is needed. The story is told in two Point of Views between Meg and Jo. This time, the March sisters are all grown up and pursuing their separate dreams and aspirations. Jo ends up in New York City, a struggling journalist who is now trying her best to survive living in the city by working in a restaurant and at the same time secretly “Meg and Jo” by Virginia Kantra is a beautiful story inspired by Little Women, a well beloved classic tale. With the holidays upon us, a lovely retelling is just what is needed. The story is told in two Point of Views between Meg and Jo. This time, the March sisters are all grown up and pursuing their separate dreams and aspirations. Jo ends up in New York City, a struggling journalist who is now trying her best to survive living in the city by working in a restaurant and at the same time secretly running a very successful food blog. Good ‘ole reliable Meg is running her own household, and married to John with twins. Amy is working in the fashion industry and Beth is taking a break from school. Seems everything is perfect until their mother is hospitalized with only Meg to help, and a father who rather care for his patients rather than his own wife and family. This brings the March sisters back home together, in North Carolina for the holidays to help each other - after all the story is about the strength of the family and the siblings helping each other. Overall, I did enjoy this retelling and it would really be a more enjoyable read having had some knowledge about The Little Women to better understand the sisters' personalities which very much carried on to this book. I look forward to the next installation with the focus of the story with Beth and Amy. Thank you to Berkley Pub and Netgalley for the opportunity to receive and review an ARC of this amazing book by Virginia Kantra. I voluntarily reviewed this ARC and all opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mandy White

    What a lovely story ❤ Needed something different and lighter and this was perfect

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    In the 150th year since Little Women was originally published, we get a fresh, modern take on Louisa May Alcott's endearing classic about the four March sisters. I've already enjoyed this author's books for her thoughtful way of writing a romance and not being afraid to dig deep into deeper subject matter so I was curious to see what she could do with a modern retelling. Meg and Jo is the title, but also the focus on the oldest two March sisters who alternate the narration every other chapter In the 150th year since Little Women was originally published, we get a fresh, modern take on Louisa May Alcott's endearing classic about the four March sisters. I've already enjoyed this author's books for her thoughtful way of writing a romance and not being afraid to dig deep into deeper subject matter so I was curious to see what she could do with a modern retelling. Meg and Jo is the title, but also the focus on the oldest two March sisters who alternate the narration every other chapter though fans will discover that the whole family along with the Lawrences next door, a certain Aunt, John, the twins, and Professor Bhaer who is now a cook are very much present though they all get an update. Seeing how each character and many of the key story elements translated into modern times is all part of the fun in a retelling and Meg and Jo did not disappoint. Meg is living her dream as a woman with home, husband, and family, but she feels there is something lacking including in her marriage and that the dreamy picture isn't what she thought it would be while Jo is fierce about her independence and her dreams to write and be a success in the big city though she has lost her newspaper job, can't seem to write her book and now works a restaurant and writes an indifferent food blog. Their mother's desperate need brings Jo back to the home farm and the sisters discover that what they dreamed about isn't gone for good just lost as they chased for it in all the wrong places. Fans of the classic will see a decent nod toward Alcott's work with lots of Kantra's originality and style (Beth has a different fate and Mr. March does as well) while those coming to the story without having read or watched an adaption will do just fine as the story could be read as a heartwarming women's fiction crossed over with contemporary romance. Now, while I can say that I found this engaging and enjoyable especially seeing flawed characters struggling along find inner strength, connection, and yes, love, I feel obliged to say that if one were looking for a close connection to Little Women that it will be moderate. What I mean by that is that from my perspective, I felt that some of the time I was reading about characters who shared names and some similar circumstances with those in the original, but they didn't necessarily resonate like the original characters. Kantra's characters are edgier versions and don't always think or act as I remember Alcott's characters. I found them less likable at times. In fact, I never did warm up to Trey, the modern version of Laury. But, that said, I've learned that the author plans a sequel with the focus on the younger two sisters, Beth and Amy, so maybe Trey has some personal growth coming, too. Then there was Jo and her dad issues that is not present in the original, but a big part in her journey of self-discovery in this one. I don't mean to make it sound like I disliked the book or that it failed as a retelling. Far from it. I found the focus on sisters and their relationships as well as the insight into their relationships with their parents, friends, and love interests engaging. Some might even find it easier to go in thinking of this not as a retelling, but just a solid women's fic and contemporary romance crossover. Either way the reader approaches the book, I think it will be engaging for them and I can definitely recommend it for this holiday season treat. My thanks to Berkley Romance for providing the book to read in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | Booked J

