Cover Image: Authentically, Izzy

Authentically, Izzy

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Member Reviews

I really struggled with this one and I had to DNF at 70% in. This books narration is predominately told via emails and texts which just wasn’t my cup of tea. The narration style and the slow pacing made this read a miss for me. 

Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I’m definitely out of my comfort zone with this genre since romantic comedy, Lord of the Rings and classics are not my favored genres and the references to them went right over my head.   This is an expository novel and I think the formatting was really off for the Net Galley copy I had so it was difficult to delineate the communication methods.  I am convinced that the wonky formatting really impacted my reading pleasure.   I connected fairly well with Izzy and Brodie but I felt like her family really hadn’t treated her well and forcing someone onto a dating app is really quite rude.  They all seemed convinced that she couldn’t make her own decisions.  When I got past all of the texts and e-mails, I found that the heart of the novel is to stay authentic to yourself and seek your own happiness.  The inspirational thread was definitely apparent, and the novel was very clean. 

While this was not a favorite of mine from Pepper Basham, I DO always enjoy the versatility of Pepper Basham’s novels.  She runs the gamut from a true crime novel, her beloved Appalachian Mountains stories, historical fiction, and one of the sweetest romances I think I’ve ever read.  My top favorites of hers are Hope Between the Pages (dual timeline) and The Mistletoe Countess.  I will not hesitate to check out the rest of her generous backlist.  

I received a Net Galley copy of this book from the publisher and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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This is the perfect example of a perfectly fine book but I am definitely not the right audience but there will be and they will love it.

A mostly epistolary style novel, done in emails and texts between Izzy and her cousins, and Brodie her overseas friend turned potential love interest and his family. 

I thought at first I would get tired of this style of writing but the author did such an exceptional job at keeping it flowing and easy to make sense of.

I also think it’s hard to build chemistry this way between characters but she did succeed in solidifying their relationship, I felt the sweet friendship and could see the slow turn of feelings.

However, this book was just a bit too wholesome for me and that is like I said great for others who love sweet, closed door romances, I just needed a bit more spark.
Also the idea of email is a bit dated for people to communicate in their 30’s, I would of like to see it become a tad more modern. 

Tons of fun nods to bookstores, libraries and book lovers so that always makes for a fun experience and this book delivers that in spades.

A perfect read for someone who enjoys wholesome romances. 

Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction for the digital ARC all opinions are my own.
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I was drawn into this book by the delightful cover. The characters are quirky and the writing is well done. I had never read anything epistolary before and while it was charming at first, it also made it difficult for me to connect with any of the characters or feel invested in the story at all. It ended up not being able to keep my attention. DNF at 25%. 

Thanks so much to Netgalley, Just Read Tours, the publisher, and the author for my complimentary e-arc of this book. Any opinions here are my own.
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Sadly I DNFed this title. The 1st half of the book is all a series of emails and chat messages between Izzy, her family (who are trying to set her up on a Dating Site), and the male love interests. I'm not sure whether its due to the format of the story or the character development, but I never felt drawn to care or invest in the characters. Nothing was keeping me reading. Skimming through, I may have enjoyed the story had I found a reason to care for these characters and their lives.
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I really enjoyed this story! I wasn't sure how a story told mainly through emails and texts would go, but I adored it! Izzy and Brodie were fantastic, and their chemistry was the thing fairy tales are made of even electronically. The settings were so well-done. And it wouldn't be a Pepper Basham book without a fantastic kiss!! 

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
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Filled with witty banter and literary references that will dazzle every bookish nerd's heart! 

Found myself smiling and laughing several times as Izzy slowly revealed her true self through emails on an online dating site. There were so many bookish references that a true bibliophile would treasure. I was thoroughly enchanted with the way Ms. Basham incorporated epistolary writing to tell Izzy's story. I could just 'hear' the different voices and 'see' the characters as they communicated, sharing their true selves as they hid behind their computers half a world apart.

