Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Carly Keene, Literary Detective Braving the Brontes by Katherine Rue

Spunky young Alaskan Carly Keene and her best friend Francesca have never met a book they didn't like. But they've never been in a book before.
Carly Keene: Braving the Brontes is the funny and heartwarming story of a young reader caught up in the adventure of a book lover's lifetime. A chance nap in a magical bookstore sends Carly spiraling back in time. When she wakes up, it's 1846, everyone thinks her name is Caroline, and a young woman named Charlotte Bronte is trying to compose one of the greatest books ever written... Jane Eyre.
And that's not all. Maria, the spirit of the Bronte sisters' dead sibling, is haunting Carly, telling her that Charlotte's got to finish her book--or else.
With literary history on the line, Carly Keene will battle foggy moors, ghostly apparitions, cholera epidemics, and the horror that is nineteenth-century homework: needlework, French, needlework, German, and more needlework. It's as much as a spunky 21st-century girl can handle, but if anyone can brave the Brontes, it's Carly Keene.

I've never really been interested in reading Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, but after reading this book, I might reconsider.

In Carly Keene, Literary Detective Braving the Brontes, Carly is a young girl who suddenly finds herself in 1846 with Charlotte Bronte as her governess. At first, Carly is having fun but things get sticky when she finds out just what she has to do to get back home.

I don't know how accurate the portrayal of the sisters' personalities are, but it sure helped me remember who wrote which book. It also helped me remember their pen names. Carly hasn't read the sisters' books, either, but she seems well-versed in a lot of other books, particularly ones like The Chronicles of Narnia, so she more or less knew what she had to do to survive.

Reading the book, I felt that a lot of research went into trying to keep things as historically accurate as possible. However, when it came to language and slang used, I had no idea if the words used were proper for the time frame.

My only quibble with this book was though it started out strong, by the time it got to the climax and the lead-up to the resolution, it got a little too close to "fanfiction territory". That is, it went a little too dramatic and contrived. Thankfully, the rest of the book was promising and the next book should be quite interesting too, if it follows a similar format.

Thanks to NetGalley and In This Together Media for the e-ARC. Publication date of Carly Keene, Literary Detective Braving the Brontes is on May 1, 2014.


  1. The Bronte sisters seem interesting.
  2. The premise isn't new but the book doesn't feel derivative.
  3. You really get a feel for the time. 


  1. There were moments that got a tad too dramatic. 

"No!" cried Carly again. "You can't! I don't care if it's historically accurate! It's not scientific!"

  1. You're a fan of the Bronte sisters' novels.
  2. You like novels wherein characters are sent to the world of certain books.
  3. You like reading books set in the 1800s. 



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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