    (3.5 stars) Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review can be found here at Booked J. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. While loving Little Women isn't necessarily a personality trait, you can't tell me that. My love of this classic knows no bounds. The older I get, the more fond of it I grow. I am very protective of it, but I am also also intrigued by retellings of the story of the (3.5 stars) Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review can be found here at Booked J. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. While loving Little Women isn't necessarily a personality trait, you can't tell me that. My love of this classic knows no bounds. The older I get, the more fond of it I grow. I am very protective of it, but I am also also intrigued by retellings of the story of the March Sisters. I've always felt that it was one of those novels I could read all forms and takes on and never truly tire of seeing how various authors explore the familiar and make it new again. Which is why I was so beyond keen on getting my hands on an ARC of Meg and Jo. Taking a much-beloved classic and spinning it into a tale of your own is no easy task, and I will always (!) applaud any author who has the guts to do so. Anyone who can take a story that represents so much to so many people, at so many ages, and make it new again, is a true gift to our literary community. I'll start by saying this, while this story had some flaws to it: Virginia Kantra truly did a great job capturing the essence of Little Women. Not only did she pen a highly engaging, entertaining spin on the original story, she did it justice. I felt for these characters, not unlike I felt for their original form. Moreso, I fell for these characters and the experience of reading Meg and Jo was not unlike the experience of revisiting old friends in their new homes. Even better, Meg and Jo was infinitely better than the last retelling I'd read for Little Women, The Spring Girls and reminded me why I am consistently impressed with modernized takes on classic stories. Seeing the relationships between these variation of the March sisters was, as always, a joy. No matter their form, I'll forever see parts of myself in Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth. They are timeless. While each sister translates differently on page, in this new modern setting, I could still see bits of Louisa May Alcott's traits as they tangled with Virginia Kantra's. It's undeniable that she made this story her own and it's a definite treat to read. I really liked comparing and contrasting the modern elements and changes to the plotline, as I read Meg and Jo, and seeing just how much they paralleled the original story. Ultimately, there were many things I loved about Meg and Jo. There were things I was not altogether keen on (the characteristics and development of this version of Laurie, for example) and felt the weaker points of the novel ached a bit in comparison to the positives. Still, the good in Meg and Jo outweighs the lesser bits--this was a sweet, stylish and solid retelling of one of my favourite classics.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Beck

    I confess, I went in to Meg & Jo with very little need for it to "match up" with the classic novel on which it is based because--don't thrash me--I was never a Little Women superfan (read it eons ago and honestly only recall the basics). Therefore, my comments are not at all based upon a comparison of the two. That said, Virginia Kantra works her magic in this wonderfully warm story of family--more specifically of sisterly bonds and expectations, of love and duty, and of forgiveness (of I confess, I went in to Meg & Jo with very little need for it to "match up" with the classic novel on which it is based because--don't thrash me--I was never a Little Women superfan (read it eons ago and honestly only recall the basics). Therefore, my comments are not at all based upon a comparison of the two. That said, Virginia Kantra works her magic in this wonderfully warm story of family--more specifically of sisterly bonds and expectations, of love and duty, and of forgiveness (of others and ourselves and our own flaws), and of following one's own path. The beauty of her attention to detail shines through in each scene, and I was very happily ensconced in North Carolina at the farm while there, as well as fascinated by the New York restaurant world with Jo. I absolutely loved the way Meg and John's marriage was depicted--so realistic and such a reminder of how easy it is to misread and misunderstand the different ways that people show their love and commitment. If you are looking for a heartwarming story in which you will likely see yourself and those closest to you reflected in the characters, look no further. This book is for you!