Thursday, June 22, 2017

ARC Review : Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Title : Seeking Mansfield
Author : Kate Watson
Genre : YA contemporary, retelling
Release Date : May 16th, 2017
Publisher : Flux


Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend, the Bertram's son Oliver. If she could just take Oliver's constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she'd finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater. 

When teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move next door to the Bertram's, they immediately set their sights on Oliver and his cunning sister, Juliette, shaking up Finley and Oliver's stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Harlan finds his attention shifting from Juliette to the quiet, enigmatic, and thoroughly unimpressed Finley. Out of boredom, Harlan decides to make her fall in love with him. Problem is, the harder he seeks to win her, the harder he falls for her. 

But Finley doesn't want to be won, and she doesn't want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver's heart—and keep her own—she'll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.

*I receive an ARC via Netgalley in exchange of honest review. Thank you Flux Books for the book!

I have to admit, I requested this one on a whim because it sounds cute and I'm a sucker for retelling (even if I haven't read the real books). I don't really have any expectations other than I just want to enjoy it. But this book turns to be pretty good, despite the love triangles, and I end up devour it in less than a day.

Why I Like Seeking Mansfield

+It's a retelling! Okay, I know I already mentioned it, but I just want to say it again. Seeking Mansfield is a retelling of Mansfield Park, based on what I read on wikipedia, it's pretty similar with the original. Finley is obviously Fanny, Oliver is Edmund, and Harlan and Emma Crawford is Henry and Mary Crawford.
+The characters' development. At the beginning, Finley suffers from PTSD due to traumatic past caused by her mother. Which is why she kept telling herself that she's not good enough and let people (in this case, Nora aka Aunt Norris) judge and mock her. She believe she deserves it. But throughout the book, she gradually try to speak up more, and try to overcome her past. I'm not saying she's completely 'healed' by the end of the book because I don't think she is, but I do think she's better.
+The feels. This one is a little vague, but what I mean with feels is not a romance feels, but rather, the feels I got while I'm reading this book, especially in Finley's POV. I don't have PTSD, but I could relate with Finley when she thinks she's not good enough, because sometimes I feel that way too. Not gonna lie, some of her thoughts almost made me cry because it's just that deep and voice what I sometimes feels.
+Dual POVs. This book is told from Finley and Oliver POVs. It's pretty rare for a contemporary books to have dual POVs, which is why I like it. Even if Oliver's POV is kinda bland, but I love knowing his thoughts.
+The theater aspects. It's not the main focus here, but I love reading about it. I've never watch an actual theater in real life (as far as I know, there's none here), but it's on my bucket-list!

Why I (kinda) Dislike Seeking Mansfield

+The love-triangles thingy. Okay, this is actually more like a "me" problem. If you know me, I'm easily swayed when it comes to shipping people. Which is why I dislike love triangles since I usually ship back and forth between love interest A and love interest B and end up shipping no one because I'm tired with both. Same with this book. At first, I obviously ship Finley and Ollie because it's best-friend to romance and because we all know she's gonna end up with him (it's a retelling, after all). But then Harlan comes, and despite being a class-A jerk, I think he genuinely likes her that I couldn't help but ship them. Even if I know it won't end well. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy both of romantic scenes here, but it's making me torn since I still feel like shipping both ships, and I dislike being torn.

Overall, I would recommend Seeking Mansfield, especially if you're a retelling fan! Mansfield Park retelling is pretty rare (this is the first that I read), and it's pretty good and addictive. I'll still read the next book.


  1. This sounds like a really cute book! I don't mind love triangles too much - if it's done right, that is XD

    1. Then I think you'd enjoy this one! :)

  2. I totally agree with you on this one! I flew through it in less than a day-- all of the *~drama~* and the love triangle and such kept me super invested. I also felt conflicted on the love triangle! I think I kinda prefer Harlan?? And I thought his general douche-iness at the end felt really out of character. Regardless, I thought this was a great Austen retelling.

    1. Yes, it was entertaining! I kept switching back and forth between Oliver and Harlan that I didn't know which one I'd choose xD But yes, I think the "cheating" felt off and that it's just there so Fanny could go back to Oliver.

  3. I thought this book was adorable, and Watson did a good job capturing the entanglements of the original story while giving it a modern flair. Great review!
    Sam @ WLABB

    1. Yes, I agree with you! Glad you also enjoyed this one :)


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