52 thoughts on “I Read Dearest Josephine So You Don’t Have To // book roasts, vol. 2

  1. You’ve probably gotten this a million times, but your posts are hilarious with just the right amount of crazy wisdom! XD
    I agree with your pronouncement, although I don’t think I could make it through a book like that…. *cringes* just the snippets make me shudder.

    (Your personal grudge against romance 😂😂.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Crazy wisdom” makes me sound like Radagast, which I will gladly accept. 😆

      The only way to get through a cringey book with your sanity still intact is to pretend it’s satire. Makes everything so much easier. 😏


  2. Haven’t read this, but I’m sure you’ll be happy to know none of the ladies in my romance stories want a career in fashion.

    (I don’t think any of them want a career, actually – they pretty much become homemakers which you don’t see a lot of nowadays in fiction)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. One actually marries a man with a woodworking business…and now that I think of it, maybe she’ll learn a little bit of that. 😉

        Oh goodness that could lead to some super sappy cute scenes with them. xD

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fun fact: stottie cake is a type of bread from Northeast England, which has a heavy, dough-like texture (once baked…because obviously it has a dough-like texture when it’s dough), and are eaten in halves and filled with things such as – you guessed it – ham.

    And I know you read it some I didn’t have to…but I really want to now. If only to join you in roasting it. Which I probably will, because I *hate* YA and I’m the target audience. *groans*

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Okay, now I want to try that.

      (Let’s be honest, the reaaaaal target audience of YA isn’t actual young adults. It’s emotionally unstable 25+ year old women. We’re just a means to an end.)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Same.

        (Truest words written. I now challenge us all to write a YA book…for ACTUAL young adults. Who are emotionally stable, of course.)


  4. You should challenge your readers to write stories in genres you typically hate, but in a way that you might actually like. That would be a genuine challenge, and one I think worth accepting.
    (I shall now go away and start thinking/working on that romance novel I’ve been thinking of writing that is real feeling and not pathetic, taking this whole post as the challenge I think it should be.)

    But I loved the post, though I can’t say it made me want to read the book. I am not generally into Romance novels either (I’ve lasted a good 24 years staying away from them) but being married can change your perspective a bit, so we’ll see.

    (Stephen laughed when I told him about your new motto. He approves. He doesn’t know you…yet…so take that as you will.) XD


  5. Now I feel better for disliking it for all the reasons you mentioned. Honestly this roast nearly had me cackling. I kept the book solely for the good lines every now and then, but couldn’t stand the premise. I read it solely for Oliver. But knowing the author from her IG a lot of the story makes sense as in why she wrote it, not because of historical accuracy *cough*

    Liked by 4 people

    1. BLESSED SOLIDARITY. I have a weird tendency to hate popular fiction, so it’s always nice to know others have the same opinion. 😅 I don’t know anything about the author, so I share Lillian’s curiosity in why she wrote it.


  6. “Oh, what a loathsome bother it is to be hot…” *snorts with laughter* The protagonist and love interest (or two. or three.) of every standard YA novel ever.

    (Please do not stop with the book roasts anytime soon. They are glorious.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. *breathes deeply and drops the pitchfork*
    On this, dear soul, we shall have to be forever at odds. While Dearest Josephine did have its faults, I adored it and always will. I honestly find some of your criticizing comments rather over-harsh… to some, YES, changing from mall shopping to online thrifting is a big change. Ham and whatsit cakes WERE a big deal because in that day it would have been a ginormous sight to serve something menial to a guest. If I may be blunt, I believe that in the same way you criticize her for being over dramatic about stuff that would be normal to us plebeians, might not your view of her be skewed and too critical because you don’t know what it’s like to be a raised wealthier, prestigious school, caught in longing for romance girl?
    I agree with you on Elias… he is over dramatic and possessed with a limp noodle spirit. However… I don’t think a nap would fix it. I honestly think he was clinically depressed, that there was something truly mentally wrong with him, thus the unhealthy coping mechanisms and ennui. Maybe it just seems like melodrama because we don’t ever see stories of people 200 years ago having true depression. Mental illnesses were not known or handled well in ages past. But I take that part of his life in stride because of the end. I take Josephine’s moody reticence and dramatic emails in stride because of the end. Because THEY CHANGE. Elias falls in love for real and marries happily, pulling himself of by the bootstraps and getting over his crush on a woman he talked to for a night. Josie found closure, shook herself from her daydream life, and fell for the REAL best character ever, Oliver. (WHO IS AMAZING AND THE BEST AND IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOK BOYFRIENDS BECAUSE CORGIS BECAUSE KNITTING CLUB BECAUSE MOTORCYCLE AND BECAUSE HE WAS THERE FOR HIS FRIEND EVEN WHEN SHE DID NOT APPRECIATE IT AND WAS WILLING TO DO WHATEVER TO HELP HER)
    Yes. You have points. It is dramatic. It’s sappy. It’s a little weird to fall for someone you talked to for seven hours. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that a man, locked in a world he hates and depressed, would latch on to the one person he saw who truly understood him. Yes he became unduly obsessed. But I believe he did it believably. To me, the true romance was not Elias and Josephine. That was not the height of sweetness, the culmination of the book – that was attachment of two desperately lonely hearts who didn’t know how to cope and were trying to do it together. The true romance is Elias and Lorelei, Oliver and Josie. The book is about needing to go through things like this and then moving beyond to the maturity and good relationships that you realize are there for you. The book is about the fact that just because someone understands you doesn’t mean that they are your forever, but it also doesn’t mean they’re not going to be important. The book is about not losing yourself in your grief, in your depression, in your yearning for more, when you can wake up to the numerous blessings around you.
    So… yes, errrr… if you never meant to be this serious, I apologize, but this book, as someone who squeals themselves to death over romance, I loved. For you, as a sworn enemy of romance, it may be impossible to see the beauty I pulled from its pages through your doom-colored glasses. And I say all this with all love and respect possible. 😉☺️


    1. I think you may have taken this a bit more seriously than I intended, my friend, though I totally get why. I don’t like my favorites being poked at either. 😅 But please understand that my commentary, while acidic, is meant in fun, love, and silliness, not to be taken literally. My apologies if you perceived it as overly harsh — that was not my intention.