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    3.5 stars. I loved seeing how Kantra put her own spin on a Little Women inspired story, and I thought Meg and Jo were both really relatable too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    My problems with this novel probably have less to do with the novel and more to do with me. Had I realized that Kantra was a Romancer author, I probably wouldnt have picked this up, because I am not particularly fond of romances, and thats definitely what this is. Fans of the Hallmark channel will love this book, with its nostalgic retelling of one of the most beloved American childrens books, Little Women. Kantra takes the March family out of 19th Century New England and plops them down in the My problems with this novel probably have less to do with the novel and more to do with me. Had I realized that Kantra was a Romancer author, I probably wouldn’t have picked this up, because I am not particularly fond of romances, and that’s definitely what this is. Fans of the Hallmark channel will love this book, with its nostalgic retelling of one of the most beloved American children’s books, Little Women. Kantra takes the March family out of 19th Century New England and plops them down in the 21st century North Carolina. Beth is taking a break from school to perform in Branson, Missouri. Amy is in Paris on an internship with Luis Vuitton. Meg is married and the mother of twins, living in her small hometown. And Jo, having lost her job as a journalist, is trying to make it in New York as a food blogger, paying the bills by working in the kitchen of the up and coming Chef, Eric Bhaer. Kantra’s retelling is not particularly imaginative, but follows the original plot and character outline of the original fairly closely. Mr. March has a more significant role than in the original (does anyone even remember the girls father?), though even here he is depicted as both physically and emotionally distant. Both Meg and Jo must come to grips with their troubling relationship with their father. Readers looking for a literary exploration of the themes of independence, family, and love that Alcott probed in her book may be disappointed, but readers wanting a heart-warming love story that reminds them of a favorite book from their youth will eat up this modern retelling of a classic. Thanks to NetGalley for access to a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a digital ARC from NetGalley The good: They made Mr. March a straight up asshole. Marmee told him to leave and never come back. The bad: BETH DIDN'T DIE AND IS A COUNTRY SINGER IN BRANSON, MISSOURI. YEA, YOU READ THAT RIGHT. The everything else/eh: -The author changed to setting from Boston/NYC to NYC/North Carolina which I didn't like much. It leaned really hard on Southern stereotypes. -Meg complained so much I wanted to smack her. -Laurie (excuse, me TREY) was devoid of personality and This was a digital ARC from NetGalley The good: They made Mr. March a straight up asshole. Marmee told him to leave and never come back. The bad: BETH DIDN'T DIE AND IS A COUNTRY SINGER IN BRANSON, MISSOURI. YEA, YOU READ THAT RIGHT. The everything else/eh: -The author changed to setting from Boston/NYC to NYC/North Carolina which I didn't like much. It leaned really hard on Southern stereotypes. -Meg complained so much I wanted to smack her. -Laurie (excuse, me TREY) was devoid of personality and uninteresting. He owned a car dealership? The author is basically assuming this book will do so well she has already written a sequel called Amy and Beth which you know I will totally read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra is a modern reimagining of Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott. Little Women is my absolute favorite book which is why I was curious about Meg and Jo. I wanted to see how an author would modernize this treasured classic. Let me state that this was a mistake on my part. I wish I had looked up the author and noticed that she writes romance novels. This book focuses on Meg and Jo. It is told from their perspectives in alternating chapters. Jo still wishes to write, but Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra is a modern reimagining of Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott. Little Women is my absolute favorite book which is why I was curious about Meg and Jo. I wanted to see how an author would modernize this treasured classic. Let me state that this was a mistake on my part. I wish I had looked up the author and noticed that she writes romance novels. This book focuses on Meg and Jo. It is told from their perspectives in alternating chapters. Jo still wishes to write, but newspapers are letting staff go. For some reason, Jo was hired at Gusto by Chef Eric Bhaer to work as a prep cook. I found this particularly odd since Jo disliked the domestic arts. Jo has a blog titled Hungry which provides an insider’s view of the city’s food scene. She does it anonymously which Jo is glad she did after hearing what Chef Bhaer thinks about food bloggers. There is an attraction between Jo and the chef which develops into something more until complications arise. Meg is married to John Brooke and they have very busy twins. Meg quit her job as a loan officer to be a stay at home mom at John’s urging because his mother worked two jobs and was never at home for him. While Meg loves John and the twins, she is dissatisfied with her life. Meg comes across as whiny (it is