It's All Relative

A Novel

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Pub Date Aug 06 2024 | Archive Date Sep 06 2024

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Shakespeare's famous comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, gets a modern retelling in a lighthearted women's fiction novel that proves 'the course of true love' (and the merging of families, for that matter) 'never did run smooth.'

Helena's a "fly by the seat of her pants" kind of girl. Amelia's got her perfect life planned down to the minute. How will they ever get through their parents' wedding--let alone a life as stepsisters--without ripping each other apart?

Twenty-seven-year-old Helena Crosby is over her mom Nora's wedding--and it hasn't even happened yet. For months, Helena's been dreading the day she and Nora would become part of The Perfects, aka the Maddox family, led by oldest perfect daughter Amelia. Her complete opposite in every way, Amelia owns a house, runs her father's architecture firm, and is engaged to her also perfect (and dreamy) fiancé Gage, all before the age of thirty. Helena has no idea how she's going to fit into this family with their fancy traditions and strict timetables. Thankfully, her best friend Landon is joining the festivities as her emotional support plus one--and the perfect buffer between her and her new family.

Amelia Maddox has spent months planning the perfect wedding week for her dad Steve and his bride-to-be Nora. She'd planned for every consistency . . . except for her new free spirited stepsister's deadly shellfish allergy, her brother's insistence on blowing up his life, and an unexpected guest on Helena's arm. A guest she hasn't seen in years. A guest who held her heart years before her fiancé Gage ever did . . . her ex Landon Blake. But no matter--Amelia's kept the Maddox family together since her mother died a few years ago. She's not going to be thrown by Landon's deep blue eyes and sun-bronzed forearms and the way he makes her feel all warm and cozy, like she's come home to herself. Nope. She has duties to attend to: being the best daughter, sister, fiancée, boss, and wedding coordinator. And she's going to bring her Eldest Daughter Energy to it all and push down those inconvenient feelings, no matter what.

Through a whirlwind week of wedding activities and a few near disasters, both Amelia and Helena realize that sometimes the blueprints for the perfect family and relationship look better on paper than in real life--and that family isn't only made of the people you're born with. Family is also made of the people we choose over and over again.

Shakespeare's famous comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, gets a modern retelling in a lighthearted women's fiction novel that proves 'the course of true love' (and the merging of families, for that...

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ISBN 9780840716941
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

IT’s ALL RELATIVE by RACHEL MAGEE takes us on a delightful and amusing journey with Helena Crosby to the Maddox’s perfect Indigo Island beach house to celebrate her mother, Nora’s, marriage to Steve Maddox. Having only two relations, her mother and great aunt Robyn, she arms herself with her best friend Landon Blake as her plus one for the wedding, not realizing that her sister to be, Amelia, is Landon’s ex girlfriend, Mia. Helena also has a huge crush on Ameia’s fiance Gage. ……
Helena tries desperately to fit in with this perfect family and feels she is losing her mother to the “Perfects”…..
This is a fun read with quite a bit of depth as the author explores family dynamics and relationships and I found it most enjoyable. Will Helena ever realise that she just needs to be herself? I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Thomas Nelson. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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This is a story full of lovable, unforgettable, intriguing characters. Helena’s was raised by her single mother who is getting married to a widower with an adult daughter who is also engage, an adult son, as well as a twelve-year-old daughter. Helena has spent time with her soon to be new family, and refers to them as “The Perfects” since it seems everything, they do is absolutely perfect, especially the oldest daughter Amelia. She is a list maker, extremely organized, and is never late to anything. Helena is rarely on time to anything, and mostly operates on a fly-by-the-seat-of her pants kind of system. She is definitely not one who plans ahead.
Helena is a high school teacher and her very best friend is Landon Blake, also a teacher at the same school as well as the soccer coach. The week leading up to the wedding has many activities planned, by Amelia, of course. The week of activities as well as the wedding will take place at the summer beach house of her mother’s new family. Helena talks Landon into coming as her plus on and after much convincing, he reluctantly agrees. Helena also confesses to Landon that she has a crush on the fiancé of her soon to be step-sister, Amelia.
Upon arrival at the big, beautiful, fabulous house on the beach, Landon and Helena are faced with a most unexpected, shocking situation, and that is only the beginning of the week. As the week progresses, there are many twists and turn, and it seems Helena can’t seem to be on time for anything, not even a family dinner.
This is creative writing at its best as this funny, delightful, heartwarming story of family unfolds. Often, I had to pause reading until I could catch my breath and stop laughing.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions and comments are my own.

