Cover Image: Authentically, Izzy

Authentically, Izzy

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Member Reviews

A Lord of the Rings loving librarian, dreaming of owning a bookshop. A love interest based across the world, equally book nerdy and owns a bookshop. Add in her dog is named Samwise and I knew from the beginning I would love this book. 

Authentically, Izzy has such a unique writing style, with a good majority of the book being email correspondence. Between herself and Brodie (the love interest) and her cousins. At first I was dubious going in as I hadn’t read anything like this, but my god was I hooked and grinning from within the first few pages. 

Izzy is hilarious! Unintentionally, I think, half of the time, but you cannot help but grin at her witty remarks and constant flow of book references (and there are a lot!). 

There was a moment just before 50% where the paced slowed a bit but after reading past that maybe 5-7%, I flew through the rest of the book. 

Izzy is such a relatable character, especially for any book loving adult. Brodie is sweet and charming and has such a way with words. The family dynamic between Izzy and her cousins is incredibly well written (Luke being my favourite with how often he made me laugh). 

I absolutely loved this book! I don’t think it will be for everyone. With the writing style it will likely be a really love or really don’t kind of book, but I really did love it!!
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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I didn't like this book as much as the author's historical novels, but it was still fun.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book!

Authentically, Izzy was a lovely read, comprised of letters and emails, exploring the story of 'bookish' and slight introvert, Izzy Edgewood. I loved the use of emails and texts and how they still told us the whole story. However, I think the use of letters was also something I didn't enjoy too much because it felt like it was being too stretched out, repeating some of the smaller things too many times. There was also a side plot (love triangle) that I didn't particularly enjoy. It sort of just... ended, no details given. The writing wasn't my absolute favourite because a few things contradict each other here and there, but overall this was a nice, fun read.
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Cute, poignant, and made me smile. The themes will resonate with my students. I will be looking for other books by this author from now on.
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Thrilling read! I was able to connect with all of the characters and throughly enjoyed the story the author painted.
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If you love a sweet romance, fully realized character growth, and adorable bookish references, this story is for you. This book is an epistolary novel delivered in the form of emails and a few texts. Although I had a little trouble getting into the form (as I usually do with epistolary formats), I was invested in discovering how the story was going to end. Definitely pick this up if you love Lord of the Rings (because there were many references) and people falling in love through correspondence.

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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4.5 Stars
 Move over Bridget Jones, Izzy Edgewood is in town!
Pepper Basham’s newest release, Authentically Izzy is Bridget Jones’s Diary if Sophie Kinsella wrote super clean romantic comedy. It’s a well-crafted novel with plenty of wit and swoon-worthy men to add to your to-be-read pile come November.
I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion, which was a much-needed reprieve from the heavier content novels I’ve been reading lately. Izzy’s match-making cousin creates a dating profile for Izzy on a dating website which sets readers up for a hilarious series of events that leads Izzy to her happily-ever-after. 
The entire novel is epistolary – meaning the whole thing is a collection of correspondence between characters. Some correspondences are email-type passages while others are simply telephone-texts. Readers get insight to the relationships between Izzy and her cousins, and Izzy and her love (or potential) interest.
I loved the story. There’s plenty of romance, awkward moments and a solid faith-thread sewn throughout this inspirational romantic comedy.
If you loved Bridget Jones’s Diary or books by Sophie Kinsella, but want a clean, faith-based read, then definitely pick up Pepper Basham’s Authentically Izzy.
I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Epistolary-type books are not ones I usually read, as it is quite difficult to navigate, however, this book was fairly simple in navigating the story. There are some cons to this writing form and one of them being information dumping, there were parts of the book that felt like we didn't need to know certain things to add on to the character's personality as we have a clear indication of how they are after a few interactions in the beginning.

The storytelling was a bit slow to get through but nonetheless, i did enjoy the book, the bookish type romance is probably what made the book enjoyable having a couple settles around books. There were some moments that felt, especially towards the end where some action seem to have been needed to Sprouse it up, I don't think it was needed but it seemed to add to character growth and development for mainly one character. 

There wasn't much to it, I do see why some people don't like this book but towards the remaining 50% it becomes easier to read and enjoy. There are some stereotypes here where it seems that readers should be well learned, there are characters as well as people that have read lots of books but don't have as high of diction as Izzy and Brodie and sets off this certain image of a reader.
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A lot of people didn’t finish this book! I finished it an d I enjoyed it. I see why it would not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the book is very enjoyable. Izzy is real stable and funny. Every girl has been there. I recommend to read to find out what happens to Izzy! ;)
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I received an advanced review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Every opinion expressed is my own.

