A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro || Buddy Read Discussion

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the FIRST EVER BUDDY READ DISCUSSION POST! Honestly, I’ve NEVER done so many buddy reads in life until this year — and I’m loving it! It’s so much more fun to buddy read; not only are you more accountable for keeping up with the book, but it’s great to discuss thoughts along the way.

Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca and I decided to buddy read Brittany Cavallaro’s A Study in Charlotte (Book #1). Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess also wanted to participate but already read the first book, so she’s planning to read the remaining three books in this series in the following weeks!

Though I like to share peoples’ reviews when I buddy read, not everyone posts a review at the same time … which makes this challenging. And honestly, not everyone wants to post a review for every book they read (I certainly don’t). I wanted to find a way to still share the thoughts of those who I’m buddy reading with, letting their voices be heard in addition to my own. After looking at what some other bloggers do (shout out to Chaz and Marie, for I found great inspiration from their own buddy read posts), I decided to try “mini buddy read discussion” posts. It’ll work like a book review, but with the entire group.

Intrigued? Continue on to learn more!

Guidelines: How does it work?

There are a LOT of ways to do a buddy read, but I found the Q&A style works the best … it allows you to have a great discussion with your fellow bloggers in addition to having multiple points of view on the reading material at hand. It BASICALLY acts like a mini review but from more than one point of view.

The way this (and future) buddy read discussion posts on Bookmark Your Thoughts will work are as follows:

  1. The persons involved in the buddy read will select a book and time frame to finish said novel.
    • During this time, it’s also a good idea to decide HOW everyone would like to communicate with one another during the buddy read (i.e. Instagram, Twitter, Email, etc.).
  2. During the course of the reading, each person will think of a few interesting questions for the buddy read discussion post.
    • Everyone can either post the same questions on all their posts or each person can write up their own for their own blog for each person to answer.
  3. When everyone has finished the book, each person will answer the selected questions.
    • For this portion, you can either select one person to come up with multiple questions or each person involved can create a few.
    • In addition, it’s probably a good idea to decide HOW many questions you want to answer IN TOTAL. For this buddy read, Rebecca and I decided to answer 4 questions.
  4. Once each person as emailed their answers to one another, each person involved MAY publish a discussion post on their blog.
    • Obviously, this part is OPTIONAL. Rebecca and I have agreed that we both wish to post our answers on our blogs but this is NOT necessary. I will always be posting them unless the person I’m buddy reading with wishes not to participate in the Q&A style.
  5. When the post has been published, the persons involved MAY pingback one another to help spread the joy!

That’s pretty much it! I actually LOVED thinking of fun questions to help explore the novel, especially since some of the topics may not be explored in my review.

Buddy Read Partner

As I mentioned earlier, this buddy read was with Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca! We’ve been blogger friends (and friends in general) for QUITE some time … I think she’s one of the first people I followed. She’s a wonderful person who I’ve had the pleasure of buddy reading with before, so I KNEW this was going to be fun. Make sure to view her buddy read post!

Q1. What were your expectations going into the novel? Did the novel meet these by the end?

Rebecca: “For me, I guess I went into the novel with extremely high expectations. Even though I’m not a Sherlock Holmes fan, I had really hyped it up in my mind to be something that it wasn’t. Ultimately, I didn’t end up enjoying this book as much as I thought because it felt like there wasn’t enough character development. It was almost as if the author thought we would already know the characters but we didn’t and it bothered me.”

Jenna: “I was expecting to enjoy it but it to be like any introduction to a series … where the book fleshes out the characters and builds their connection while diving into the mystery element. Parts of the book met my expectations, such as the thrill of the mystery and the connections with Doyle’s original works. However, the connection with Holmes and Watson was left to be desired. I love them both, but the connection felt rushed and there’s not as much ‘fleshing out’ of their individual characters in the book.”

Q2. Our two main characters are Charlotte Holmes and James (Jamie) Watson. What’s your favourite (and least favourite) trait about each of them?

Rebecca: “Once again, I don’t have the original source material to go off of.”

  • “As for Charlotte, my favorite trait of hers was how arrogant and self-confident she was as she and Jamie could solve the crime together. At times, she came off as pretty unlikable but I really enjoyed that aspect. As for my least favorite of hers, she acted as if she was a ghost sometimes, just living her life to live it rather than having a purpose.”
  • “As for Jamie, I loved how far he was willing to go for the case. All the things he did were well-thought-out and were clearly planned by himself or Charlotte. The lengths he was willing to go were admirable. As for my least favorite quality, I think that he lacked a backbone and I wish he would’ve stood up for himself more.”

Jenna: “I have a bit of background knowledge of Sherlock Holmes due to reading some of the original content and watching a NUMBER of relatively accurate retelling’s.”