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This novel by Rachel Magee is a sort of Midsummer Night’s Dream plot centering around the love/friend relationships of Helena Crosby, her best friend Landon, and Gage the fiancée of her soon-to-be sister-in-law Amelia. Helena and Amelia’s. parents are getting married. Helena is a laid-back, perpetually late school teacher and Amelia is a perfect perfectionist architect and unfortunately the long-lost love of Landon. Helena harbors a deep crush on Gage. So, in a modern Shakespearian take all the lovers are with the wrong people and have to somehow get together with the right people.

Rachel handles the lovelorn couples well and with a little bit of magic and a lot of fun, she gets us to the HEA.

I enjoyed the fun twists and turns of the story as well as her terrific characterizations and her compelling writing kept me turning the pages. It’s a fun read.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel and this is my honest opinion.

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This was absolutely delightful. The plot was well-paced and captivating from start to finish. The characters were charming and witty. I highly recommend this fun and quick read! Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

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“It’s all Relative” by Rachel Magee is the perfect great rom-com. Full of family drama, vulnerability, funny and beautiful moments. I just wished I had a way to keep reading their story. All characters are amazing, you’ll just fall in love with all!

Helena is the daughter of a single mother, Nora, who finally found the love of her life in Steve, but he doesn’t come alone. Amelia and Peter are Steve’s grownup kids and Emory is the baby of his family being just a teenager and the only one living at home. So, when Nora and Steve decided to take the next level and marry, the two families and their own baggage have to blend.
Going to her Moms’ beautiful wedding destination with not only Steve’s perfect family but also Amelia’s handsome fiancé, Gage, needs an emotional support. Therefore, Helena brings her best friend as her plus-one, Landon Blake. From the moment they arrive to their destination expect family drama, past heartbreaks and funny moments to happen to all. The end result is something you will not want to miss.

I personally love this book! Thanks NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction for letting me have a complementary copy of this book for an honest review. #ItsAllRelative #NetGalley

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"It's All Relative" is an absolute delight! Rachel Magee weaves a tale of family, love, and second chances that had me hooked from the very first page. As someone who adores Shakespearean retellings, I couldn't resist diving into this modern-day twist on family dynamics, and I'm so glad I did!

Helena and Amelia are wonderfully crafted characters, each with their own quirks and struggles that make them feel incredibly real. From Helena's carefree spirit to Amelia's perfectionist tendencies, their journey as stepsisters navigating their parents' wedding is both hilarious and heartwarming.

This book has got all these deep moments too, exploring family dynamics and the messy, complicated stuff that comes with love and relationships. Like, who knew a rom-com could make you feel all the feels?
And don't even get me started on the romance! From Helena's rekindled flame with Landon to Amelia's forbidden feelings, the romantic tension crackles with energy and emotion, keeping me on the edge of my seats until the very end!

If you're into reads that are equal parts funny, heartwarming, and totally swoon-worthy, then "It's All Relative" is your go-to. I wholeheartedly recommend "It's All Relative" without any hesitation!

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Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced Reader Copy.

This was such a sweet and poignant retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. All four main characters were sufficiently flawed without being unlikeable or unrealistic. While knowing that the novel is a retelling of a Shakespearean comedy lets you know that things will end happily, I still found myself engaged and invested in finding out what Happily Ever After would look like for each character and how they would get there.

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It's All Relative is the most fun I have read so far this year. I would not classify it as rom-com, but romance is secondary storyline. It is a novel of learning that a family can change, and it will be alright. The new family may be completely opposite of who you are, but that makes life all the better.
Helena’s mother is marrying the for the first time, which means Helena is “losing” her mother to a new family with three children-two adult and one teen. To make it even harder, the new family is perfect, especially the oldest daughter Ameila. When it is time for the wedding week, Helena talks her best friend Landon to go to the family’s beach home with her. They are both shocked with Amelia is Mia, his lost love. To complicate matters even more, Helena is falling for Amelia’s fiancé.
It’s All Relative is a great beach read but has deeper themes. New people in our lives should not be judged by initial meetings and may be just the people we need in our lives. Families may change in appearance, but love can grow to include more people in our lives.
I received a complimentary copy of It’s All Relative thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley, but all opinions are my own.

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Talk about a Shakespeare remix! This retelling of Twelfth Night was a riot—I couldn't get enough! The characters were flawed in the best way, and I was totally invested in their quest for happiness. Even though I knew they'd find their happily ever after, the journey had me grinning from ear to ear, eager to see how they'd pull it off!

