NetGalley Review: “Meet Me in the Margins” by Melissa Ferguson

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 💋

Release Date: February 15th, 2022

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Savannah Cade is a low-level editor at Pennington Publishing, a prestigious publisher producing only the highest of highbrow titles. And while editing the latest edition of The Anthology of Medieval Didactic Poetry may be her day job, she has two secrets she’s hiding.

One: She’s writing a romance novel.

Two: She’s discovered the Book Nook—a secret room in the publishing house where she finds inspiration for her “lowbrow” hobby.

After leaving her manuscript behind one afternoon, she returns to the nook only to discover someone has written notes in the margins.
Savannah’s first response to the criticism is defensive, but events transpire that force her to admit that she needs the help of this shadowy editor after all.
 
As the notes take a turn for the romantic, and as Savannah’s madcap life gets more complicated than ever, she uses the process of elimination to identify her mysterious editor—only to discover that what she truly wants and what she should want just might not be the same.

 

Despite a lot of the mixed reviews that I read, I quite enjoyed Meet Me in the Margins. I loved the premise and the concept and as a budding author, I felt all of Savannah’s struggles in trying to get her manuscript perfected and picked up by a publisher. I liked the mystery (even though we obviously knew who her secret editor was) and the little world that Melissa Ferguson had built in Pennington Publishing. It’s a quick, short and entertaining read and I think it delivered on all the things it said it would.

Savannah Cade’s job as an assistant acquisition editor isn’t as fantastic as it sounds, especially given that the publishing house she works with doesn’t believe in commercial fiction. Her authors publish books that are not usually part of her reading, but she does her job really well despite it all. However, on the side, she’s working on her own manuscript—a romance novel—that she has to keep secret from her boss and coworkers, lest they find out she’s interested in the drivel that Ms. Pennington thinks it beneath her. But when her new boss—Ms. Pennington’s son, Will—picks up her manuscript during a snafu at a work meeting, Savannah goes into a panic and hides her manuscript in a secret room in the office. Only to come in the next day and find feedback and editor’s notes in the margins of her manuscript.

Told entirely through Savannah’s point of view, Meet Me in the Margins is more women’s fiction/chick lit than it is romance. But it still managed to keep my attention since I’m not always in the mood to read these kinds of books. And that had everything to do with how relatable Savannah is. She’s the odd one out in her family and if that’s not enough, her ex is now engaged to her perfect sister and even though Savannah has accepted her fate, it’s sometimes a struggle to wrap her head around the situation she finds herself in. I loved how despite the pressures of her family, Savannah does what she wants. Yes, she wants to make them happy, but she also wants to live her best life. We get to see her struggle with her manuscript, push herself constantly at work and basically do the best she can to do it all without falling apart.

Savannah is also an awesome friend and while I wish we had more interactions and scenes with Lyla, I enjoyed the scene where she’s pretending to be a booking agent just to get Lyla signed up by a music label. I love the little bits of history we get about their friendship.

Her relationship with Will was also one I wish we got more of. Sure, their banter and the slow build up of their relationship is fun. It’s mostly professional with a dash of flirting, but it was still cute. I liked that they both let themselves go around each other a little and they found ways to enjoy each other’s company, even though Will is clearly her boss and Savannah knows there’s a line she should not cross.

All in all, this was a quick fun read with an absolutely gorgeous cover.

Thanks to Melissa Ferguson, Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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