Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Title: Dear Mr. Knightley
Author: Katherine Reay
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 328
ISBN: 978-1-4016-8968-1
Publication Date: November 5th, 2013

Synopsis:
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.
Review:
Oh, my goodness! Where do I begin with this book? This has to be on the short list of favorites for the year. I have not read a book that is so emotionally gripping as Dear Mr. Knightley, in a long time. This was a fantastic debut novel. I'm looking forward to reading more by Katherine Reay.

Sam is not a girl who has had an easy life. She had a very rough life, she was a part of the foster system for a time, and had very few champions in her life. Despite all of that, she has pushed forward and worked her way through school. However, because of her hard life, Sam is now surrounded by caring people, but she will not let them in. Her true friends are found in books. Her love for books is phenomenal and she also uses these books as a barrier to the real world. When confronted, Sam quotes her way out of interactions with people...and I have to say, I wish I had thought of that when I was younger.

After Sam had graduated college, she was tired of school. She was offered a grant for a graduate degree, but she was burned out and went another path. When they way fell flat, Sam wanted to try school again and found she was eligible for the grant still, but there was one stipulation, she needed to write to the benefactor, Mr. Knightley. It is through her correspondence to Mr. Knightley that the story unfolds.

While at school working on her graduates, she runs into Alex Powell, one of the best selling authors, who she has admired for a long time. As the stories unfolds, we are able to watch Sam grow and learn from her experiences. And the story depicts very accurately how changes do not happen over night, they take time. I appreciated that about the story. It was interesting reading how Sam grew and how her relationship with Alex changed.

As I said before, this has to be one of my favorite books this year. It was a very real story. I felt an instant connection to Sam. Plus, there was so many books mentioned. Some I have personally read and loved and few new ones I will be checking into. I will also say, if you loved the movie You've Got Mail, you will love Dear Mr. Knightley!

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Katherine Reay has enjoyed a lifelong affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked in not-for-profit- development before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her writing has 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.




Giveaway:
Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.
dearmrknightley-400

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace) 
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH! 

But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Dear Mr. Knightley" Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine's next book.

So grab your copy of  Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST. Hope to see you on the 3rd!



Thank you to Litfuse and Thomas Nelson, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


4 comments:

Jamie Lapeyrolerie said...

Agreed! This was fantastic!!!

Rissi said...

Yay. So pleased you enjoyed this one, Kate. It sure is a delight - and I agree, Sam is easy to relate too. :)

Kate said...

Jamie, I can't wait to read more by Katherine! Loved it!

Kate said...

Rissi, Definitely! It's one of those books that grabs you. I love reading what everyone else has had to say about it. :-)