Izzy is constantly being set up by her cousin Josephine, who decides she MUST join a dating app. Izzy obliges, and meets Brodie, a man from across the ocean who shares pretty much the entirety of her interests, personality and bookish humour.

Told in epistulary form, it’s a cute, slow-paced romance. Iwas properly annoyed by Josephine, but Luke (Josephine’s brother) was a well constructed and human character.

Some things were a bit inconsistent to me, and it felt too dragged in the middle, and too rushed in the end,  hence the rating.

Overall na enjoyable read, who I believe will please fans of the genre. Perfect to escape a reading slump!
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me this e-arc. My opinion is 100% mine.

Izzy is what i think of a typical 30 year old protagonist in nearly every contemporary romance novel. Shy, a nerd, not good around new people but very bubbly around people she trusts.... quite the cliche.

She eventually began to grow on me, but i never really liked her.
I did like Brodie though, most of the time.
There were times where i was swooning over something he said or did but sometimes it/he was just too much.

The storyline was ok, nothing very special though.
What was special, is that most of the book, like 85%, is written in emails, I loved that!

The beginning was hard work, the middle was perfecr, the ending was slightly over the top, and not very satisfying.

I enjoyed myself while reading but often forget that i was still reading this book (if that makes sense?!). That sums up the whole book and reading experience for me.
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This book takes wonderful characters and a delightful story, wraps them in letters, quotes, and all things bookish, and ties them all with a lovely romantic bow. I'd say she seals it with a wax kiss, but I'm afraid Brodie would object.

For lovers of Pepper's Jane by the Book, I've determined that Titus and Brodie are cousins. It'll take a DNA test and a genealogical expert to figure out how, but I'm patient. I can wait.

Full of laugh-out-loud moments, family relationships that are so wonderfully (dare I say it?) AUTHENTIC that it feels as though you've stepped into a real story, and (for those who can stomach them) all the kisses pitter-pattering hearts could desire.

It's You've Got Mail meets The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society meets the Pevensies (#BecauseSiblings) meets Pepper's fabulous wit and wordsmithing. From Andy Griffith's Blue Ridge Mountains to a delightful set of islands in the North Sea, the settings couldn't be more Anne Shirleyishly romantic.

Trying to be really careful here (#becausespoilers) but Pepper did something I don't often (ever?) see in a romance. Where things typically happen one way (and for understandable reasons), she didn't. She didn't let someone take on something that wasn't that someone's responsibility. And... Bravo.

But even if all that weren't enough, there's a subtle but strong faith element that ripped bandaids I didn't know I was wearing off wounds I didn't know I had and exposed them to the healing power of truth... or is that Truth?

And in a rom-com, folks. #BecausePepper.

Run, don't walk and preorder the book. Stockpile tea, scones, and cookie dough ice cream (maybe a bear claw or two... you'll see why). Close the spreadsheets, turn off your phone (trust me on this one), and get ready to settle in for a WONDERFUL read.

So... how great was this book? Let's summarize it this way. Pepper Basham has inspired me to try, again (for like the 50th time) to read and love Tolkein. That she can make me want to love something I've despaired ever tolerating is proof that this book is genius.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I wanted to like this. Everything about it sounded absolutely perfect for my tastes. I love Lord of the Rings and dream of working at a bookstore. However I missed one little sentence when I requested this book. I didn't notice that this was an "epistolary novel." I started this with high hopes, not realizing that the whole thing was in the form of emails and instant messages. I honestly could not stand the format and had to give up fairly quickly. It's a bit embarrassing, but there it is. I think I only got through about 10% before I just could not take it any longer. I'm sure that there are a ton of people that won't mind the format, or may even really enjoy it. Unfortunately I was not one of them. So even though this book had a lot of promise, I just couldn't make my way through it.
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I wanted to like this one and tried it a couple times, but I couldn't get past the conversation style. I thought maybe it was just the beginning but then it kept going and I was finding it really hard to concentrate on it. Not sure If i will review because I didn't even get halfway but was sad that I didn't love!
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Thank you for allowing me access to this ARC. I receives a complementary copy of this book, opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

This was a brilliant read! Authentically, Izzy is charming, warm, and funny. As an English Literature student I appreciated the references to classics and the quotes shared by Izzy and Brodie. The fact that it is epistolary, told almost exclusively through emails and texts, for this genre of book, work amazing! At times it started to grate on me though in the second half of the book the author does move onto some prose which was refreshing and I got Beth O'Leary 'The Flatshare' vibes! The epistolary style was very in keeping with the literary theme and is certainly unique, though I can see it being an acquired taste for some readers.

