Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Dear Reader

Dear Reader

A Novel

Mary O'Connell

Flatiron Books




Gilmore Girls meets Wuthering Heights in Mary O'Connell's Dear Reader, a whip-smart, poignant, modern-day take on Emily Brontë’s classic novel.

For seventeen-year-old Flannery Fields, the only respite from the plaid-skirted mean girls at Sacred Heart High School is her beloved teacher Miss Sweeney’s AP English class. But when Miss Sweeney doesn't show up to teach Flannery's favorite book, Wuthering Heights, leaving behind her purse, Flannery knows something is wrong.

The police are called, and Flannery gives them everything—except Miss Sweeney's copy of Wuthering Heights. This she holds onto. And good thing she does, because when she opens it, it has somehow transformed into Miss Sweeney's real-time diary. It seems Miss Sweeney is in New York City—and she's in trouble.

So Flannery does something very unFlannery-like: she skips school and sets out for Manhattan, with the book as her guide. But as soon as she arrives, she meets a boy named Heath. Heath is British, on a gap year, incredibly smart—yet he's never heard of Albert Einstein or Anne Frank. In fact, Flannery can't help thinking that he seems to have stepped from the pages of Brontë's novel. Could it be?



Miss Sweeney disappeared on the first day of March, an icy Thursday morning of gloves and boots and veneers of diamondy frost on the windows of Sacred Heart High School. Her classroom was not bathed in the stark yellow...


Praise for Dear Reader

“Weird and wonderful . . . a story for anyone who believes in the power of books to help you figure out your life and remind you to go out and live it.“ —Book Riot

“[Dear Reader] neatly juxtaposes Flannery’s anticipation of the ’adventure, reinvention, [opportunity] to become someone new with Miss Sweeney's journal entries, illuminating the complex chaos of life and love, demonstrating that seemingly inconsequential choices and people can have lingering effects. The use of Wuthering Heights intensifies the impact of Flannery and Miss Sweeney's corresponding journeys; even readers who haven't read the classic will find significance in the parallels." —Publishers Weekly

“I loved Dear Reader—the wild romance of it, the joy in the language, and the celebration of the imagination that the whole book is. It’s like a book dipped in love, and I can’t think of another quite like it.“ —Alison Umminger, author of American Girls

Dear Reader breaks the YA genre wide open. Captivating, intelligent, and exquisitely written.” —Wendy Lawless, New York Times bestselling author of Chanel Bonfire

“Imaginative, fresh, and sometimes wickedly funny, and a book with real compassion at its core. I loved everything about it.” —Laura Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Chaperone

“In a world of Apple stores and texts, can literature still be a guide to life? Mary O’Connell’s Dear Reader sends its heroine, Flannery Fields, on a daring mission to find out. Armed with a dog-eared copy of Wuthering Heights and O’Connell’s intoxicating, funny, and genre-bending prose, she discovers that reading remains the key to understanding the human heart, even in modern day New York. And readers of this novel will discover an unforgettable testament to the power of imagination, friendship, and our enduring capacity for self-discovery.” —Whitney Terrell, author of The Good Lieutenant

“I am broken-hearted that these characters aren't my real-life friends.” —Katrina Leno, author of The Lost & Found

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Mary O'Connell

MARY O'CONNELL is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and the author of the short story collection, Living With Saints, and the YA novel, The Sharp Time. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in several literary magazines, and she is the recipient of a James Michener Fellowship and a Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award. She lives with her husband and her three children in Lawrence, Kansas.

Mary O'Connell

Tracy Rasmussen