unattractive). She likes things done a certain way, so she does it all herself but then complains that she does not get help from hubby. Meg makes some poor choices. I did not like how Meg was portrayed at all. The story is set in Bunyan, North Carolina so there are stereotypical Southernisms in the story (“Bless her heart” was a repeated phrase). I especially disliked how Mr. March was portrayed in this book. It was unappealing and disappointing. Abby March, the mother, is one who does not like fuss (as we are told repeatedly). I missed the warm, loving Marmee from Little Women. Beth is a singer who performs in front of audiences at Branson (can anyone see the shy Beth doing this) and Amy is an intern at Louis Vuitton in Paris (I could see Amy doing this). Laurie is called Trey in this version and let me just say he is nothing like the kind boy next door from the original. Meg and Jo comes across as a typical romance novel. It lacks the warmth of family, sisterly bonding, love, and compassion that was present in the original Little Women. The author was brave to tackle such a difficult project, but I feel she missed the mark. There is a preview of Amy & Beth at the end.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Storme Reads A Lot

    I finished this book in one day, and Im dying for the next one already. I love Little Women. All of the movie versions are amazing. I have so many good memories regarding this story, and I knew I was going to have to read this book as soon as it was shown to me in the library app. This is modern retelling. Jo is a food blogger and Meg is a stay at home mom. Their parents are still married. Their dad works as a minister with veterans and hes gone all of the time. Their mom gets sick, and Meg is I finished this book in one day, and I’m dying for the next one already. I love Little Women. All of the movie versions are amazing. I have so many good memories regarding this story, and I knew I was going to have to read this book as soon as it was shown to me in the library app. This is modern retelling. Jo is a food blogger and Meg is a stay at home mom. Their parents are still married. Their dad works as a minister with veterans and he’s gone all of the time. Their mom gets sick, and Meg is the one who has to help out since the other sisters are living in different places. Jo comes to help when she’s able, but she has a job and life in New York. Meg starts taking care of the family farm, selling goat cheese for her mom, and she’s trying to take care of her family. She loses sight of her husband being her partner and just does everything on her own when she can and should ask for help. This was relatable as a stay at home parent because I’m usually like I’ll just do it all myself but sometimes I get mad when all I need to do is ask for help. Meg realizes she can just ask for help and not deal with all of the hardships alone, and it makes her life better. She also learns to see she has to remember her husband has passions of his own, and she wants to support him in that since he’s done so much for their family. Jo is a food blogger working at a restaurant and she ends up falling for the chef, and it’s so sweet. He’s the same version of the man she always falls in love with the book, Behar. But he’s also got two sons and a successful restaurant so it’s kind of different. The food blogger thing was cool, and I liked how it parallels the original story with modern twists. Jo still cuts off her hair, wants to be a writer, and she’s got Laurie (Trey in this book) in love with her. I liked their relationship, but I’m already dying to know the build up for Amy and Trey in the next book. I think they may have always been my favorite couple secretly. Definitely recommend for anyone who likes contemporary or just loves Little Women. This will go down as one of my favorite books of the year and in general, and I’m just dying with anticipation for the next one!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brandy Painter

    3.5 I'm giving this four stars because I love Kantra's writing style so much and for the parts of the book that resonated so deeply. Tackling a much beloved classic is never easy. You are not going to be able to please everyone who loves the original. There were some things I loved about this. Some things that were just fine. And a couple things I didn't like at all. The things I'm not crazy about though are more of a concern for the next book and didn't stop my liking this one. What I Loved: 3.5 I'm giving this four stars because I love Kantra's writing style so much and for the parts of the book that resonated so deeply. Tackling a much beloved classic is never easy. You are not going to be able to please everyone who loves the original. There were some things I loved about this. Some things that were just fine. And a couple things I didn't like at all. The things I'm not crazy about though are more of a concern for the next book and didn't stop my liking this one. What I Loved: Meg. John. Meg and John. John and Meg Color me surprised that Meg's story would be what kept me turning the pages. I felt her struggles on a deep, personal level though, and I feel Kantra did a fabulous job of depicting what a good marriage hitting the rough patch of new parenthood, bills, and family crisis looks like. Meg's struggles to ask for help or even take it when offered was highly relatable. I also loved what Kantra did with the girls' father. Louisa May Alcott's father was like