Cover Image: Authentically, Izzy

Authentically, Izzy

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Can I give this book 6 stars? 

This was one of the funnest books I've read this year. The format of this book was so enjoyable, and this was the perfect book for book lovers. I mean, the magic of books that was portrayed in this was absolutely lovely. And I LOVED the MCs!! I truly did not find a singular character that I didn't like. 

I really don't have a single bad thing to say about this book. Highly recommend.
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Authentically Izzy was such a sweet read for book lovers and i really enjoyed it. There were so many bookish quotes and sweet moments that had me so infested with Izzy and Brodie's story. Not to mention all the book recommendations, it was a book written to have us bibliophiles swooning, and it delivered. 

I felt like the emails and text messages were such a nice touch, it made the story seem more personal and while yes, it was cheesy at times it was still such a great love story. Izzy's growth was also such a rewarding thing to watch. The confidence she found in learning to love herself was one of my favorite parts of the story. 

I highly recommend for book lovers who want a fun sweet, somewhat cheesy romance with a pretty good storyline.
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To me, autumn is the perfect time to pick up a book about books! There's just something about the cozy atmosphere the material presents that I can't resist.

I'm not a huge fan of stories written in letter form, so I struggled to get into this one. But that being said, Pepper Basham is a fantastic author and her romances are always fun and memorable!
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Authentically Izzy by Pepper Basham is perhaps one of my all time favorite bookish books. It was a slow start for me because of the epistolary style, but the characters were an immediate grab for me. I adored and laughed out loud at the antics between Izzy and her cousins. Izzy is witty and creative and decides to take a chance. Enter Brodie. Hands down, the best conglomeration of top book quotes, spanning the ages and genres. Book magic is often referred to in this book and it is the epitome of captivating book magic. The charm, the wit, the romance, the kisses!!! Even the descriptions of captivating islands, manors, and castles rounded out any holes. The characters were absolutely delightful and each fit their part perfectly…including the dogs. Literary lovers of romance MUST indulge in this piece of book magic. You will not be disappointed. There are so many wonderful angles: family loving you and all that entails, being cared for, being seen, amazing dialogue, coming into your own, travel, BOOKS, and realizing heart’s desires can come true. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are solely my own.
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I love Pepper Basham’s books. Her characters go so far beyond the superficial, and I always feel at the end as if I’m leaving friends. With Authenticity Izzy, written in a whimsical epistolary style, relying mostly on emails, letters, and text messages between Izzy, her cousins, and the ultra swoony Brodie and his hunky sweater vests, we get to peek behind the curtain and right into Izzy’s heart. While I wouldn’t say the epistolary style is one I would want a steady diet of, and it may not be for everyone (although who wouldn’t love it?) I found this to be a refreshing change of scenery (especially in certain settings—no spoilers!).  I adored all of the sweet book talk, literary references and quotes, and every precious moment between Izzy and Brodie. I can’t wait for Penelope’s story!
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"Authentically, Izzy" was a delightful story that celebrates books and the ways that books can connect people and enrich lives. Izzy Edgewood and Brodie Sutherland are both book-loving introverts who have not had the best of luck in relationships. Izzy lost her parents when she was still a child, and she was raised by her aunt.  Her cousins Luke, Josephine, and Penelope are like brother and sisters to her; their relationship and interactions are one of the things that makes this story so sweet. 

Josephine has long tried to play matchmaker with Izzy, wanting her to find the love and support that Josephine has found with her husband Patrick.  Izzy is friendly, fun, and creative -- which really shows in her role as assistant librarian and her methods of introducing children to the joys of reading and celebrating the importance of reading in their small town of Mt. Airy, NC. (birthplace of Andy Griffith). However, outside of her library activities and spending time with her cousins, Izzy most enjoys curling up with a good book at home, not the most conducive activity to finding a potential partner.  Josephine, meaning well, signs up Izzy on an online dating site, Heart-to-Heart, feeling "certain there's a book-loving man living relatively nearby waiting to speak bookish to [Izzy] 'til death do you part."  Izzy is not pleased with Josephine at first, and some of the first responses she receives to her profile are not the most encouraging.  However, in Brodie the Hobbit, as he introduces himself in his first message, Izzy seems to find someone who understands her in a way that no one else ever has.  Izzy is skeptical that Brodie is real, and even once it is established that he is real, Izzy cannot help but wonder if Brodie is really as wonderful as he seems.

Complicating things is that Brodie Sutherland lives in the Skymar Islands (a fictional country located between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands), where he helps run the family bookstores.  The government of Skymar, worried about population loss, has offered financial incentives to residents who convince people to resettle in the Skymar Islands.  That is the initial motivation for Brodie to try online dating, and it will prove to be a potential significant obstacle to the long-term success of Brodie and Izzy. However, before the story gets to that point (and it is obvious from the start that this will be an issue at some point), Izzy and Brodie will progress from e-mail exchanges to video chats to in-person visits.  