Although this is definitely a romcom, and Pepper Basham is a master at penning a good romcom, I loved Izzy's journey, one of finding her own direction in life. (I want Izzy's job). I look forward to having a few peeks of Izzy in her sister's story. 

Fans of Shaffer's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Katherine Reay's Dear Mr. Knightley will adore this story.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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#BookReview: AUTHENTICALLY, IZZY by Pepper Basham

I have enjoyed the author’s other books so I was looking forward to reading this one. The format is quite different from my usual reading but I like the cheery tone of the story. I was introduced to the characters via text messages, emails and an online dating site. That was new and I didn’t know what to make of it at first. About a third of the book, I started to look forward to the messages. It seems like since it’s something written, the characters showed their true emotions and thoughts. 

This was a cute and light hearted romance with bookish main characters. There were many book references. They are Christians so there is a layer of faith in their conversations and actions which I liked. This book also had serious topics such as self acceptance, finding your true calling in life, love of family, and forgiveness.

I didn’t think I would enjoy this book but I did. I am so happy I gave it a chance It was so good. I laughed and cried with Izzy and Brodie. I’d love to visit Skymar and I can’t wait for Penelope’s story.

Rating: 4.5 stars
Pub date: 15 Nov 2022

Thank you Thomas Nelson and #netgalley for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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This is a fun read that is told in text and emails. I enjoyed everything about this book. If you are looking for a fun, clean heartwarming read, grab this book. Loved it!
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Finally, a book featuring a female character that enjoys "Lord of the Rings!" This book has every niche trope I could ever hope for, including a nerdy, male love interest that enjoys reading. This is a cute, cozy, slow-burn love story that makes you believe in long-distance relationships. This was such a fun and relaxing story to escape into for a few hours.
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I couldn't read this. I tried. I really did. 

At 25% in and I am still unsure of anything that is going on, I cannot continue on. This book was not for me.

The majority of the book is emails back and forth between Izzy and her cousins/family members. The alternating chapters are emails with the guys she is meeting on this dating app. 

I could not connect to the story at all, I was not interested in the plot or characters.

I hope this book brings nerdy Lord of the Rings lovers joy, because I could not understand most of the references within this first fourth of the book I read.
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Authentically, Izzy is an epistolary  lovers dream book! This was a fun read for me. I've only read a couple of this style book before and loved them. So,  when I heard that Ms. Basham had written one I thought "yay me"! Now I will tell you in case you are wondering, there isn't any real life interaction with the hero and heroine until about 50% through the book. And yes, she has some great kissing scenes in there as well! "Yay me" again! This is a transatlantic relationship that takes the reader from the mountains in Virginia to a fictitious island in England.  

I thoroughly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys reading love letters through emails, and texts between a hero and heroine. Also, there is some very witty and comical scenes between family members that had me laughing out loud.
*I was given a copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishers and this is my honest opinion,
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Thank you @netgalley for the opportunity to read this arc! 


"But books have provided me continual journeys and adventures for which my bank account can never meet." 

The writing in this book was so eloquent! I feel I should inform you that this book is mostly written in email exchanges + didn't realize until a couple pages in that this is a Christian book (just FYI), which was a first for me. 

I had accepted that the book was email exchanges and then we get to 60% of the way in, and it gets changed up, to a regularly formatted book! Personally, if the whole book had been what that last 40% was, I would've enjoyed it a bit more. I feel I can't fully get into a characters development if I'm not also getting the surrounding context. 

Brodie was a dream! And to live in a dang castle? With a tower for a library? Swooning right now. 

And can I just say I highly disliked Josephine? Felt nothing for her character. 

I would recommend this if you get LOTR references because I felt like a dummy not being in the know 😅 

Also, I don't think it ever covered or discussed a particular past relationship for Izzy that didn't give me that satisfying touch. 

