September 20, 2010

REVIEW! The Book of Luke.

The Book of Luke
Jenny O'Connell


Emily Abbott has always been considered the Girl Most Likely to Be Nice -- but lately being nice hasn't done her any good. Her parents have decided to move the family from Chicago back to their hometown of Boston in the middle of Emily's senior year. Only Emily's first real boyfriend, Sean, is in Chicago, and so is her shot at class valedictorian and early admission to the Ivy League.

What's a nice girl to do? Then Sean dumps Emily on moving day and her father announces he's staying behind in Chicago "to tie up loose ends," and Emily decides that what a nice girl needs to do is to stop being nice.

She reconnects with her best friends in Boston, Josie and Lucy, only to discover that they too have been on the receiving end of some glaring Guy Don'ts. So when the girls have to come up with something to put in the senior class time capsule, they know exactly what to do. They'll create a not-so-nice reference guide for future generations of guys -- an instruction book that teaches them the right way to treat girls.

But when her friends draft Emily to test out their tips on Luke Preston -- the hottest, most popular guy in school, who just broke up with Josie by email -- Emily soon finds that Luke is the trickiest of test subjects . . . and that even a nice girl like Emily has a few things to learn about love.

My rating: 3 stars.


Generic, but not too generic.

O’Connell keeps the characters pretty real, without overdoing it on the stereotypical front. Emily’s voice is, for the most part, kept real – save for her dialogue, which is at times border lining cliché. The one annoyance is that the other characters really have no importance, especially Josie and Lucy. I assumed it would be about more than Emily and Luke.

Luke is both a likeable and unlikeable character; he’s the main heartthrob, but sometimes I couldn’t figure out why. O’Connell didn’t seem to develop much of his character, so he seems a bit lackluster. He has his bright moments, but soon thereafter O’Connell strips him of them.

Emily’s parents are great. Their quirks and attitudes and appearances add another dimension to the book that keeps it all from falling flat.

The writing itself is nothing special, but The Book of Luke is still entertaining and fun.


  1. I hate it when characters aren't fully fleshed makes the story harder to follow. Great honest review!

  2. I read this a long while ago, so I don't remember it that well... but I recall having about the same reaction as you. I liked it, and it was entertaining, though not the best thing ever.

  3. Thanks for the honest review! I've been thinking about buying this one for a while now, so I might just have to see for myself what I think of it!

  4. Hi Alissa! I'm a new follower, and your blog seems interesting! Check out mine at IceyBooks.
    Thanks! ~Hafsah

  5. I read this last year and really liked it. Thought the "tips" at the beginning of each chapter were funny (and sometimes right on) and the relationship between Luke and Emily felt real, like it progressed at just the right pace. Also liked that Emily wasn't stereotypical, she could be unlikeable when she did dumb things but likeable other times. Her friendship with her two best friends seemed real and Luke was adorable.

  6. I read this one when it was first released & I remember liking it. It kind of reminded me of John Tucker Must Die and I LOVE that movie, so that could've had something to do with it. haha

    Great review, btw!


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