Cover Image: Beth and Amy

Beth and Amy

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Member Reviews

When Meg & Jo was originally released I was so excited to have a modern Little Women retelling (but also, terrified we were getting a modern retelling). I loved reading Meg and Jo’s storylines the most in my original read and knowing this book centered around the two sisters had me excited!⁣
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I never ended picking it up (hashtag life), so when @berkleyromance gifted me an early copy of Beth & Amy, I dove right on it!⁣
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Let me just say, as far as modern retellings that hold true to the original, all while being it’s own true work of art, these books take the prize!⁣
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The March sisters grew up in NC and while Meg stayed in their hometown and became a SAHM, Jo moved off to NYC to become a good blogger and works in a restaurant. When their mom becomes sick (not Beth, thank goodness) all four girls come home to care for her and the farm. Meg is struggling with wanting to have independence for herself while also caring for her family and Jo is struggling to find her voice while also reeling from a new love that is in shambles.⁣
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While Meg & Jo was enjoyable, I found Amy’s storyline in Beth & Amy to be my favorite!⁣
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The second book takes place almost three years after the end of the first book, and Amy is getting a second chance with her childhood crush!⁣
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Meanwhile Beth is home from a major tour around the country with her Country Music superstar boyfriend. But not everything is okay in her life and her sisters start to notice. TW: mental health and anxiety and MAJOR use of eating disorders as a plot device.⁣
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If you haven’t picked these up, but have been missing the March sisters since Dec 2019’s movie, absolutely give these a try! They were quick satisfying reads and both really gave me the heart warming moments the original story always provided!⁣

*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the free eARC and finished copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review! All opinions in this review are my own!*
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I couldn’t wait to read this book after finishing Kantra’s first book, Meg & Jo. I love modern retellings - especially of Little Women. Expanding on Amy’s and Beth’s stories in adulthood is an exciting and thoughtful choice. This novel is entertaining and relatable. I enjoyed it from start to finish.
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Thank you so much for the opportunity to review! This is the link to my post.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CPJhU9UrY-a/
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Are you a fan of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women? I received my first copy from my mom when I was 10 years old, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I've read it at least 8-10 times! This book (and all of the movies!) played such a big role in my childhood and my reading journey, and I'm so glad my mom (who also loved Little Women as a young girl) passed on her love of this story to me. 

When Greta Gerwig updated the film last fall, I fell in love with the March family all over again, and the same thing happened when I read Virginia Kantra's contemporary retelling, Meg & Jo. 

Well friends, get ready to add another favorite book to your Little Women collection, because just like Meg & Jo, this book will capture your heart and won't let go.

As a huge fan of Little Women herself, Kantra pens her retellings with thoughtful, poignant prose, respecting the original story while interweaving her own personal touches. This heartwarming, sensitive and propulsive story preserved the ever-important bonds of sisterhood and family, but also allowed the readers to see the hopes, dreams, heartaches and challenges Beth and Amy (an aspiring singer/songwriter and an up-and-coming fashion designer, respectively) each faced in the modern world.

I personally loved how Kantra into this book more too, dedicating some chapters to her perspective in addition to Beth's and Amy's. Catching up with Meg and Jo was wonderful, as well, and while there were some heavier topics in this story (eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and PTSD), Kantra handled them with grace and sensitivity.

As Kantra explains in her author's note, "I wanted to tell the sisters' story in a way that reflected my changing, grown-up perspective. I wanted to make it relatable for modern readers who aren't familiar with the original. So I aged the sisters up ... and took all my love for Little Women, and what it meant to my life, and brought that to my story."

Virginia, you have done exactly that. 

Thank you so, so much for sharing your story with the world; as a lifelong fan of Alcott's classic, you've made me a lifelong Virginia Kantra fan too. Thank you for re-introducing me to some of my favorite women, and for helping me re-visit my childhood.

A huge thank you also goes out to Berit @berittalksbooks and @letstalkbookspromo for my gifted e-galley and the opportunity to participate in this wonderful buddy read.
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It had been awhile since I read Meg & Jo so it took me a minute to jump back into the story. But, once I did, it all came together nicely. It was good to be back with the March family.

