As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.
Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.
Thank you to NetGalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review!
First off, the cover was adorable and the title was amazing. That convinced me to request the book, and then the description…it seemed like it would be the perfect book for me. I am pleased to announce: if you haven’t read this book you are going to love it when it comes out. There is so much to love packed into this book. I mean, it was so good I was having trouble forming coherent thoughts. This is a romantic comedy. This is a good falling in love book. Honestly, I could sing this books praises all day long.
First, Sellet has an amazing voice. I started reading this book and went “oh my god, oh my god” because the writing was out of this world fantastic. I cannot even put into words how much I loved the writing. It was so good I think I was drooling. (I’m kidding…but seriously, the writing is top notch and it is beautiful). The quality was there and I flew through this book in between another one I was reading. I just didn’t want to stop reading it, but I also didn’t want to finish it because it was so good.
The pacing worked very well for me. There were no weird or jarring moments, and therefore, I have almost nothing to say regarding pacing. It worked. The characters and the plot melded together creating perfect pace and atmosphere for me.
Let’s talk about the plot…the plot that is the characters. Because there is a plot, but most of it is focused on character driven arcs and character relationships. Done well, it can be one of my favorite things to read, and this was done really well. We have Mary, our title character, who loves books and is new to her school. There she makes some friends, and if you’ve read the summary, you know what the book is about, but in any case, Mary’s arc is very much the plot of the book, and her growth as a character.
I also love resolutions of the issues in this book, unlike some books who don’t address problems, this one does, and does it very well.
I don’t know if it is at all possible to talk about any of the characters without giving too much away, but I do want to say this: I loved them all. I loved very specific parts of this book so much so I want to go back and reread it immediately.
Mary is a fun character. I think she is relatable, quirky, has faults but is also supremely adorable. I love her. She may be one of my favorite characters.
Then you have her friends, and one thing I really loved about this book was how friendship was featured. How well it was developed and how honest it felt. It was one of my favorite parts in the whole book. Mary and Arden and Lydia and Terry were all fabulous characters and I would love to see them and their own books in the future.
I also loved the romance in this book. I felt the setup for it was great. I mean, I knew what was going to happen, and I knew some plot points I had guessed at, but it didn’t make the book any less fun, in fact, I loved that this book did and didn’t take itself seriously. There was so much to love about these characters and the relationships that they formed with each other.
Mary’s family was great too, I loved how it was function dysfunctional family. It was great, and I am sitting here trying to figure out how to phrase it an unable to.
If you couldn’t tell, this was a five star read for me. This book was so amazing, and I absolutely loved it. It drew me in, and kept me reading. I am so excited because I am sure going to be ordering the final copy of this book when it comes out. I liked the book that much – and when it comes out, I am begging you all to try it.