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Fresh from her 2016 debut DREAMOLOGY, Lucy Keating comes back with a release full of even more suspense, romance and lovable characters. LITERALLY follows the story of a teenage girl named Annabelle. She always has her schedule down to a science, her big dreams in reach, tons of friends and, more importantly, she has always had a perfect life. That is, at least until Annabelle finds out all in one morning that her parents are getting divorced, they are selling her childhood home and that a best-selling author is actually writing her entire life. Wait, what?

As Annabelle sees a story being built around her, she begins to question all of her decisions and the genuine motives of the people around her. After all, how can she tell what’s real and what’s been written out for her? And what if she doesn't like the happy ending that author Lucy Keating is trying to map out?

"I recommend LITERALLY to anyone who loves Stephanie Perkins or Morgan Matson, but want more of a twist than the average contemporary holds."

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I got hooked. It was an idea I had heard about or thought about before but had never seen played out. To be completely honest, I thought it would be to pull off. Luckily, the entire concept made for a cute and fun book, but also one that was thought-provoking. The book made some nice points about surprising yourself or coloring outside the lines you’ve made for yourself. Annabelle had an amazing character arc that was fun to read about and gave readers an overall headstrong character. She had a passion for journalism, which I loved, too.

Speaking of the characters, they were all fun to read about and enjoy, each with many dimensions, even in the case of some side characters. But they were, to an extent, all clichés: there was the perfect heart throb who just moved in and the heartbreaking brother’s best friend. In the process of making points and poking fun on all of the classic YA clichés, they were also used in the novel. Overall, the book had plenty of cute and archetypal scenes, almost as if John Green wrote them but Lucy Keating improved upon them. That said, the clichés were enjoyable if you were in the right mood, kind of like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. Rather than being annoyed by them, I found it funny how she used all of them and it made the concept that an author was writing Annabelle’s life seem even more accurate.

One of the best aspects of the book was how the author made herself a character. It brought the concept to life and became super Meta. While the interactions could be awkward or confusing at some points, the scenes featuring Lucy Keating were funny and broke the fourth wall in the best way possible. I recommend LITERALLY to anyone who loves Stephanie Perkins or Morgan Matson, but want more of a twist than the average contemporary holds.

Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board Member on April 12, 2017

by Lucy Keating