Sharp and subversive, this delightfully messy YA rom-com offers a sly wink to the classic Little Women, as teenage Jo Porter rebels against living in the shadow of her literary namesake.
Lit’s about to hit the fan. Jo Porter has had enough Little Women to last a lifetime. As if being named after the sappiest family in literature wasn’t sufficiently humiliating, Jo’s mom, ahem Marmee, leveled up her Alcott obsession by turning their rambling old house into a sad-sack tourist attraction.
Now Jo, along with her siblings, Meg and Bethamy (yes, that’s two March sisters in one), spends all summer acting out sentimental moments at Little Women Live!, where she can feel her soul slowly dying.
So when a famed photojournalist arrives to document the show, Jo seizes on the glimpse of another life: artsy, worldly, and fast-paced. It doesn’t hurt that the reporter’s teenage son is also eager to get up close and personal with Jo—to the annoyance of her best friend, aka the boy next door (who is definitely not called Laurie). All Jo wants is for someone to see the person behind the prickliness and pinafores.
But when she gets a little too real about her frustration with the family biz, Jo will have to make peace with kitsch and kin before their livelihood suffers a fate worse than Beth.
Amanda Sellet is fond of silly jokes, large bodies of water, dessert at least once a day, and stories of all kinds. A former journalist, Amanda is the author of By the Book: A Novel of Prose and Cons. She currently lives in Kansas with her family.
With a little grit and a lot of wit and humor, Amanda Sellet dives deep into what it means for a teen to both live up to and strain against expectations, while navigating the challenges of forging one’s own path in life. Jo’s experiences manage to be delightfully outlandish yet perfectly authentic. Belittled Women is a pitch-perfect homage to the messy-yet-loving chaos of family life. — Megan Bannen, author of The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy
Belittled Women is not just for fans of Little Women—it’s also for those of us who love a book featuring a rebellious, smart protagonist, a rustic, charming setting, and prose that makes us literally laugh out loud. Jo is a lovable and hilarious heroine, and readers will also fall in love with her family, her hometown, and her journey to figure out exactly who she is and what she wants. — Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, author of Pura Belpré Award–winning How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe
If Nora Roberts wrote a YA Little Women retelling, this would be it. Brimming with effortless banter set against a satisfying slow-burn romance, Belittled Women is the very definition of a romantic comedy. Hilarious from page one, Amanda Sellet draws us into Jo Porter’s waking nightmare: the never-ending carousel of life in a literal Little Women reenactment at her mother’s roadside Kansas attraction. Living under the weight of her alternate life portraying “Book Jo” and her family’s expectations, our Jo can’t wait to bust free, but what’s holding her back might be what’s been holding her together all this time. — Sarah Henning, author of Throw Like a Girl and It's All in How You Fall
I loved this wry, witty, raucous take on Little Women. Sellet nails the absurdity, love, and occasional brawls of sisterhood. The Porters are a boisterous delight. — Jessica Spotswood, author of Great or Nothing
"More of a “what if” than a retelling, this novel will interest fans of the original but will also appeal to teens who are looking to be the weavers of their own tales, clobber their bratty sister a bit, and savor the "almost" moments with the cute boy next door. With quick, breezy prose and relatable dialogue, the Porter sisters may not rival the Marches, but they leave their own mark." — ALA Booklist