Literally by Lucy Keating

Afire Pages 10 Things literally book review


Title: Literally

Author: Lucy Keating

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publishing Date: April 11, 2017

Format: ARC

Number of Pages: 256

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy


A girl realizes her life is being written for her in this unique, smart love story that is Stranger Than Fiction for fans of Stephanie Perkins.

Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine.

It turns out, Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her.

But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word?

The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance blurs the line between reality and fiction, and is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut Dreamology, which SLJ called, “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.”



The idea of this book was really cool but the execution of it was really not that satisfying. I had a love-hate relationship with this one.

Annabelle Burns was the type of girl who loves being in control of everything. She likes everything in place and according to plan. But suddenly, things in her life began slipping out of her control. And one day, she just found out that her life was being written by a popular YA author she first met in school. Everything in her life suddenly felt like they were now uncontrollable.

Reading the synopsis of this book, I was really excited because it sounded really cool (plus the cover is so pretty as well!) And it was written by the author who wrote Dreamology which is also a book I’ve been dying to read! So when HarperCollins International sent me an ARC, I was so excited! (Thank you again, HC_Intl!)

Okay, so I want to talk about the things I didn’t like first. First is Annabelle, the female main character. Annabelle was really not the character I personally liked. Her character was weakly written right from the very beginning. I didn’t see anything special in her that should make me feel connected with her. Her actions and decisions even made me face palm, roll my eyes or just shake my head sometimes. There wasn’t just enough reason that I saw in this book for me to like her.

Second, was the wasted opportunity. I don’t like how the opportunity for this book to be so great was just wasted. The idea was so cool but the execution was not what I had expected. It was just like any other contemporary novels that are fun to read and you will really enjoy but will not leave something for you to not forget it. This could be something more. This book could be something unforgettable – it really has the potential – given the idea it has. But sadly, it wasn’t executed excellently.

And third – the last but not the least – is that plot twist. I really had a trouble comprehending this part of the story. I don’t know if I just missed something or what but that’s REALLY CONFUSING. When Annabelle’s world was put inside a drawer because Lucy Keating finally stopped writing about her, then Annabelle thought of writing her own story, I do not understand if what happened next were all still written. If this time, it was all Annabelle’s work instead. Because apparently, she and her world was already put aside into a drawer. So that CONFIRMS that she and her world were just fictional. But then suddenly, she’s already alive and everything seemed like have been back to normal. But it wasn’t still not clear to me if what were happening were already real or not because her world was already put aside into a drawer then her world came into life again just because she started writing it using the pen she found on that same drawer where she and everything were put inside. BUT at the end of the book she said that she’s already happy because she knows that there is no Lucy Keating anymore who’ll write and control her life. So, when she and her world came back to life again, that might mean that it’s because ANNABELLE IS NOW THE ONE WRITING IT, RIGHT? But she said that her life will not be in control and be in any fictional work of anyone anymore – especially Elliot’s feelings for her – because Lucy Keating already stopped. But if there’s NO LUCY KEATING anymore, and given that she’s the one writing her own story now, WHY did she said that they were all now out of anyone’s fictional world and their feelings and thoughts are now not being in control by someone IF SHE’ THE ONE WRITING IT? I mean, it can’t possibly be that she’s not writing it or anyone because it was CONFIRMED THAT THEY WERE FICTIONAL. If they were not being written again, they all should be still in a drawer collecting dusts. Right? Did I make sense? I was really confused in this part. I was like:


But on the other side, here are the things I liked in this book. First, we get to learn some things about writing, publishing and other things about books. Anna’s father was a writer and so does Anna. But Anna doesn’t like fiction. She’s good in writing but as long as what she’s writing about was real and not just made from imagination. The book was set for a couple of times on Anna’s Creative Writing class so there was where they talked about everything about books and writing and publishing and I definitely LOVED that. I mean, as a bookworm WHY NOT? This is what we’re all living for. This aspect of the book really got me. I’ve learned things about writing and publishing. And I am just really eager to learn more!

Second, is the love triangle. I cannot say that I am really a fan of the triangle occurred but I still really enjoyed that part – definitely not because of Anna – but because I like both the boys in this triangle. They made me feel giddy and I just love their characters. One was like too perfect or too good to be true for Anna while the other was like the opposite. So this made Anna had a very hard time choosing.

And lastly, I think the ultimate reason I like this book aside from the things I just mentioned was that it’s really fun to read and it’s a page-turner. I actually read it in just one sitting. I love books that makes me want to read them all day and never put it down. And this one is one of those books. It was a fast-paced read and everything went fast but smooth.

And I love Lucy Keating’s writing style. She writes just so entertainingly despite not meeting all of my expectations.




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Lucy lives in San Francisco, California. She grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, attended Williams College in the Berkshires, and still misses the East Coast very much.

When she’s not writing, Lucy can usually be found obsessing over the latest music, inventing new flavors of ice cream, or having what she feels are perfectly acceptable conversations with her dog, Ernie.

Find her on:



Barnes & Noble | Amazon

*A huge thanks to HarperCollins International for providing me an ARC in exchange of an honest review. The ARC received by any means didn’t affect nor influence my review.


9 thoughts on “Literally by Lucy Keating

  1. I loooove this idea! I had a similar one a while back, but never ended up writing it, maybe I should! It’s a shame that it didn’t turn out as nicely as you had hoped, but I’m glad you liked some parts of it. I’m kind of surprised that you liked the love triangle. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, I just usually don’t like them and I know a couple of other bloggers who don’t either. It seems like it turned out fairly alright since you would still suggest it, so that’s good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like love triangles either because it was just the most clichè of them all. But sometimes, it depends on the characters involved for me. And in this book, I find it hard to choose between the two guys despite their huge differences – which appeared interesting for me. That’s why I liked it. 😂 Yep! Despite disappointing me because of some reasons, it was still a fun read. Thanks for dropping by, by the way! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yas! Even though you don’t like the one in the middle of the triangle like what happened to me here. 😂 That’s why characters just really have to be great or at least likeable.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I think for the books that are plot driven some authors just fail on her/his characters and maybe some other parts too (?) 😂 I just notice it on some. Like, can’t they just make every aspect of this book great? I know writing a book is definitely not easy but if they put that much effort on creating that unique and impressive plot, I hope they also put the same efforts on the characters 😂 Hope I’m making sense

      Liked by 1 person

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