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It’s All Relative by Rachel Magee is a sensational modern retelling of Shakespeare’s famous comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I loved the multiple POVs interwoven to tell this story:

Nora and Steve are about to get married - which means that their families will become one. Nora has been a single mother to Helena for nearly 30 years, while Steve Maddox is a recent widow with two daughters: Amelia & Emory and a son named Peter.

This story allows us to get into the minds of the quirky unfiltered Helena, her soon to be step-sister Amelia who she dubs “Polly Perfect,” Helena’s best friend and co-worker Landon (who Helena has no idea is also Amelia’s ex-boyfriend!!!), and Amelia’s fiancee Gage (who Helena is crushing on HARD). This story is beautifully told through the eyes of the aforementioned and comes together perfectly. It’s so refreshing to see each of the characters through the eyes of one another and get a full circle big picture of what the reality of the situation is. The wedding is set to take place on the picturesque Indigo Island that belongs to the Maddox family, but not before some shenanigans go down.

I am a huge Billy Shakespeare fan, and I am confident that he would be impressed with this rendition of his classic. I laughed a lot at this one and appreciated each character for what they had to offer. I think pre-teen Emory is my favorite character in the book, and I love the way she gravitates to Helena…there’s even a hilarious scene where the two of them fail to make a viral Tik-Tok while washing dishes.

I highly recommend this book to rom-com lovers, fans of Shakespeare, and anyone who likes being amused while reading. I had a hard time putting this fast-paced story down!

I am so grateful to Thomas Nelson Fiction & NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I look forward to reading more from Rachel Magee!

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I really enjoyed this book. It was different than anything else I've read recently. I couldn't put it down! I will keep an eye out for this author's future work!

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I was a little hesitant to read this after reading about Shakespeare in the description but I'm so glad I read it. The story was easy to follow along with and the characters were really enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed Gage and Emory. There were lots of lessons learned about family and how important they are to everyone. I wish I could keep reading more about them

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own

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Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the eARC!

This was a fun summer read about a family wedding full of drama, friendships, and romance old and new. I liked the multi-POV narration and found myself laughing out loud while reading. This would be great to read on vacation at the beach!

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“It's All Relative” by Rachel Magee is a delightful modern retelling of Shakespeare's famous comedy, “A Midsummer Night's Dream”. Set against the backdrop of a beach wedding, the novel celebrates family, friendship, and the age-old adage that, "the course of true love never did run smooth."

The story revolves around two main characters: Helena Crosby and Amelia Maddox. Helena, an English teacher, finds herself thrust into her mom's wedding festivities. While she's thrilled for her mom, navigating family dynamics isn't exactly her strong suit. She has nothing in common with her soon-to-be stepsister, Amelia, who is an always-put-together, successful architect. Helena, on the other hand, favours messy buns and vending machine snacks while writing lesson plans. As if things weren't complicated enough, Helena develops a crush on Amelia's fiancé, adding an extra layer of tension to the family gathering.

Amelia, the other protagonist, has everything under control—or so she thinks. Her dad is dating again, and the wedding is happening sooner than expected. Amelia's past collides with her present when she discovers that Helena, her stepsister-to-be, is best friends with her ex, Landon. Determined to focus on her bright, shiny, expertly planned future, Amelia faces unexpected twists that challenge her carefully laid-out life.

Magee weaves humour, adventure, and genuine moments of connection throughout the novel. The beach house setting adds to the charm, making readers feel like they're part of the wedding festivities. The characters are relatable, flawed, and endearing, and their interactions create a delightful blend of laughter and heartwarming moments.

“It's All Relative” captures the essence of family bonds, the complexities of relationships, and the unpredictability of love. Magee's writing style is engaging, and her characters come alive on the page. Whether you're lounging on the beach or curled up on your couch, this book is the perfect escape.

This is a fun read that will leave you smiling and believing in the magic of love, even when it takes unexpected turns. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys heartwarming women's fiction with a touch of romance.

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction for a temporary e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This book is a gem! I loved the premise of only child Helena, whose never married mom is marrying a widower with 3 children, including the perfect Amelia. Helena and Amelia couldn't be more different. The family dynamics lead to so many frustrating but also fun moments. The character growth and development was well written in this book. The book takes place on an island with a beachy setting at widower's family island home.

There are laugh out loud and cringy moments all wrapped up in this wonderful book. There are twists and turns along the way including a suspicious fog coming in off the ocean. I couldn't put this book down and highly recommend it to readers of clean rom com books. It's a perfect summer beach read and I wish it was coming out in May or June vs. August but for those looking for a late summer beach read this one is it! I can see myself rereading this book in the future!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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