And as an FYI, this book releases NOV 15 ☺️

Rating: I enjoyed it as a one off book but not for me in the future ☺️
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Do you love books? Do you love romance? Do you dream of fictional men as a partner? Also, Do you dream to build a bookstore or a library?

Izzy does. Isabelle Edgewood is a reader(just like you), who works in a library, obsessed with books and dreams about fictional men(again just like you). When her matchmaking-obssessed cousin sets up an account in a dating site, Izzy meets Brodie.

Brodie is the only man close to fictional men (for Izzy), who lives an ocean away from Izzy. He understands Izzy for what she is and he listens to her. Who in their right mind cannot fall for a man like that? Izzy did too overcoming all her insecurities. Unwrap this magical romance of Izzy and Brodie by reading this amazing book.

This is an epistolary novel(A term I learnt from this book). It is fun to read the emails and messages(felt like stalking😂). And it is rich in vocabulary. I learnt many new words. I also loved the descriptions of places - Skymar Islands, Brodie's town and Blue Ridge Mountains. (I googled Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina and fell in love with them🥺)

Dislikes : It is a little long. And Eli's character felt cutoff all of a sudden. A proper closure from Izzy, after library fight, would be good, I guess.

Perfect Romcom for bookworms. I bet everyone will relate to the characters at some point.
I will admit that I haven't read any of the books that are referred, except Pride and Prejudice🥲. But I enjoyed reading the book.
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Absolutely not, I did not even finish it. Firstly, I didn't realize that it was a christian romance. Which once you get to the actual reading is very heard to miss and not at all my cup of tea. But it also felt incredibly sexist and disgusting. I couldn't dislike a book more if I tried.
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Many thanks to NetGalley for sending me this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

3.5 stars!  What a delightful story!   I initially found it a little confusing to get into as the book starts with a series of emails and texts but it didn't take long for me to be caught up in Izzy's story.

This book has all my favorite things:  a sweet love story, lots of snarky dialogue, a great group of family members and friends, and a satisfying HEA.  AND, as an added bonus, there are lots of great references to some of my favorite books and authors.

Rated G and no profanity.  Yay!
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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I liked the premise of the story more than the actual book. It was slow going and at times I was a little bored. I’m sure this will be a favorite for some but it wasn’t the book for me.
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𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺, 𝘐𝘻𝘻𝘺 follows Izzy - a shy but observing bibliophile - who is coerced by her cousin to create a dating profile where she meets Brodie and she's convinced that her cousin is playing a prank on her because there is no way someone as charismatic and freakishly well suited to 𝘩𝘦𝘳 is real. But lo and behold...

- ~ -

First things first, I will say that it is a very clever book and involves a well developed plot. 
The writing style is perfect, though, a little too formal but I didn't mind.

And one most important point is that it's an epistolary novel which here means that while it's a relatively short book as most of it was written through messages and texts, I found some of the conversations to be excessively dragging.

Most characters introduced were well meaning and formed a special bond throughout the length of the story but one in particular - Josephine was frustrating, however, she redeemed herself in the end.

And lastly, Brodie and Izzy's romance was the perfect kind reserved for shy booklovers but also a bit underwhelming, atleast in my opinion.

- ~ -

3.53 / 5✩

𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘛𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘴 𝘕𝘦𝘭𝘴𝘰𝘯--𝘍𝘐𝘊𝘛𝘐𝘖𝘕 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘕𝘦𝘵𝘨𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘐 𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 & 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘥. 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘰𝘸𝘯.
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While I ended up deciding to DNF this book, I'm still going to give it 3 stars for a few reasons:
1. I like that it has mentions of religion and didn't shy away from discussing God and attending church.
2. The idea of writing the entire book in letter, text, and e-mail format was unique and intriguing.
3. I love the You've Got Mail vibes from the messages between Izzy and Brody.
I personally couldn't get invested in the writing overall, but I think others will still enjoy this book.
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