One of the things that makes this story so wonderful is how Brodie recognizes the things that make Izzy so wonderful, including her ability to convey a love of literature and her ability to connect people with just the right books (a book matchmaker). His belief in her and her abilities helps Izzy realize the fears and insecurities that have been holding her back and enables her to take risks on herself.

Much of the story is told through e-mails and tweets between various characters, mostly Izzy and her cousins.  This provides plenty of opportunities for literary references and quotes, and it is an effective method of developing and showcasing the personalities of the various characters. Brodie's family plays a less prominent role until later in the book, but his mother and sister are great characters as well. The two families are people you would enjoy spending time with, especially if you have a love of books.  I highly recommend this book.

I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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I’m giving this one 2.5 stars. I really really wanted to to like this book. Falling in love through letters or online correspondence is one of my very favorite tropes. However, there were just some things about this novel that did not work for me. The idea of using emails and texts to tell the story is intriguing, but it just didn’t work for me entirely. It was like having someone describe a movie to you rather than watching the movie yourself. I think the author would have been much more successful if she used traditional writing and featured the emails and texts between Izzy and Brodie.. As for the emails themselves, they were… wordy. Especially the ones back and forth with the cousins. I loved the humor they added, but I found myself skimming some of them to get back to Brodie’s emails. This is a beefy novel for the topic at over 400 pages. I think 100 pages could’ve easily been edited out. I found myself checking several times to see how far along I was in the book. That is never a good sign. While I loved the romance of the story, I think there were some missed opportunities there as well. It takes Brodie more than half the book before he even starts flirting a little. I know he’s not a ladies man, but it made it hard to feel the online chemistry. 

Also, the side plot with Eli… that could just be edited out completely in my opinion. He was just a distraction from the real story. 
I know this sounds like a harsh review. There really were some parts of the story I enjoyed, but I was asked for an honest opinion so here it is. I will only be posting this review to NetGalley because I don’t want to discourage others readers from giving it a try. Obviously it took courage to try something different in this book. Hopefully it resonates better with others.
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First of all, I loved that the main character Izzy is a librarian and book lover. I related to her preference for fictional characters over actual humans on a spiritual level. When her cousin signs her up for a dating site, she ends up meeting a fellow book lover - the problem is he lives on the other side of the world and she fears he might be too good to be true.

I also related to Izzy and her anti-social tendencies and her feelings of wanting more out of life. I loved that she was obsessed with Lord of the Rings, it made me wish I was more familiar with it. I liked Brodie as a love interest as well - a nerdy European book lover who lives in a cliffside manor and owns a book store? I want one.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Authentically Izzy is a well written romance that pulls you in from the beginning and doesn't let go until you've finished. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the literary references and the theatrical ones too. This is the story of Izzy, who lives in a quiet town in North Carolina. She is a librarian and content in her life, but does not push herself out of her comfort zone. She lived with her cousins from the time she was twelve. Her eldest cousin decides to upload her profile to a dating site and Izzy decides to give it a try. Here she meets Brodie, another book lover. Around this time, another suitor appears in real life. What takes place next is Izzy's realization of who she truly is, what has guided her behavior and choices thus far in life, and what she really wants. There are religious undertones throughout, but I was bothered by the ending. The tone changed and accountability was placed only on one character's shoulders, when it should have been mostly on the other's. Overall, I really liked this book, I just wish the ending could have been done better. I recommend it!
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Authentically, Izzy 
by Pepper Basham 
Pub Date: November 15, 2022 
Thomas Nelson  
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. 
There's something so intimate about reading a story through letters, something that invites you in to witness a more personal connection that I think makes epistolary stories like this one resonate deeply. Author, Pepper Basham, well done! 
Izzy Edgewood is a wannabe bookstore owner, quote queen, and Lord of the Rings nerd who has been waiting for Prince Charming to sweep her off her sneakered feet. But it’s hard to meet people when you spend more time with fictional humans than real ones. This is why her pragmatist cousin Josephine decides to take Izzy’s future into her own meddling hands and create an online dating profile for the hopeful romantic.
I really liked this book! 
4 stars
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I'm absolutely smitten! There's something so intimate about reading a story through letters, something that invites you in to witness a more personal connection that I think makes epistolary stories like this one resonate deeply. Author, Pepper Basham, nails it!
Pepper Basham delivers a delightfully, joyful story brimming with all of the bookish quotes, heart-swooning moments, and the kind of characters who will find their place in your heart.
Thank you Netgalley and much appreciation to the author
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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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