★ "In this refreshing first novel, Sellet manages the large cast of characters well, while portraying the protagonist’s big family, her small circle of friends, and her first romance with considerable wit and insight. As Mary struggles with the practical and emotional troubles arising from her many mistakes, her rueful, self-deprecating narrative is sometimes impossible to read without laughing out loud. A smart, engaging romance."
—Booklist, STARRED review
"A sweet story with a focus on family and friendships."—Kirkus
"Put in the hands of readers who love a smart and precocious cast of characters, reminiscent of Amy Heckerling’s film Clueless." —School Library Journal
Amanda Sellet (pronounced Sell-ay) is a former journalist who has written book reviews for The Washington Post, personal essays for NPR, and music and movie coverage for VH1. She has an M.A. in Cinema Studies from NYU. After a mostly coastal childhood, she now lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and cats.
BY THE BOOK: A NOVEL OF PROSE AND CONS
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Editor: Lily Kessinger
Cover designer: Andrea Miller
Cover artist: Monique Aimee