      As I mentioned at the end of my post, I actually didn’t mind the book, and for some of the reasons you stated here. Josephine and Elias’s relationship was meant to be unhealthy, and ultimately they moved on to people better suited for them. I thought this was a fabulous and unexpected theme. (I was rooting for Lorelei from the beginning, not gonna lie.) I appreciate the bones of the story and understand where the author was trying to go with it, but the style and melodrama is just not my taste, and felt a little excessive at times.

      Alas, we must agree to disagree on this one. *slips on doom-colored glasses*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *shakes hands complacently* Yes, I took it probably over seriously. 😛 I’m happy you agree on some of its good points. ☺️
        And yes we can absolutely agree on Oliver… not gonna lie, if I had to pick a fictional man to marry, he would be a serious contender. 😶☺️


    2. I think it’s also appropriate to mention that people who are clinically depressed don’t usually go on poetic, melodramatic letter writing rants. And in that instance, I think this book was ridiculous. If you look at the work of other depressed persons and especially writers from that era, they don’t usually write stuff like this…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mmm, yes, I agree with this. I think Elias was definitely INTENDED to come across as having some type of mental illness, most likely depression, but as someone who’s gone through clinical depression myself and watched it in multiple family members, it didn’t feel at all authentic to me. I understand that people experience mental illness differently and it’s not a one size fits all, but the overboard nature of his writing bordered on whiny, not the writing of someone in deep and oppressive pain.


  8. Elias: “Do you make sense of these scribbles, Josephine? Have I indeed lost my mind?”

    Me: ….I don’t know, have you? Would explain a lot XD

    At least, on the up side, he started to question his sanity. Being honest with oneself is the first step. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to find the poor boy a therapist. And a bed to take a good long nap in.
    Then, I will point Josephine to the wise (maybe slightly paraphrased) words of Elsa from Frozen: You can’t marry a man you never met.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I want to read this book now. I’m always attracted to books written in an unorthodox way. And wow, I think this is the funniest blog post yet. I couldn’t stop laughing.

    Also, for the record, I know someone who’s pursuing fashion. She dropped out of college and moved to New York to be an apprentice. I have no idea how that’s going for her, or if she’s met a handsome fool yet, but she’s pursuing fashion, so she’s halfway there, I guess.


    1. You know, after I published this, I realized I have a friend who’s pursuing a career in fashion too. Whoops. 😂 Hers isn’t quite in the traditional sense, though, unlike your friend. (Which is very cool, by the way, and I hope all goes well for her! Minus handsome fools. 😉)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “I have a personal grudge against the romance genre.”
    Same, Sarah, SAME. X’D

    “I think he’s becoming self-aware.”
    The potential of characters becoming self-aware is what writers have nightmares about. o.0

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There have been a few romance books I’ve enjoyed. A very very select few. They are mostly Jane Austen titles. But also 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons was good. Abbie is an Indie Author, former homeschooler, and YouTuber. 100 Days of Sunlight has a really strong and powerful message, and it even made me cry, so… Pretty good. LOL. Other than that… Eh. Most of the best love stories are found in books where the romantic relationship isn’t the central focus. Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum, it’s shared adventure that brings people together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooh, yes. I’ve been meaning to read 100 Days of Sunlight since it was published, but have yet to get around to it. 😅 One day, one day.

      I so agree though. Romance as a side plot (or between side characters) is usually the best and easiest to stomach.





    But yo, wow. I agree with your pronouncement, and I haven’t read the book. 😂 Youch. It sounds marvelously self-obsessed on both sides. (Except for Oliver, who sounds like the only redeeming aspect of the entire thing.)


  13. This was super entertaining 🤣

    Also, I knoooow you don’t tend to read romance, but could you please read A Thieving Curse sometime? I’m curious if you would like it or no. *whispers* there is a dragon in it… and goats. And it was written by an INTJ….


  14. I made the mistake of reading this post while eating and almost paid for it with my life.

    However, I’m very intrigued by this book, though I find over 50% of YA romances insufferable. But apparently I still enjoy them enough to throw one into my book (with older) characters, and circumstances that actually force them to be mature or perish. 😛


    1. I should put choking warnings at the beginnings of my posts. 😂

      I approve of your style of romance. That kind is great. Be mature or perish is a healthy thing and I deeply appreciate it. 😂


  15. “That’s my argument for why crushing on a dead man isn’t weird.”

    My dear Josie, I don’t care WHAT your argument is. It is ALWAYS weird to crush on a dead man.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. *cackles* *tells my family I’m fine* *continues cackling*
    This…this sums up most of my thoughts about YA books. (Not all of them, mind you…I’m not roasting an entire genre as of yet.) Also, “my teapot needs me” is the best excuse-me line I’ve ever heard and will be used. Soon. With vicious Elias-ness.


  17. I mean…I relate. I too have been hopelessly in love with long dead men from the 1800s. I’m half expecting this book to be an Outlander style time travel romance.
    I think it’s begging to be read, even if just to laugh at it.


  18. I have not read the book, but from what you wrote, I got serious Berenice vibes from Elias (Sorry, guys. I feel like he is severely unstable) (And FYI, Berenice is a creepy short story by Poe. It involves teeth.)


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