Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blog Tour & Review | Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Dear Mr. Knightley 
by Katherine Reay
Christian Fiction / Contemporary
Available November 2013
Thomas Nelson
336 pages

About the Book
Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Growing up orphaned and alone, Sam found her best friends in the works of Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The problem is that she now relates to others more comfortably as Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre than as herself.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in the things we care about most.

But life for this twenty-three-year-old is about to get stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself “Mr. Knightley”) offers to put Sam through the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s program and peers force her to confront her past, she finds safety in her increasingly personal letters to Mr. Knightley. And when Sam meets eligible, best-selling novelist Alex Powell, those letters unfold a story of love and literature that feels as if it’s pulled from her favorite books. But when secrets come to light, Sam is – once again – made painfully aware of how easily trust can be broken.

Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

My Thoughts
This review was due in November. My apologies to the author, publisher, and publicist for the delay in posting.

Let me preface this review by saying that I didn't initially like this book. In fact, after reading the first 50 pages, I was ready to DNF it (in other words, not finish it). It wasn't that the book was badly written—it wasn't. It's just that I really had a hard time connecting with the main character. Weird, right? Since the main character is a bookish nerd ... just like yours truly! But I'm clueless when it comes to Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters, and I've never read Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice. Sam (the main character) loves her some bookish quotes, and I just wasn't getting it. So I started scouring other reviews to see if anyone else agreed with me. Much to my surprise, I realized that 99% of the reviews were positive. And ALL of my blogger friends who have similar reading tastes to me LOVED it. Like, seriously gushed over it. So what's a girl to do? A few people mentioned that things really picked up around page 100, so I skipped ahead. (Yes ... I nearly died. I'm a "read every page" kind of a gal.)

And. I. Loved. It!

Katherine Reay is an extremely talented author! She took a simple romance story and gave it a twist by telling almost the entire story through a series of one-sided letters. By the end, I was wondering, "How in the world did she do that?" Once I connected with Sam, I literally could not put the book down. Even though the majority of the letters are from Sam, they really do tell a complete story.

The friendships that develop throughout this book are just beautiful. This is more than a romance. It's a great story! Sam learns from and grows because of her relationships with people ... actual people, not just books. And it's a beautiful thing.

Dear Mr. Knightley certainly taught me about giving a book a second chance! (And to top it all off, she's inspired me to give some of those old classics a second chance too!) I'm so glad I finished this book! (And don't worry ... I went back and read the pages I skipped over!) Katherine Reay has a bright future ahead, and I'm anxiously awaiting her next book! [4 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in Focus on the Family and the Upper Room. Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. Dear Mr. Knightley is her first novel.

Katherine Reay Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter


  1. I'm so glad to hear that u liked the book. The plot sounds interesting to me, so thanks for adding another title to my ever growing TBR pile. I'm also proud that u stuck w/ it because after 50 pages I definitely would have made it a DNF.

  2. So funny! Because I had a similar reaction, except that I probably connected a little sooner and didn't skip pages. This book made my "best of 2013" list and I still don't see how she did it with the simple letter-writing format!

  3. I havent read this one yet, it sounds interesting!
    Im a new twitter and bloglovin follower!

  4. I love these comments and I thank you SO MUCH for sticking the with story. My construct was the problem -- but it felt right so I never wavered. How do you get a young woman to open up quickly, and write deeply personal letters, when everything within her refuses to do just that?

    Thank you for the lovely review and for your perseverance -- Promise, the next book only has one letter… and a short note :)


I love comments! Thanks for letting me know what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


(in)courage (in)mercy 1 star 12 Pearls of Christmas 12 Pearls of Christmas 2012 12 Pearls of Christmas 2013 2 star 2 stars 2.5 stars 2012 Review 3 stars 3.5 stars 4 stars 4.5 stars 5 Minute Friday 5 stars A Year of Weddings Abingdon Press Advent Announcements ARC August Author B-H Books Banned Books Week Barbour Publishing BBAW 2012 beauty Bethany House Blitz Blog Action Day blog hop Blog Mooch Blog Tour Blogaversary Blogging Blogging for Change Blogside Chat Book Blast Book Club Book Trailer Thursday Bout of Books Bout of Books 11.0 Bout of Books 13.0 Bout of Books 7.0 Bout of Books 8.0 Bout of Books 9.0 Brookes Faves celebration Center Street CFBA challenge accepted Character Meet and Greet Charisma Media Children's Christian Speaker Services christianaudio Christmas Christy Awards Clean Sweet community Compassion Compassion Blog Month Contemporary Countdown to Christmas Cover Love Cover Reveal Dani Pettrey David C. Cook Devotion Devotional DiAnn Mills DNF Easter Egg Blog Hop End of Summer Read-A-Thon Etsy Events Faith Words Fall Into Reading 2012 FB Chat Fiction FIRST Food Freebies Friday Five Getting To Know You Giveaway Giveaway Hop Glass Road PR goals Grand Finale Great Escapes Guest Blogger Guideposts Books Harlequin Heartwarming Harvest House High Summer Read-A-Thon Historical home goods Hope International Howard Books If the Shoe Fits Influenster Inspired Design Publications Jody Hedlund Jolly VoxBox Just for Fun Kenya Kregel Publications Literacy Read-A-Thon LitFuse Publicity Looking Ahead Love for Books Love Inspired Mailbox Fun Month in Review Moody Publishers Mother of Pearl Mother of Pearl 2013 Movie Music NavPress Net Galley New Hope Publishers New Leaf Publishers New Release Feature Non-Fiction Operation Christmas Child pinterest pray pray for the horn Prism Book Tours Promo Random Random House Random Question RCCleanup read-a-thon Reading Cram reflections Reformation Trust Release Day Retirement Community Revell Review in Haiku River North Road to the Christys Road Trip Romance Samaritan's Purse Sandra Byrd Sandra D Bricker Sandra Leesmith scripture Secret Church shutterfly snacks Snappy Reviews Sneak Peek Spring Break '11 Spring Reading Thing SSMT SSMT 2013 Sterling Summer Lovin' Read-A-Thon summer reading Summerside Press Susan May Warren Suspense Take a Chance on Me Tamera Alexander Tanzania Teaser Tuesday Tens List The B-B Media Group The Story Behind the Story The Travel Bug The Word Thomas Nelson Thursday 3 Top 10 Top Picks Top Ten Tuesday Trailer Tricia Goyer Tyndale House Waiting on Wednesday WaterBrook Multnomah webcast WestBow Press What Are You Reading What's Next Whitaker House WinePress Publishing World Watch List WWW Wednesdays YA Young Adult Zondervan
Powered by Blogger.