Amy and Beth return home to Bunyan, North Carolina for Jo's wedding to Eric. Both sisters have secrets (of course). Amy slept with Trey, Jo's ex--the only boy/man that Amy has ever loved. She has some major guilt over it and she will be seeing him back in her hometown. Amy needs some financial help with her business and asks her aunt for help. Her aunt will help if she moves her business and herself back to Bunyan. Can she do that and see Trey?

Beth has been on tour with a country superstar, Colt, who is also her boyfriend. She doesn't like the limelight and her health has been deteriorating. She is living a life that she doesn't enjoy anymore and has been getting some serious pressure from, Colt. She takes a longer break at home to rest and realizes that she needs to change some things.

I enjoyed this story and liked being back with the March family. I loved getting the March matriarch, Abby's chapter's, too, and to see her story resolution.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I highly enjoyed Kantra’s first book Meg & Jo, so I was very excited to start reading the follow up, Beth & Amy. Once again, Kantra did not disappoint. This book starts a few years after the first book left off, but this time focusing on younger sisters Beth and Amy. The chapters switch off between Beth and Amy’s POV and I was surprised to find myself enjoying Amy’s plotline more as she was my least favorite character in the previous book. I even grew to love Trey – who I found annoying in the first book. It goes to show how your feelings can change when a character is fully developed.

I became completely invested in the characters and their stories thanks to Kantra’s beautiful storytelling. Beth’s storyline focused on her loss of identity and struggle for control in her life. Through Beth’s inner-monologue, Kantra shows the reader why Beth has such a lack of self-love and confidence. I think her spin on Beth’s fatal illness (trigger warning) and how she handled the taboo topic of eating disorders was done with a great sensitivity and understanding. Amy’s storyline focused on her drive to stand out from her sisters and make something of herself. Of course, we get to know what happened between her and Trey in Paris… and where they stand now. We also get some chapters told through Mrs. March’s perspective which was a welcome treat. I loved peeking into her marriage, as well as seeing the girls through their mother’s eyes.

Similar to the first book, you have to go into it thinking of it as a new book, rather than as a “modern retelling” of Little Women.  While the sisters generally take on characteristics of their characters from the original Little Women, they’re products of their time and Kantra expertly evolved them into the 21st century. Overall, this was another entertaining read.
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In this sequel to Meg and Jo, Beth and Amy March are called back to their hometown in North Carolina for their sister Jo’s wedding. They appear to be leading exciting lives, but there is a lot hidden beneath the surface. Beth is on tour with her country singer boyfriend, but she’s suffering in secret with her health. Amy has designed a successful line of purses, but she really wants to find love with the one man who doesn’t love her back. All of the March women are reunited again as they find their places in the world and their family.

I haven’t read Little Men, the sequel to Little Men, so I was surprised at what happened in this novel. I won’t give any spoilers, but Amy’s love interest was quite surprising to me. I didn’t like that relationship at the beginning, but by the end of the book I was rooting for them to be together. These characters were so well developed that I changed my mind about them and I loved them at the end.

I like the way this retelling has been adapted to a modern setting. For example, Beth’s illness of scarlet fever in Little Women was turned into an eating disorder in this story. Beth having an eating disorder and anxiety makes it more relatable to a modern audience, rather than having scarlet fever like she had in the original book. The personalities of the characters were the same as in the original book and they fulfilled the same character roles, but in a modern setting.

Beth and Amy is a great retelling of Little Women.

Thank you Berkley Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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It’s a modern retelling of Little Women and the four beloved sisters are dealing with 21st C. problems!

This is the sequel to Meg & Jo which I read last year and loved! I was so excited to read about Beth & Amy.

Beth is a country songwriter and singer who is on tour with her famous boyfriend but she is dealing with some serious mental, emotional and physical health issues that she doesn’t want anyone to see. She heads back home for Jo’s wedding and realizes that the dream she has been chasing might not be the dream she wants. Beth is still our kind hearted angel trying to find her place in a world where everyone wants to be something and be somewhere. It was very hard to read about Beth’s issues in this book and I would encourage everyone to take caution before diving in.

