Thursday, February 18, 2016

"a little in love" by susan e. fletcher

It's no secret that I am totally, completely, 100% in love with Les Miserables. The musical, not the book. Never read the book, just an abridged version with one of my ESL classes, though I plan to remedy that this year as part of the MMD 2016 reading challenge I'm doing with my family. (Truly? I'll be reading it for the "a book that intimidates you" category—'cause that thing is a beast!) Anyway, I'm also in love with adaptations of famous novels, so A Little in Love, a retelling of Eponine's story, sounded like a lot of fun to me. And it is ... basically.

Inspired by Victor Hugo's classic, Les Miserables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine.

Paris, 1832

A girl lies alone in the darkness, clutching a letter to her heart.

Eponine remembers being a child: her swing and the peach tree, and the baby brother she loved. But mostly she remembers being miserable. Taught to lie and cheat, and to hate the one girl, Cosette, who might have been her friend.

Now, at sixteen, the two girls meet again, and Eponine has one more chance. But what is the price of friendship--the love of a boy?

A Little in Love takes Eponine's tale and expands it. (Well, I'm assuming it expands it. At least, it expands it beyond what's in the musical.) Eponine is the oldest daughter of the Thenardiers, who are mean, thieving innkeepers. Though she has a good heart, her parents force her to lie, steal, and be mean to Cosette, a girl who comes to live with them. As time passes, Cosette is rescued by Jean Valjean, and Eponine's life just gets worse and worse.

When the family ends up in Paris, Eponine meets and (nearly instantly) falls in love with Marius ... who happens to fall in love with Cosette, who lives in splendor with Valjean. Eponine's choices lead to the book's heartbreaking end, which is no surprise to anyone familiar with either the novel or the musical.

Overall, A Little in Love is an enjoyable read. While it takes place in a rough setting, it's very easy to read, and the horrible things Eponine witnesses are not described in too much detail. Fans of Les Miserables, at least the ones who also enjoy YA lit, will appreciate this adaptation; YA fans who are unfamiliar with the source material will have no trouble following along.

As an adult, I may disagree that Eponine was actually in love with Marius (and instead call it infatuation or even obsession), but I well remember how those feelings of infatuation can be confused for love, especially when you're a hormonal teenager! This fits well in the YA market (and it is much more appropriate for teens than many of the genre's offerings), and if it interests someone new in Les Miserables, well then all the better! 4 stars.

Buy the book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product free for review from through its Vine reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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