Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon ~ 328 pages ~ published 3/6/18 by Blink/Harper Collins
Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.
Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.
Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for her herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.
What I Thought:
I’m going to be honest with y’all, I’ve never read Oliver Twist. But, when I saw that this was a retelling with the opposite gender, I was immediately intrigued. I was so excited when I saw that this was the book that came in my May Once Upon a Bookclub box, and I couldn’t wait to get started on it.
First, I want to just sing Lorie Langdon’s praises. I absolutely loved her writing style. It was so easy, effortless, and had such a wonderful flow. I really was going to stick with the reading schedule suggested by the people over at OUaB, but it was too good! I had to keep reading! I love reading books where it just feels like a joy to read, rather than an exercise in forcing myself to do something that is supposed to be good for me. Also, the research that Langdon obviously devoted so much time to was so appreciated!!
I absolutely loved the character of Olivia. I found her charming, witty, and strong. She is such a great role model for young girls. I really hope that this book will get into so many teen and pre-teen hands if only so that these girls will see (1) that you can be smart and beautiful and strong, all at the same time, and (2) that historical fiction is so much fun!!
I also really enjoyed the gender reversal of making Oliver into Olivia. I honestly could see Dickens’ original Oliver being a girl in disguise. That is how great this book was. ❤️
And, the relationship between Olivia and Jack. 😍 I just wanted more. More of Jack. More of their relationship. I would totally read a sequel (hint, hint, nudge, nudge Ms. Langdon 😉 )
I gave Olivia Twist 5 STARS. It was such a cute retelling – thoroughly engaging and heart-warming. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and a sweet, clean romance.
***I originally gave this book 4 Stars…but I’m not sure why. In the process of writing this review, I kept thinking, “Why did I only give this 4 stars?” So, I changed it!!***
Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!
I received my copy of Olivia Twist from the May Once Upon a Bookclub box! I had never tried this particular subscription box before, but I found the concept to be incredibly intriguing. The idea is that you read the book and, on specified pages, you open the gifts included in the box on the pages they correspond to. Each gift is something that will go along with the story at that particular point in the book. I thought this was brilliant, and a great way to make you feel even more involved in the story you are reading.
Once Upon A Bookclub: Young Adult Box – May
So, once I unboxed everything, I started reading the book on the schedule that the people over at Once Upon a Bookclub suggested. This proved to be too slow for me, so I went at my own pace. But, I still opened each gift on the specified page. It was definitely a more immersive experience, which I enjoyed. I will be honest though…the quality of the gifts was a little bit disappointing. The quality was pretty cheap. While they went along with the story very well, they were not items that I would have ever picked up and chosen to bring into my home otherwise.
I did enjoy the reading experience that the Young Adult Once Upon a Bookclub box afforded me, but I’m not sure if I would get another one. I might potentially try out the Adult version at some point though, just to see if the quality is any better.
Have you read Olivia Twist? Are you a fan of historical fiction? Have you ever received a box from Once Upon a Bookclub? What did you think of it? Let me know down in the comments!
Love and happy reading,