I was most excited to read about Amy and see what her modern day relationship with Trey (aka Laurie) would be like. I like that we got to see this couple work through the obvious barriers in their relationship. I think I would have liked a bit of a longer conversation for this one but Virginia Kantra did a great job giving us all the feels.

This one was definitely more emotional than the first but I really enjoyed being in a modern world with the March sisters!

Thank you @berkleypub and @berkleyromance for sending this my way.
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“Beth & Amy” is the much anticipated follow-up to last year's debut, “Meg & Jo”. In this new book, the younger March sisters, Beth & Amy, return to North Carolina for older sister Jo’s wedding. Outwardly successful, each sister harbors their own personal burdens and are reluctant to bring them up as they reunite with their family.

Beth has found fame and success as a Country singer. She tours with her mega-star singer boyfriend but her hidden struggles with anxiety manifests in a way that may ultimately threaten her health. Meanwhile, Amy’s small business designing handbags is on the cusp of breaking out in the fashion industry. She is at the point where she will need financial investment to take her business to the next level but is determined to make it on her own terms. Amy, who had a one-night stand with her sister’s ex-boyfriend, is now worried what damage will be caused if her secret is exposed.

Beth and Amy were my least favorite characters in the original story, so I really enjoyed how Ms. Kantra has developed their characters. Even their mother, Abby, is given a POV, which I applauded.

If you haven’t read Little Women (you should) or the first book, Meg & Jo, this book still stands alone and is a heartwarming retelling of a classic story of the love and unbreakable bond that these four sisters share.
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I enjoyed Beth and Amy so much!  I did read Meg and Jo before reading this one. I loved the modern elements of these characters. Even though I have not read or watched the original book or movies, I believe this was a great modern representation of these characters. Now I want to read the original book to appreciate these books and characters even more. 

Thank you, Berkley and NetGalley, for this gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Little Women was one of my favorite books growing up. I haven’t yet read the first in this retelling duology, but I jumped at the chance to read an eARC of this from NetGalley. 

While the setting, plot, and characters’ ages are all updated and modernized, the personality and heart of each character are very true to the original characters. 

It was hard for me to separate my love for the original from this story initially. But when I was able to do that, I appreciated what the author did. 

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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Cute story but felt it was so heavy on the body image and eating disorder, it felt repetitive. I liked how the mom makes a name for herself and stands up for what she wants.
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We’re back with our favorite March sisters as we move on from Jo and Meg to the youngest of the bunch: Amy and Beth. Amy is my personal favorite as I always loved her wit and confidence, Beth I’m kind of meh about but her story of becoming a songwriter was very interesting (love when Nashville is in an book ✌🏼). I also thought this one was interesting because it also brought in the mom’s perspective, which was not in the first one so I thought that it was a nice surprise. Of the two novels this one is my favorite!
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This was such a fun retelling. I love Virginia Kantra's writing and this book showcases why. I was hooked from the beginning and found the story very entertaining. I definitely recommend this book!
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Little Women has been on my favorite book list since I read the book in my younger years.  I definitely had to read Meg & Jo when @virginiakantra released it. Which means, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read Beth & Amy for @BerkelyPub .  Both books are a modern retelling of Little Women.  I couldn’t be more delighted

In this installment, the focus is centered on Beth and Amy. Beth's devastating illness in the original telling has a modern twist of being an eating disorder.  This is what brings her back home to the farm rather than touring with her hunky country singer boyfriend.  Amy has also returned home from NYC because of some medical issues her mother is enduring.  

