Being Mary Bennet | JC Petterson


Being Mary Bennet by JC Petterson

Coming Out March 15, 2022 from HarperTeen; 384 pages

About the Author: “J.C. Peterson lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, two small sons, and one enormous tabby. She earned her degree in journalism from Michigan State University and worked as an award-winning journalist and editor at an alt-newsweekly before becoming a freelance writer and mom. When not dreaming up funny contemporary stories or herding children, she loves to eat and shop local, explore the Colorado mountains, and plan new adventures. Being Mary Bennet is her first novel, and you can find her at” (Bio taken from publisher’s website.)

Find JC Petterson on the following platforms:

“She thinks I’m Mary Bennet. The sullen, forgotten sister. The ugly one who everyone wants to fade into the background entirely so that they can get on with their happily ever after.”

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every girl longs to be the Lizzy Bennet of their world. When Marnie Barnes realizes she has somehow become the forgotten side character of her own life story—a.k.a the Mary Bennet—she is determined to take her life into her own hands. Marnie enlists the help of her more extroverted roommate to become the leading lady of her own story and create the life she wants. With a dreamy love interest, a great team of supporting friends, and a desire to laugh and learn, Marnie creates her own little rom-com, Lizzy Bennet style. 

I think every girl has felt like the Mary Bennet in their life at one point in time. And who doesn’t want to be like Lizzy, the witty and beautiful main character that wins the love interest? JC Peterson really brings this struggle to life through Marnie! I really enjoyed Marnie’s character and narration. She is working through strong defense mechanisms and bitterness towards the world around her. It isn’t until she actively decides to change her approach and outlook that anything begins to happen for her. I feel that sometimes this character development is really lost in contemporary reads, but Peterson does a fantastic job with Marnie’s development. Marnie was someone I relate to, and I wanted to see her grow and succeed by taking her life into her own hands. Marnie embodies the ideas of being able to step out of your comfort zone, taking the great times with the awkward times, and embracing being the leading lady in your own narrative. I just couldn’t stop reading! For fans of Pride and Prejudice or modern rom-coms, check out Being Mary Bennet!

(Pine Reads review would like to thank NetGalley and HarperTeen publishing for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)

PRR Writer and Editor Taylor Quinn