  • Charlotte Holmes: “I LOVE her lack of social cues and that desire to SOLVE the case at all costs like Sherlock, building that similarity element. I also love how she’s very independent and capable of many things on her own, portraying herself as a strong woman. I honestly didn’t like how she treated Watson at some points, for it felt like manipulation.”
  • Jamie Watson: “He’s just so adorable. Like Doyle’s novels, Watson is brave and selfless, always giving his best. I also appreciate how they kept him similar to the originals, such as his dashing looks and his capable fighting skills. One thing that DID bother me was his tendency to … whine? He just seemed to have this ‘weird need’ to be liked by Holmes when he doesn’t even know her (yet). This obviously diminishes later on in the novel (thank gosh), but it ruined his character a tad for a bit.”

Q3. This novel has a unique twist to the retelling of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. Did you enjoy Cavallaro’s take on it?

Rebecca: “I honestly don’t know much about the original series, but I did enjoy Cavallaro’s take on it. She did something unique especially in terms of character roles but I think she shouldn’t have relied so much on the original story since I hadn’t read it and couldn’t connect the dots in the plot at first.”

Jenna: “For the MOST part, I did. I found it unique, since it’s almost a continuation rather than a retelling. I also appreciate Cavallaro getting more elements to the original correct, such as Watson being a dashing young man rather than the bumbling old fool they make him out as in a lot of earlier movie adaptations. There are parts I’m kind of confused about still, but overall I thought it was a RATHER unique interpretation in comparison to other Doyle retelling’s.”

Q4. Finally, what do you anticipate to occur in its sequel “The Last of August”?

Rebecca: “This is tough because I think that the book left off at an interesting point. I do agree with Jenna that I hope we get more character development for Watson and Holmes. I also hope that we get to finally see August make an appearance or that the mystery involves him as he played such a significant role in the first book. Overall, I have average hopes for this book. I think it has the potential to be better than the first book but could suffer from second book syndrome. Regardless, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll end up exceeding expectations.”

Jenna: “I’m honestly not quite sure. I would HOPE that we get more character development between Holmes and Watson, but I’m sure they will be whisked off to another adventure rather quickly. And since August is in reference to a character and not the month, I’m assuming we get more details about this August fellow.”

Want to participate in a buddy read?

I truly LOVE to buddy read — it’s become one of my new favourite things to do. If you’d like to participate in a buddy read, simply message me by clicking the Contact tab on my website. If you have a particular book in mind, make sure to leave that in the request. If you aren’t sure of a book, that’s okay! Either say you’re up for anything or check out my Want To Read shelf on Goodreads to see if there’s something we both have on our TBR!

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Author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, both the Tumblr and WordPress book review blogs. I'm a tea drinking, book loving librarian who just loves literature.

19 thoughts on “A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro || Buddy Read Discussion

  1. Ah, I was waiting for this post, Jenna! I loved this buddy review! ❤ It's so awesome to hear that you mostly enjoyed the author's take on Doyle's characters, and it's nice to hear that it read as a continuation of sorts! It's also comforting to hear that James Watson is portrayed in a manner more befitting to him, rather than a bumbling fool. Haha! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He-he! I got you covered. My full review is going up tomorrow!

      Oh my gosh yes … I really dislike the older movies where Watson is this old man who can barely fight and Sherlock is this gentleman … THAT’S NO WHERE CLOSE TO THE REAL VERSION! Firstly, Watson is an epic fighter and known for his luck with the ladies. Secondly, Sherlock has NEVER been a gentleman in his life … he has always been difficult to deal with, is a borderline (but healthy) sociopath, and has major social anxiety/awkwardness.

      So, I was happy that they kept this in check ha-ha.


  2. OMG!!!! I LOVE THIS.😍👏🏻 It’s such a fun and didactic way to exchange opinions. I’m super interested in this book as well, so this post is perfect, I’m excited to read this myself.

    I would be more than happy to buddy read something with you, love!! It needs to happen.😊 I’ve only done one buddy read in my whole life, though 😅, it really was an incredible experience, but I don’t know if I’m good at it ( secretly I hope so lol) ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all, this photo with macaroons is my new favorite thing! So beautiful ❤

    And secondly, this post was so much fun to read!
    I'd love to do a buddy read with you at some point, just need to choose a book.

    I'm actually reading the first book in Malazan Empire – Gardens of the Moon, in September – a read-a-long thing with Elliot Brooks (youtuber).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was such a cool post, I really enjoyed getting to see both of your opinions on the books!

    Have you read/seen any of the original Sherlock mysteries? How do you think this compared?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It was a lot of fun reading this with Rebecca. Her and I have done a buddy read before so i was excited to do this again 🙂

      I’ve read the originals (most but not all), the BBC show, the newer movies, and many of the classic ones (I don’t like these ones since they make Watson this old idiot and Sherlock this stud gentleman … which totally contradicts Doyle’s works). It’s hard to compare, since it’s more of a SEQUEL rather than a retelling. Watson and Holmes are ancestors rather than reimagined characters. When Doyle’s work is referenced, it appears to be accurate which I appreciate. I also like how the NEW Watson and Holmes act very similar to the originals BUT have their own unique elements to them.

      It’s something new but holds onto the originals as well. I hope that makes sense!


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