Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell (ARC Review)

dear reader
Credits to Flatiron

Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell

Release Date: May 9, 2017 (TODAY)

DNF @ …mystery percent again

*I won this as part of a Goodreads giveaway – trust me, this totally didn’t sway my review XD*

I read this book back in the day called Wuthering High. It back when I totally had questionable book likes, but I still thought it was pretty good. It included all of these epic literature classic references, and even though I totally did not know most of them. XD That’s what I expected this book to be, but what I got was…weirdness.

Once Upon a Time…

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.

The first thing that the story went wrong was in the writing style. It felt like it was too forced? Like, it wanted to sound like a create classic story, but it just fell flat. There were lines that I just sat there and blinked at the book going, this isn’t right. This doesn’t sound right. o.o It just didn’t work for me, and I felt like I couldn’t connect to it.

The second thing – and really the most important thing – was the storyline. It was very strange. I only read a few chapters in, but I’m dead serious when I tell you this is how the story progressed:

  1. Flannery goes to school
  2. Flannery sits in her teacher’s classroom and starts to worry about her teacher because she’s not there on time
  3. Flannery discusses how she loves this teacher because she gives her really harsh advice on her papers
  4. Flannery sits quietly and awkwardly for the whole class period while the mean girls do mean girl stuff
  5. Finally, a teacher comes around and finds out the teacher is missing and then the princi-PAL shows up and tries to be their friend
  6. Class ends, and somehow Flannery knows that Miss Sweeney’s purse is in her desk and steals it
  7. Flannery takes stolen purse into restroom to dig through it
  8. Flannery finds Miss Sweeney’s beloved copy of Wuthering Heights
  9. Flannery starts reading it but alas, it’s not Bronte’s words on the pages but it’s about Miss Sweeney who has run off to New York with possibly talking about a guy is who dead?
  10. Flannery read this ridiculously awkward passage about her teacher totally hooking up with her high school boyfriend and NO awkwardness is mentioned whatsoever (even when the teacher goes, Oh, Dear Reader, this is too spicy to read…but we woke up naked [oh OOPS])

    Snow White was not pleased. I’m not pleased. We’re quite equally not pleased.
  11. Flannery only stops reading this awkward part because someone is barfing in the stall next to her and the smell bothers her and couldn’t be part of this “dream”
  12. The next page is a conversation about the puke and then the next page is her going on how they possibly clean puke – BUT NOTHING ABOUT HOW YOUR TEACHER JUST HAD RELATIONS IN A MESSED UP VERSION OF WUTHERING HEIGHTS.

At that point from consultation of my friend and her friend that was randomly there, they gave me wise advice: STOP. DO NOT PASS. DO NOT COLLECT GO. THIS IS WEIRDNESS.I concurred with them, and I stopped the madness. XD

The End.

No stars since I didn’t get far enough and a Snow White rating!

Check it out:

What do you think? Should I have stuck with it? Did I make the right choice to run away? Have you read this? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

38 thoughts on “Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell (ARC Review)

  1. Um….Lol this book sounded good (the blurb kinda did) but your summary suggests otherwise. This is why we stick to fantasy! So much action and imagination! If we wanted real life scenarios we would just go back to reality but even this sounds weird to be labeled as creative! She could have at least made it interesting by developing the character abit (like backstory) rather leaving her a blank sheet with words explaining what’s happening in the surroundings (unless she’s creating a new world then its necessary – also necessary in all books but don’t make it chore)…so this was just extremely awkward… 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, yes, fantasy definitely can be a far cooler place to stay! XD But I agree. It did take a lot of it away. And then…just awkwardness happened. XD But you were so right – those suggestions would have far improved the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a shame though – it always is when we find a book that doesn’t suit us (rare as it is – it still happens)! And with only a few improvements it could have been!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Get in!!! And we too would hire you – très obvious since you’re royalty👑👗👠👛!! Though we have to say you may get a bit (a lot) of grammar errors if you hire us… we’ll just supervise…😆😆

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Now this is how we sort out problems through communication! We gonna ace this business project we have going on….wait what was this post for… we signing a deal for a new book to be edited right? JK JK 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We sent a message and don’t know if it sent – but we just kinda said “you go make this book, achieve your dreams and we’ll be there to help ya if need be 😉”


  2. Wow. This sounds terrible! I don’t even like the names of the characters. Personally, I would have stuck with it to the bitter end (what if the next page is where is starts getting good?) but I can totally see why you ditched it. Reading about teacher sex/puke is not my idea of a good novel either. What a shame because it sounds like such a good premise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, yeah, the names were a bit much. But yes, I wish I had the will to stay, so I’m totally jealous of you for that. XD I always think what you said, but then I just stop and ditch. XD But yes, it was such a shame overall. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like an absolutely boring book! I’m sorry yet again you had to DNF this… It’s been a tough year, Mandy! We need to find you some awesome books, girl. THIS IS NOT COOL!
    Thank you for sparing me the awful experience of reading this and possibly falling asleep (not before banging my head against the wall, though)! There’s no time to waste with stupid books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I definitely need to count down how many I have failed with, because I’m pretty sure there was a lot. I’m definitely going to get my book scales equaled out. D:
      But yes! I’m sorry I got you excited about it, but at least I saved you because I definitely don’t think it would have be the greatness we were thinking. It was just too randomly weird. D: but I SO agree!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At least we got to find out about it soon enough (well, I did, you had to sacrifice yourself… but hey, one for the team! XD )
        It had a quite the cool premise… Anyway, there’re more books waiting for us 😛 Better ones, hopefully!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Is it terrible that I love your bad reviews? They always make me laugh and make me curious about this book. Not curious like the last one, no need to fill me in on how it ends on this one if you ever decide to hunt it down. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahahaha, no, Birdie, since I literally used to seek out bad reviews just for this reason. And lol, yes. XD I will definitely not update you, although I did skim to about 5/6 of the book and found someone was literally screeching about PETA on the streets of New York City, so there was that? So there was that. XD


  5. Wow…this…uh…this…hmmm….that sounds awful! I mean you made it sound hilarious but it really sounds awful! I don’t think I will be picking this one up, teacher sex stories and puke are definitely turn offs when reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. I literally couldn’t believe what I was reading, Rendz. I wasn’t aware a book could go from being okay to that wrong so fast. XD A total stranger was like, no, Mandy, no more. XD But yeah, definitely a major turn off for me too. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw Gilmore Girls meets magical realism and thought oh hello this sounds right up my street, but after reading your review this sounds terrible. Although I did giggle at your review so a plus there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! That hook totally sold me too! But it just went so wrong. I’m glad it made you laugh though, and I was entertained when it made me laugh as well, but sadly, I don’t think the book was. XD Thanks so much, Raven!

      Liked by 1 person

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