REVIEW – Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra

“This was love. Not holding back, not keeping score, but doing things for each other. Giving to each other. Not out of obligation, but generously, because it was a joy to offer.”

Little Women is one of my favorite books, and i’ve recently re-immersed myself in the story. I re-read the classic in December, before seeing the (amazing, perfect, flawless) movie in theaters. When I heard about this contemporary retelling, I knew I had to pick it up.

Meg & Jo offers a few modern twists on classic moments, and they work for the most part. It doesn’t quite have the coziness that you get from reading Little Women, but I think that’s just a symptom of the modern-day setting. On the bright side, the setting offers a relatability that the original lacks.

“Too bookish, too stubborn, too ambitious, too competitive.”

I found Jo’s story to be a bit more interesting, but isn’t that always the case? Meg has chosen the “typical” path – marriage, babies, etc. – which is exactly what works well for her. I think many of us felt we were a “Jo” when we read the original book, and I think parts of her personality are even more relatable in this retelling.

I did not expect this book to be so adult (a pleasant surprise)! There are some steamy scenes, but nothing too descriptive or explicit if that’s a concern of yours. It’s relatively tame compared to other books out there.

What did I love? CHEF. Oh, Chef. My favorite character in this book and a great spin on the character he mirrors in the original.

And a warning: there is going to be a character in this book that you’ll probably hate. You’ll hate them for good reason. I felt a little conflicted about their storyline at first, but giving the modern setting and the surrounding narrative, it does make sense.

I did feel like Beth and Amy were missing from the story, but their stories are forthcoming from what I understand.

Will this be as beloved as the original? Of course not. But it’s a nice little supplement for fans of Little Women who find themselves wanting to spend more time with the March sisters.

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