by Susan Fletcher
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Chicken House (August 25, 2015)
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Inspired by Victor Hugo's classic, Les Miserables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine.
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?
I love retellings. I want to read them all...as long as I'm familiar with the original. A Little in Love happens to be a retelling of Eponine's story from Les Misérables. It covers her entire life, all the way to her final scene. The title is a little tribute to Eponine's tragic yet beautiful moment with the boy she loves. My fangirl heart can't handle so much beauty.
I love that this novel starts off by giving the reader a glimpse at Eponine's final scene. This approach is great at catching your attention, especially if you're not familiar with the novel or the play. It acts as a big neon sign that says "Beware: Lots of Feels Ahead." If you do know the story, then it reminds you that Les Misérables is no picnic. Just in case you don't remember that (which you do because you're probably traumatized for life).
My only concern with retellings is that most don't feel innovative enough. What I want to get out of it is this: the story I know and love PLUS a little something special. A Little in Love has that extra something that makes it unique. The original is so beautiful yet incredibly heartbreaking and this delicate balance makes an appearance in the retelling. Susan Fletcher doesn't take away from the story; she adds to it. Whew.
Whether you are a fan of the original or not, A Little in Love is a must read. This exquisite novel features the timeless characters we all love (or love to hate...or just plain hate) with the addition of a marvelous new voice. You can't ask for more.