The theme of family was particularly heart-warming and was a brilliant sub plot to bring tension to the romance. Equally, Izzy's epiphanies and revelations deepened her character and to see her become empowered to take control of her own future was inspiring! 

And oh my gosh the romance! While at times cliché and exaggerated (though I personally didn't mind this) the connection between Izzy and Brodie was heart-stopping! The tension was palpable! I enjoyed that the romance wasn't steamy, and instead was wholesome, in keeping with the vibes of the book.

My only issues were with the pacing. At times I felt like the story was dragging on, it was certainly a longer book than I had been expecting, and because of this it started to get repetitive. For example, Josephine, continued to be negative towards Izzy and Brodie's relationship long after Izzy had moved on past the need for familial support and advice. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely be keeping my eye out for more books by Pepper Basham!
Thank you again for granting me access to this ARC.
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At first, I was really excited for this book! The nerdiness with a dog named Samwise and other nods had me hooked. I loved the first interactions with people Izzy had on the dating website. But slowly, things went downhill. 

First, I love books with different writing formats. So I was excited with the email and text form. However, early on here I felt like it was getting dull and was hoping there would be interludes of normal prose. Or maybe emails from Brodie’s perspective. But for a while, no. And I had then adjusted and was like ok that’s fine this is the style. But then in part 2, we suddenly get Brodie perspective??? And part 2 comes over ⅓ in if not closer to half. Then we also randomly start getting prose and then toward the end it switches almost completely to traditional prose?? It was just confusing. 

I also was excited to see Brodie’s perspective but then found myself confused by his writing style. Izzy’s voice is generally great and then Brodie felt awkward and like people don’t actually say or think these things. There also were multiple times that felt like the big climactic point of a romcom but it got resolved so easily. 

Finally, this book was sneakily religious. It felt thrown in without real purpose of advancing the plot and didn’t add anything to the characters. 

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Basham creates a delightful story filled with realistic characters & storyline, faith elements, and clean romance - & a touch of humor.
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Loved the context and premise of the book. It has some interesting tropes of book lovers, pop culture references and over the top families. The concept of romance and dating is interesting here. 

I loved the main protagonist who was quirky and cute. Her growth and journey to find love was quite interesting. While it took me some time to get into the book, her character and opinions on romance was what made me read. The book is written in the format of letters and narration which was a first for me. For me as a reader, I would have preferred a little more of the narration format, especially in the beginning.

Thank you Thomas Nelson Fiction and NetGalley for this eARC in exchange of my honest review.
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Unfortunately, I wasn't able to connect with this book. I made it about 25% into this before I decided to DNF. I'm intrigued by nonconventional story formats, and usually, I love reading books that feature text messages, emails, diary entries, etc. But I found the epistolary writing in this novel to be very confusing, more so because of the length of all of the emails and the overuse of PS, PPS, and PPPS at the end of almost all of them. I was expecting the writing to switch from emails to dialogue back to emails, and so forth, but since that wasn't the case, I could feel my attention dwindling on every page. (Though, coincidentally, I think the epistolary format worked really well for the dating app messages.) Had this novel been dialogue-based with emails and dating app messages interspersed throughout, I think I would've enjoyed this a lot more! Unfortunately, the format just wasn't for me and I couldn't continue. 

Additionally, I felt like the communication between the characters was a bit outdated for my taste. It might just be the Gen Z in me, but how the characters were speaking/writing was more reminiscent of how the characters in a Jane Austen novel would talk than how people talk now. If the whole point of Josie's meddling behaviors is to push Izzy into the modernized dating app scene, it didn't make sense to me why everyone's exchanges were so outdated.

I appreciate the premise and how much effort Basham put into the epistolary format! This wasn't the book for me, but this is a great book for people who enjoy stories about book lovers, romance, and stories that mainly feature a letter-writing format.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Fiction and NetGalley for this eARC!
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Authentically Izzy follows the journey of Izzy in her search for love and her unexpected discovery of who she truly is. 

As much as I love my general format in books, I do appreciate the unique formats that I come across now and then. And Authentically Izzy definitely delivered in that aspect. I loved how different this book was written compared to the normal format. I think it really added to its uniqueness and made this book a much better book to read.

Although I did love the romance in this book between Izzy and Brodie, what caught my attention throughout my read of this book was how Izzy as an individual progressed. Not only did she find the love that she was looking for, but she discovered more about herself that she'd ever known. This book, as well as being a romance, serves as a wonderful self realization book.

Authentically Izzy was the first book I've read by Pepper Basham and as I did like this one, I would love to read more from this author. Not only was this book extremely easy to read, but it also had a very interesting story in general.

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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