this, but she softened him for her book. Kantra did not feel the need to do that. Bravo. Their mother is amazing. Kantra maintained the heart of the sisterhood story and that is what is most important. What I Also Enjoyed: Jo and Eric. I wish this had been developed a little more, but I do think Jo's quarter life crisis with her job landing her in this relationship made sense. I don't particularly love the way it resolved just because that is one of my least favorite tropes, yet it was a satisfying story to read. What I Have A Problem With: Laurie's name in this book is Trey. Trey. And this may just be me, but I hear that name and it automatically goes into the Brad/Kyle/Chad category. All my instincts scream, "RUN! DUDE BRO AHOY!" Trey is the name of the guy who plays Lacrosse while drunk and then tries to roofie some poor girl's drink at the frat party. WHYYY???? He runs his grandfather's car dealership guys. Ugh. I know that his character will be developed more in the second book, but from the glimpses we got here, I don't care. You cannot tell me that Louisa May Alcott's emo, angst-ridden musician Victorian boy would be an average run-of-the-mill small town player. There is so much potential for moving Alcott's creation to a guy who would have been a teen in the 2000s. You will never convince me that boy wasn't writing Jo's name in cursive in his room while listening to My Chemical Romance and shopping at Hot Topic to piss off his grandfather. There should be a scene in the next book where Trey (blech) turns on The Black Parade for old times sake and then has a crisis over his account books when Disenchanted comes on because he has become THAT GUY. His love and passion for music wasn't even mentioned as far as I can remember. Like what even. 2000's Laurie would have been so jealous of Brendan Urie. Fight me. I know I'm right. But heaven forbid a romantic hero be artsy. And I needed to get that off my chest, but I'm not really letting it affect my enjoyment of this book even if it's raising my concerns for the next. Beth is apparently going to be involved in the country music business. (At least she won't be dead? Maybe? I don't know which is worse?) OH NO! It just occurred to me that Trey is a perfect dude-bro country music name. His musicality better not suddenly manifest itself in that direction too. My emo Victorian boy would NEVER. Obviously I'm well aware my distaste for country music does not reflect on the quality of the storytelling. I'd just rather not have to deal with it, and I've lived in the south most of my life. I just can't with country music (especially the current trends in it). I'm upset about Trey from a story telling aspect though. Like, there's a reason Timothee Chalamet and pre-Batman Christian Bale were chosen to play Laurie in the movies. He's a super soft art boy. And that can be HOT. Generations of girls have thought so. Anyway, I do recommend Meg & Jo even if I'm wary of where Beth & Amy is going to take this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    It's probably been twenty years or more since I read Little Women, so I wasn't sure how this was going to go for me. And I liked it (in particular I was shocked how much I liked Jo's romance because I actively don't like it in the original), but the stuff between the March parents was a choice I didn't love? By all means, I think authors need to make bold choices when adapting works, but taking what I think I remember as a solid, supportive marriage and turning it into the fraught mess that this It's probably been twenty years or more since I read Little Women, so I wasn't sure how this was going to go for me. And I liked it (in particular I was shocked how much I liked Jo's romance because I actively don't like it in the original), but the stuff between the March parents was a choice I didn't love? By all means, I think authors need to make bold choices when adapting works, but taking what I think I remember as a solid, supportive marriage and turning it into the fraught mess that this was, was definitely a choice. I'm not sure I'll buy Beth and Amy, but I'm definitely going to read it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Simone

    This is one of those books I'll have to come back and read again. Because while I totally loved the story of modern Meg and Jo, I couldn't stop thinking about Little Women and this book isn't Little Women. It's like taking the characters and some of their personality traits and setting them in a different world, different time period, and almost different people. It's still a great story, but if you're still stuck in the 19th century then all you can see are its flaws and that's never fair. So This is one of those books I'll have to come back and read again. Because while I totally loved the story of modern Meg and Jo, I couldn't stop thinking about Little Women and this book isn't Little Women. It's like taking the characters and some of their personality traits and setting them in a different world, different time period, and almost different people. It's still a great story, but if you're still stuck in the 19th century then all you can see are its flaws and that's never fair. So even before I start sharing what this book is about, keep this note in mind; this is not Little Women. It might as well be a major coincidence that these characters share the same name and some of the same traits, but this is not Little Women. Honestly, I think if you've never been exposed to Little