I love that Kantra kept the original tendencies and characterizations of the original story.  The themes of love, family, and hope that embodies the March family despite all the challenges are still there.  It felt like reading updates on old friends.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing, Virignia Kantra, @berkleyromance @letstalkbookspromo and @netgalley for the egalley in exchange for my honest review.
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The two youngest March sisters are all grown up and reading to spread their wings and leave the nest.  The pair embark on separate journeys that takes them all over the world from their small farm in North Carolina to more exotic locales such as Paris and New York.  Beth, who has worked had to earn a living from her talents is battling some tough obstacles along the way.  Her journey towards unwanted fame has left her unfulfilled, disillusioned, and longing for the comforts of home.  She has lost her sense of self and struggles to find the farm girl she seems to have lost along the way.  Amy, on the other hand, has worked hard to chart her own course in life that will set her apart from her sisters.  While she has found great success as a handbag designer in New York City, she has had far less success in her love life.  Still struggling with unrequited feelings for a significant other, Amy finds it difficult to maintain the delicate balance between her desire for fame and notoriety with the distance and stress this puts between herself and her family.  
Beth and Amy is a masterful modern day retelling of the classic Little Women, this time focusing on the younger March sisters.  Told in alternating viewpoints that allows for greater insight into the thoughts, feelings and motivations behind the main characters actions, the story follows the pair as they set off on their own journeys of self discovery.  While Meg and Jo are featured less prominently in the story, they are still a vital piece of the story along with Abby, the matriarch of the family.  For the first time ever, Abby is able to tell her story with a modern twist.  She knows better than anyone the struggle to maintain your identity while giving so much of yourself to your family and the toll this takes over time, a struggle many will be able to relate to.  The story was immersive, drawing you in from the beginning and contained some inventive new twists to help bring the March sisters into the modern world.  The characters, from the main to the periphery are well drawn out and complex, extending and adding to the original characters without detracting from or altering from the much beloved classic.  I highly recommend Beth and Amy for fans of Little Women as well as those looking for a refreshing contemporary read for the summer.
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3.5 stars

Little Women was the first time I saw myself in a book character. Jo March was me idol as a child. I especially loved the Winona Ryder film version of this classic and always felt like Jo March was so me and whenever I envision Jo March, I think of Winona Ryder. Jo March will forever be one of my favorite classic characters and one I strongly identify with where as Amy will forever be the girl who stole Laurie from her! Amy is my least favorite March sister.

I haven’t read Virginia Kantra’s modern reimagined book Meg and Jo yet but it was high up on my TBR list. When this next book on Beth and Amy came up for review, I had to jump at it even if Amy isn’t my favorite. I was eager to see a modern take on such a classic story and see how those timeless characters were portrayed in a modern setting.

For me, books like this can go either way. Classic characters in a modern setting don’t always work for some reason. I think a lot of readers have nostalgia connected to those characters and seeing them in a world that isn’t their norm, makes it hard to connect with them. But I was open to trying this one and seeing where it took me.

Summary
Four sisters face new beginnings in this heartfelt modern take on Little Women by New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra. 

Amy March is more like her older sister Jo than she’d like to admit. An up-and-coming designer in New York’s competitive fashion industry, ambitious Amy is determined to get out of her sisters’ shadow and keep her distance from their North Carolina hometown. But when Jo’s wedding forces her home, she must face what she really wants…and confront the One Big Mistake that could upend her life and forever change her relationship with Jo.

Gentle, unassuming Beth grew up as the good girl of the family. A talented singer-songwriter, she’s overcome her painful anxiety to tour with country superstar Colt Henderson. But life on the road has taken its toll on her health and their relationship. Maybe a break to attend her sister’s wedding will get her out of her funk. But Beth realizes that what she’s looking for and what she needs are two very different things….

With the March women reunited, this time with growing careers and families, they must once again learn to lean on one another as they juggle the changes coming their way. (summary from Goodreads)

Review
The first thing I had to do when I started reading this one, was immediately let go of that fact that this was not going to be anything like the childhood classic. I think if readers can get past the fact that this isn’t a modern Little Women, I think they will be fine. Fans will find traits and similarities in this one but that’s about it. Accept it and move on so you can enjoy your book without those expectations. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, I know. This one was enjoyable and I liked getting the know the March sisters in a new way but having Laurie be called Trey was a little jarring. Maybe if I had read the first book then that wouldn’t have been so jarring but for me it was.

