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Book Notes: Georgie, All Along

To end February, Becca and I wanted to read and chat about Georgie, All Along, a new romance from Kate Clayborn, one of my favorite authors in the genre!

When Georgie Mulcahy finds herself unexpectedly unemployed from her PA job in L.A., she retreats to her hometown of Darentville, Virginia. Her immediate plan is house-sitting for her parents and helping her pregnant best friend baby-proof her house. But really Georgie is trying to figure out what direction her life should take next. Not an easy task when she has no clue what she wants, only how to organize the lives of others. Or when her parents double-book house sitters and Georgie ends up with handsomely taciturn Levi Fanning as her reluctant roommate, along with his adorable rescue dog, Hank. When she finds an old journal from her middle school days, filled with fictional musings of perfect high school days and dates with dreamy boyfriends, Georgie decides to use it to go on some adventures and maybe find herself along the way. Levi surprisingly offers to help and in the process Georgie gets to know the sweet (and quite sexy) side to a guy the whole town has written off.

Lori: Becca, so fun to read this with you! What were your first thoughts?

Becca: First, I loved that Kate (the author) didn't lean too heavily into the miscommunication trope. I appreciate it so much. Having a misunderstanding be the central conflict, where the girl sees the guy with another girl and just assumes things and they never talk about it drives me insane. Georgie and Levi, on the other hand, act like adults. They take a few steps back, breathe and regroup, and then they communicate. I love it.

Lori: In every Kate Clayborn romance I’ve read, she is so good about giving her characters a depth that goes beyond the tropes. They are flawed human beings doing their best with where they are, usually with some emotional scars in their backstory. She never takes the easy way out with her plot lines. This is just one of the reasons I love her novels. Her characters are always three-dimensional. And she puts them in some interesting situations too.

Becca: Like how Georgie heads back to her hometown and immediately runs into all of the opinions that people had of her when she was in high school? How well do you think she handled that? What would you have done in her place?

Lori: I think in the beginning it’s really hard for Georgie to separate out what other people think of her and what she thinks of herself. To make a conscious choice to not let their opinions influence her. In a way, Levi has to go on a similar journey. He’s let other people, namely his dad, define him based on who he was in his younger years. Now he’s so conscious of not giving anyone a reason to think he’s like he’d been in the past. Speaking as a person who does work in the same town where I went to high school, and regularly runs into old classmates, what comes up most for me is the reminder that I’m not that person anymore. Which is kind of where both Georgie and Levi land in the end. But it’s also interesting that Georgie goes back to something from high school to help her figure out her next steps.

Becca: I personally love the way she kick-starts figuring out what she wants from life. I think it's such a fun idea, to go back and do things from her high school "fic", or bucket list. Do you think that was what allowed her to get to the point where she's okay with who she is?

Lori: I do. I think since she feels so lost and blank in the beginning, it was helpful for her to revisit some of the things she thought could happen in high school, even as she recognizes they are over the top. I liked her attitude going into it, not necessarily expecting firm answers, just wanting to get back to a place where she had some imagination for her future. And it turns out to be what reconnects her to who she is at her core.

Becca: Yes, Georgie's flightiness and inability to plan for the future, which everyone sees as a quirky bad habit, ends up being her saving grace. I love that she turned that “flaw” on its head and comes to accept it as a special part of who she is. So much of life is people asking you what you're going to do next.

Lori: So true.

Becca: It's nice to see a character who doesn't have it all planned out, and to have that shown as being okay. You don't always need to know what your next step is. Lori: Such an unexpected conclusion for Georgie to reach, and one I love for her as well! As much as romance is about the happy ending, it was so refreshing that Georgie didn’t have her life tied up in a bow at the end.

Any romance readers should be sure to add Georgie, All Along to their TBR’s!

— Lori & Becca