Women, then you might like this story more. Meg and Jo is split between the two eldest sisters of the Little Women pack (there's a Beth and Amy book coming out soon) in a small town in North Carolina. Meg is a young mom of twins who's finding life as her mother to be a lot tougher than she anticipated. Her husband, John Brooke, could be better about lending a hand every once in a while, but Meg couldn't burden him with more work than he already has on his plate despite wanting to return to full time work. Jo is a writer who moved to New York to pursue her journalism career. However, with the recession and layoffs, Jo is having a hard time being a writer in the big city so she takes a job as a prep cook at Gusto, a famous Michelin star restaurant run by Chef Eric Bhaer. While not at the restaurant, she spends her time eating out and writing about it on her food blog. When their mother falls ill, Meg and Jo start to help her out around the house only realizing some bigger truths about their family that shakes their existence. The book is written in alternating perspectives with some overlap when Meg and Jo are in the same room. Most of the book is set after Jo moves to New York. The events of this book include snippets from the original Little Women like Amy falling into the ice and Jo burning Meg's hair and going to balls (or the prom in this case). But they're all told as memories than actually happening. I feel like there's a lot lost in this book because of its modern setting. I always wondered why no one did a retelling of Little Women and I think the biggest challenge is losing some of the themes in the book that really wouldn't translate to today. While women are still fighting for equality in all parts of their life, the gap between men and women is much smaller than it was in the 19th century. I can think of ways Virginia Kantra could have stuck closer to the original by bringing up some more modern issues, but I can understand her choice to go the route she did. Concerns about the original story aside, the book is really good. The writing is casual and flows and I think one of the major themes of Little Women lingers throughout; growing up. For the most part, this is a book about realizing the truth about their family, their relationships, and even themselves. Meg is realizing her mother isn't the powerhouse woman she always admired. She wants more in her life than her husband and children. She loves them both dearly, but her people pleaser attitude keeps her away from her true feelings. Jo realizes her father isn't entirely the stand-up and proud person that she always loved in him either. While much of her story is close to the original, there are some changes that really change your perspective of Jo. Both of them realize that their family is growing up and spreading out across the country and the world. There's a lot of mental and emotional growth here that I really enjoyed seeing for both Meg and Jo. It is quite the cozy book and because the book is set between Thanksgiving and New Years, it's really the perfect book to read during the Holidays. I had quite a difficult time trying to find the perfect cozy holiday book last month and I wish I knew to pick up this book and read it. It's such a cute story with lots of growing up and it really made me happy. But I've gone goofed because my brain wanted this to be the same Little Women I remember and it was something completely different. When you're not thinking about Little Women, this is such a great story that's well written and perfect for the holiday season. So I'm giving this a three-star rating not because I didn't like it but because I wasn't prepared for it. I'll definitely be rereading this one and keeping in mind that it's not Little Women; it's Meg and Jo. I received a copy of this book from Berkley for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)

    I love the story of the March sisters. And Im always up for a good retelling of any of my favorite childhood reads. Little Women was something my mom introduced me to at a very young age and Ive read it so many times and have pretty much seen every film adaptation. Im definitely a Jo, and I was super exited to dive into this one and see what she could be up to in modern day times. I didnt really go into it with any expectations, as I appreciate changes to storylines to show what one would imagine I love the story of the March sisters. And I’m always up for a good retelling of any of my favorite childhood reads. Little Women was something my mom introduced me to at a very young age and I’ve read it so many times and have pretty much seen every film adaptation. I’m definitely a Jo, and I was super exited to dive into this one and see what she could be up to in modern day times.⁣ ⁣ I didn’t really go into it with any expectations, as I appreciate changes to storylines to show what one would imagine the characters could be like now. And it was fun for sure! There were times it felt a bit slow and I easily got tired of the father’s storyline and wish he hadn’t had such a major part (he made me SO MAD), but the sisterly love is still there! The differences between the girls is just as distinct as you’d want them to be, and seeing them come together despite them, is just as satisfying as the original!⁣ ⁣ The personalities of all the ladies is by far my favorite part of these four sisters and always will be. The story is heartwarming and for me it was a very refreshing take on Little Women. Virginia Kantra did a great job and I commend her bravery for taking on such a beloved Classic! I’m excited to read the upcoming story of Beth & Amy! ⁣

