Let’s Get Meta: Literally by Lucy Keating


A girl realizes her life is being written for her in this unique, smart love story that is Stranger Than Fiction for fans of Stephanie Perkins.

Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine.

It turns out, Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her.

But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word?

The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance blurs the line between reality and fiction, and is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut Dreamology, which SLJ called, “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.”

Source: GoodReads

When reading this book, I wondered what if reviewers got trapped in the God awful books that they are trying to read and review accordingly.

I imagine I would want to punch a lot of the characters that I would come upon.  Like Annabelle in Literally,  she and her author got into this battle of sorts in the book and honestly I sort of wanted Lucy Keating to erase AB out of existence, but I never was so lucky instead the ending was a bit of a cop out but…

Back to the review.  If you read the blurb, you’re probably expecting something akin to that Will Farrell movie Stranger Than Fiction where Will finds out he’s a fictional character that’s expected to die.  And yeah, there are vibes of that here.  But I suggest seeing the movie and skipping the book, because honestly the movie’s better.

That’s not something you say every day on a book blog.  But all kidding aside, the movie  was much better done than this book was.  I think in part because it was not near as cliche as the book was, or Farrell’s acting saved the day.

Here, there were no actors to help the story and while the movie had a few moments of ingenuity to it this book didn’t.

And I kept getting creeped out that the author used herself as a character.  I mean seriously, if I was writing a book I would not like depicting myself as a character let alone a villain.

Although, if I did have a death ray to destroy annoying book characters it might be worth it…

Zoey Redbird and Bethany Church, I am coming for you.

But seriously, can you just imagine how annoying that must’ve been writing yourself as a character, constantly referring to yourself in third person.

Keating must have felt like a house elf.

No bueno.

Also, the self grandizing  of the author character was a bit too much.  Lucy Keating made herself seem like JK freaking Rowling and while I get it was to add to the story, it came off as kind of…well, kind of annoying.

If you really are intrigued by this premises I don’t think trying this book out would kill you.  It was dull as shit but it was short too.  I was able to finish it fairly quickly-it’s not even 300 pages long.  The characters aren’t really that well formed out.  In fact, I would say the Will character in a mere caricature.   Really, the most well formed character is the dog and that’s not saying a lot for this book.

Emory Good Boy

Emory has much more development than the dog in this book.  At the very least he’s been featured on the Daily Corgi and that’s saying a lot for a corgi.

Still though, I really didn’t like this one.

Overall Rating: A C- it’s bad but it’s not like the worst thing I’ve ever read.  If you want this premises and can overlook a lot, it’s worth a try.  However, and I stress the however, you’ll have to be tolerant of paper thing characterization and blatant self inserts.


Sort of a Nightmare: Dreamology by Lucy Keating

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

Source: GoodReads

When I saw this book and its premises on GoodReads, I inwardly grimaced.    Mainly, because it could either be great or either be utterly hideous.  Or totally ridiculous like the below gif (sorry GoodReads readers, you can’t see that giffy ridiculous awesomeness unless you click on the above link-I know shameless plug.

Okay, honestly I was expecting utterly hideous.  Because I have been burnt so many times on premises like this one which might’ve been why I gave this book as much as a pass as I did.  Because while it wasn’t completely terrible, it did grate on my nerves a couple a times and the book really was slightly below average at best.

I’ll talk about what worked, there were times that this book charmed me.  Especially in the first half.  There were YA cliches that were mocked, females weren’t slut slammed, and the MC realized she as a little bit nuts about the love interest.  BUT, but all of this acknowledgment fail flat because soon the protagonist was relying on stupid cliches that have been seen in every YA book since Twilight (and probably before too, but I don’t have enough time in the world to go back to every YA book pre Twilight).

God the romance, guys.  I just…I didn’t care for it.  If Keating really wanted to twist it, I think she could’ve had the MC fall for another guy besides the one she did. I just sort of groaned when I realized that the end game was going to be a the couple that it was.  I just couldn’t ship it because there were lots of issues with this ship.  Mainly, that the MC cares very little-though she claims otherwise-that she’s pursuing a guy who has a girlfriend.  And should I mention that said girlfriend is very friendly with her.

It’s like, oh, hey random nice girl I’m going to steal your bae and you’re just going to get over it because we’re meant to be because he’s my dream boy.  Mwhwhahahaha.

That’s pretty much what happens, I don’t joke.

And the consequences of these actions are very little, to the point I’m just like okay.

Most of the fallout in this book is done with a shrug and that’s just sort of the problem with Dreamology.  Even the main plot is resolved with the location of one special character who just did what she did because she felt sorry for the two leads and…

Yeah, I was still like: well, that’s dumb.

Le sigh.

Despite all of this, I couldn’t exactly hate Dreamology.  Like I said, it tried.  It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it wasn’t terrible.  But it definitely missed the mark on a lot of things.

Like the plot, the characters were just sort of half baked as well.  Despite being in first person, I could never really connect with the main character, Alice.  While there were moments that I’d chuckle because of something she said in her narration, for the most part she was a bore.  Sure, Keating tried to give her problems, but again these problems were often swept under the floor or resolved purely for the purpose of resolving the plot.  The first one I think of on the top of my head is Alice’s issues with her mother.  The resolution is just so stupid.  I’m not going to go into details because of spoiler purposes, but wow that was just dumb and would’ve made me even more pissed and wouldn’t have resolved the issue at all.

Her father doesn’t get a pass either since he did something at the end which is sure to get him nominated for a Golden Charlie in the near future.

So, Dreamology, it’s not terrible.  It’s surely not the best either.  But it’s not exactly the failure that I was worried it would be.  I think if you want a light read and you like the idea of dreams playing a role in YA plots, you might like this one.  Be forewarned the romance will grate on your nerves a bit and it uses a lot of YA cliches-and even though it mocks these cliches, it doesn’t really use these ideas to it’s fullest.  But…but…it’s a nice enough quick read.

Overall Rating: C+