Monday, November 18, 2013

Dear Mr. Knightley - Book Review & Tour

About the book: 
Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others-namely her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story-by giving that story to a complete stranger.
Growing up orphaned and alone, Sam found her best friends in the works of Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The problem is that she now relates to others more comfortably as Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre than as herself.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in the things we care about most.
But life for this twenty-three-year-old is about to get stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself "Mr. Knightley") offers to put Sam through the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam's program and peers force her to confront her past, she finds safety in her increasingly personal letters to Mr. Knightley. And when Sam meets eligible, best-selling novelist Alex Powell, those letters unfold a story of love and literature that feels as if it's pulled from her favorite books. But when secrets come to light, Sam is --- once again --- made painfully aware of how easily trust can be broken.

Reay's debut novel follows one young woman's journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qDEkp

Meet the author: Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in "Focus on the Family" and the "Upper Room." Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. "Dear Mr. Knightley" is her first novel.

Learn more about Katherine at: http://katherinereay.com/


My Thoughts:
I read books that I know I'm going to enjoy and rarely do I step out of my comfort zone and take a chance on one. I simply don't have the time to waste on a book I'm not sold on right away. I'm glad I did on this. Sam is one of the deepest characters I've read in a very, very long time. Ms. Reay took her time and wrote with deep detail without having information dumping problems or gaps in the plot. While I could guess at a couple things in the story, instead of detracting, it added appeal and I absolutely enjoyed this book.  

I had to check several times to make sure it was a debut novel. Ms. Reay writes with raw emotion as if she personally knows her main character. So in tune with Sam, it's easy for the reader to connect with Sam and see life through her eyes.

Sam is chasing a dream. Her dream of a normal life. But not being able to connect with others creates a deep schism and she comes to realize her true goal is just to matter to someone else. Being emotionally abused and traumatized as a child, she must come to grips with the gritty reality that life isn't easy and people are going to hurt one another; but love and friendship is important enough to take a chance on.

No one is an island. No matter how much they think they want to be one.

This one has made it to my favorites shelf! ;)