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie Katieneedsabiggerbookshelf

    Modern day Little Women. Mostly about Meg and Jo but Amy and Beth make their appearances as well. Meg is much like her mother, handling the household single handedly while her husband works hard to bring in the money. Jo is living in New York, working at a restaurant to make ends meet after losing her writing job. Will a flirtation with the famous chef ruin everything? Are Meg and Jo truly happy? Are they living their lives by someone elses plans, or is this really want they want? Confession: I Modern day Little Women. Mostly about Meg and Jo but Amy and Beth make their appearances as well. Meg is much like her mother, handling the household single handedly while her husband works hard to bring in the money. Jo is living in New York, working at a restaurant to make ends meet after losing her writing job. Will a flirtation with the famous chef ruin everything? Are Meg and Jo truly happy? Are they living their lives by someone else’s plans, or is this really want they want? Confession: I have never read little women. I read the scholastic book fair version as a little girl, and I adored the movie, but have never read the book. I remember one time my mom gave in and bought the movie for 24 hours on tv. I think I watched it like 4 times that day! But back on topic. I really loved this book. In the prologue I had trouble not picturing them all sitting around in corsets and bonnets but that quickly went away as the story went on. I may still have pictured them as the movie actresses though! I thought this was a truly beautiful story of family and siblings. It was a truly heartwarming read that gave me all the warm fuzzy feels!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meg - A Bookish Affair

    "Meg and Jo" is a contemporary retelling of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women." "Little Women" is definitely one of my favorite classics. I love the story of sisterhood that it represents and that sisterhood is such a universal theme that it still resonates all these years later and still inspires retellings like this book! Holiday season is often comfort read season for me and this book definitely fit that bill! In this retelling, Jo has left her small North Carolina town for the grandeur of New "Meg and Jo" is a contemporary retelling of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women." "Little Women" is definitely one of my favorite classics. I love the story of sisterhood that it represents and that sisterhood is such a universal theme that it still resonates all these years later and still inspires retellings like this book! Holiday season is often comfort read season for me and this book definitely fit that bill! In this retelling, Jo has left her small North Carolina town for the grandeur of New York City to try to make it as a writer. With the recession, she finds herself instead as a cook in an amazing restaurant with a side gig as a blogger to make ends meet. Meg has stayed in North Carolina and is a stay-at-home-mom to her two adorable toddler twins. While Jo is making her way in the world away from home, it seems like it is up to Meg to hold down the home front as the myth of the idyllic March family home life begins to fray. I loved the different touches throughout the book that hearkened back to the original. You see it in Jo's love affair (oh my, did I love Chef Eric) and in Meg's marriage to John, that is much more than what it seems when the book first opens. Amy is there and Beth is as well (she spends most of the time in the book chasing her dreams as an actress in Branson, Missouri, an interesting - and happier- twist). The Laurie character is there and I suppose that is the one place where I felt the retelling fell a little bit for me. He is such an integral part of the original story but here, he felt a bit flat and more like an annoying bit player that didn't have the same sort of purpose the original character had. But overall, I liked the new takes on the characters! This book definitely kept the same spirit as the original and I loved seeing how the author imagined some of these beloved personalities in a contemporary story. This book definitely made me so very happy!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    I took a deep breath. My sister only wanted me to be happy. In her world, as in Shakespeares comedies, marriage was the restoration of the social order. I couldnt get her to see that my staying single was not a tragedy. This was a very well done, at times even inspired, modern retelling of Little Women. This first novel concentrates on Meg and Jo and the second will concentrate on Beth and Amy. By giving the characters, cultural references and the plot a modern spin, it does what all retellings I took a deep breath. My sister only wanted me to be happy. In her world, as in Shakespeare’s comedies, marriage was the restoration of the social order. I couldn’t get her to see that my staying single was not a tragedy. This was a very well done, at times even inspired, modern retelling of Little Women. This first novel concentrates on Meg and Jo and the second will concentrate on Beth and Amy. By giving the characters, cultural references and the plot a modern spin, it does what all retellings should do: Help us