Annabelle (AB) is a highly organized, borderline control freak, high school senior who is dealing with a major disruption in her life. Her parents just announced they are divorcing and selling the only home she has ever known. Elliott, her older brother’s band mate and long time family friend, seems to be the only one to understand AB despite their long history of mutual irritation with each other. Meanwhile, in her writing class, a guest author, Lucy Keating, describes a book she is writing and it happens to fit AB’s life to detail. AB stops her after class and Lucy does admit that she IS writing her life, but not to worry because she is departing from her sad and tragic novels to a ‘happy-ending’ story. Sure enough, new transfer student, Will strolls into AB’s life and becomes instantly enamored with AB. Will is absolutely perfect for her. But she finds herself also drawn to Elliott, her polar opposite. Lucy Keating wants to avoid her usual love triangle plot line so her writing makes things difficult for Elliott to pursue AB. Still Elliott perseveres. Fed up, AB and Will, who also realizes the absence of free will, confront author Lucy Keating and demand control of their lives.
While reading, I kept comparing this to screenwriter Zach Helms’ 2006 release film Stranger than Fiction. That storyline was much better – plot, characters, story arcs – much better and significantly more depth all around. Literally is a much shorter story so that level of development should not be expected. For the teen reader not familiar with the movie, Literally, is a unique offering so that it should be popular. The writing advances the story at a good pace. Explanations of writing elements, character development, plot devices, etc. are a nice benefit to the reader/writer. Good for the teen looking for a light-hearted and rather quick read, sprinkled with a bit of romance.
eGalley review Publication date 4.11.17