I don’t think that these books need to be read in order, but I think it would have helped prepare me a bit more for some of the connections and new modern storyline. I thought the author did stay true to the general characterization of the March sisters from the classic tale. I enjoyed sweet Beth and I actually found that I liked Amy better in this book than in the classic. I think one of the most exciting things in this book was that Beth felt like a more complete character. In the classic she was the least developed (probably because she dies) but in this one she is a lot more developed and interesting while still maintaining the sweet integrity of the classic.

It’s a quick easy read, some parts were a little slow but overall I felt like it flowed well and I found myself finished before I knew it. This book does have an eating disorder component which I think readers should be aware of though, it is a big part in the story so if that’s not your thing then maybe this might not be the book for you, but I thought it was a delight to read and I am eager to read Meg and Jo now and see what their story was like in this new modern world!

Book Info and Rating
Format352 pages, Paperback

Expected publication May 25, 2021 by Berkley Books

ISBN9780593100363 (ISBN10: 0593100360)

Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Genre: retellings, contempo lit, romance
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Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing group for the eARC.

I am a huge fan of Little Women, so of course I was interested in Kantra's modern day retellings of it. Beth and Amy is the sequel to Meg and Jo which I thoroughly enjoyed. Beth and Amy didn't quite live up to Meg and Jo for me, I really liked it, I just didn't love it. This could be also because Amy and Beth were my least favorite characters in Little Women and also in this series. Jo will forever be my favorite.

"It's a wedding... you're not meant to be comfortable. That's why God invented Spanx."
" 'I'm pretty sure that was Satan' Jo said"

In Beth and Amy, I found Amy's inner thoughts, about Trey and her relationship with and comparisons to her sisters to be extremely repetitive, to the point that her character really began to irritate me. I did like the direction that Beth's story line took and how it ended. I found this to be an entertaining and easy read and would recommend this series to fans of Little Women and HEA romances that are light on steam.

TW - eating disorder
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Beth and Amy
Virginia Kantra

Beth and Amy is the follow up book to Meg and Jo, the first book of this series, which is a contemporary retelling of Little Women. 

Kantra graced us in this installment, a story that is centered on Beth and Amy. Kantra's take on Beth's  devastating illness in the first book, is an eating disorder in this modern twist. Told in Beth and Amy's point of view as well as their mother Abby's, this story was so poignant and heartfelt that I enjoyed so much. 

Though many things have changed in this modern retelling, the gist of the story's characters and overall representation remains very nostalgic to me as a reader. I think it's because it covers the overall themes of love, family, and of course the hopefulness that embodies the March family despite all the challenges and difficulties they may be facing.

Highly Recommend!
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Amy March is making her own way in the world, or so she thinks. After moving to New York and struggling to launch her budding design career, Instagram influencers and boutiques have finally noticed her chic luggage brand, and sales are booming. The last thing she wants to do is to come home and face her sisters and most of all, Trey Lawrence.

Good girl Beth has finally left North Carolina to pursue a dream of becoming a country music singer. She’s writing songs and touring with Colt Henderson, the biggest star in the business. But when the pressure starts to build and her health suffers, Beth questions her dream, which might not be hers after all.

Beth & Amy continues the contemporary retelling of Little Women started by Virginia Kantra in last year’s Meg & Jo. While I enjoyed Meg & Jo, this second installment is even better. Kantra fleshes out the characters of Amy and Beth with more details and nuance than the original while staying true to their personalities. Likewise, the slow-burn development of Trey (Laurie) and Amy’s relationship delightfully compensates for any disappointment resulting from their hasty marriage in Little Women. Best of all, the chemistry of the sisters and the entire March family remains in tact. I especially liked how Kantra explored the complexities of Marmee and Father’s fraught relationship. Retellings walk a fine line between honoring the original source material and modernizing the story. Beth & Amy is both faithful to the spirit of Little Women but creative enough to stand on its own. I loved it! Beth & Amy comes out today.
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