see the classic characters, plot developments, and themes in a new light and bring them close to home. This book, besides being entertaining in its own right does this to a greater and lesser degree to all the characters. One of the biggest examples is the character of Mr. March. In the original Little Women, he was something of a hero, devotedly loving and loved by his wife and children. Picking him up and placing him in the modern setting of this book, we see him with fresh eyes. Still loved and admired at first. But as the book progresses we see that he is so busy being a saint and doing all of his good works, that he has no time for his family. He is cold and uncaring and thoroughly unlikable. I've heard of such people in modern life, giving their all for charity, their careers, generously giving to others while their families are forgotten. Haven't you? “He visits lots of patients. He prays with them and cries with them and comforts their families. He shows up for perfect strangers. But not for Mom,” Meg said. “Not for us.” The themes remain the same, but there are some major changes. Beth doesn't get sick in this one. In this first book, anyway, it is Momma that is very very ill and provides the crisis that brings the sisters back home and tests the family bond. Like the recent movie, the book starts with the 4 sisters as adults. Meg, a devoted (too devoted) if harried wife and mother is the only one still at home. The other 3 are pursuing their dreams in New York, Paris, and Branson, Missouri. Some of the iconic scenes from their childhood are remembered briefly such as Amy almost drowning, but this is very much a book about them as adults finding their happiness. I highly recommend this book for those that might not be so devoted to the book and willing to see the story with fresh eyes, a sense of humor and a grain of salt.

  29. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Meg & Jo starts with a fantastic premise and goes downhill. From the title you might think that this book focuses mainly on Meg and Jo, and you'd be right. But the synopsis made me think this book was going to focus on all of the sisters. So before you embark, just know that it is going to primarily focus on Meg & Jo and you won't know too much about Amy and Beth. Since I (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Meg & Jo starts with a fantastic premise and goes downhill. From the title you might think that this book focuses mainly on Meg and Jo, and you'd be right. But the synopsis made me think this book was going to focus on all of the sisters. So before you embark, just know that it is going to primarily focus on Meg & Jo and you won't know too much about Amy and Beth. Since I haven't read Little Women I'm not sure if this is true to the original or its strength as a retelling. That being said, what stuck with me was that people's marriage is not what you think. That's an easy thing to say because whose marriage is exactly what you say, but it's more than just the realities of everyday, it's also the ways our flaws stop us from being a great partner. In some ways, this is incredibly realistic because not only does it talk about this image we have of our parents, but also what it takes to bridge this gap. But I gotta say that most of the men in this story frustrated me and the ones that didn't, didn't have enough depth.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I must start this review by stating I've never read Little Women (I know, gasp), but I have purchased a copy with the intention of reading it 😂. Because I have not read the first book I had the advantage of not comparing the two while reading this one. I enjoyed Kantra's ability to write completely flawed, but still enjoyable characters that a wide variety of readers will be able to relate to. I read this as part of a buddy read and that's the only reason it took me two sittings to finish this I must start this review by stating I've never read Little Women (I know, gasp), but I have purchased a copy with the intention of reading it 😂. Because I have not read the first book I had the advantage of not comparing the two while reading this one. I enjoyed Kantra's ability to write completely flawed, but still enjoyable characters that a wide variety of readers will be able to relate to. I read this as part of a buddy read and that's the only reason it took me two sittings to finish this one. What I loved about this book: 1. I loved that this family drama portrayed a family with real issues and imperfect characters. I found how deeply the sisters loved and cared about each other heartwarming even if they found each other annoying. They each found a way to follow their own dreams while supporting one another. 2. This story covered a lot about learning to forgive yourself and those who have hurt you. 3. I loved how Meg and John's marriage was depicted. Even if you have the perfect husband, a great home, and delightful kids things can still be overwhelming. Marriage is hard and requires you to be open and honest with your partner. This book showed that even if you have the best intentions your partner may misunderstand or misinterpret your actions. I really enjoyed this book and I'm so excited to read the next book that follows Beth and Amy! This book publishes Dec 3rd so make sure to preorder your copy today! Thank you Berkley and Netgalley for a gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

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