Do you remember Choose Your Own Adventure books published in the 1980s and ’90s?
I remember loving them when I was younger. You would start reading and then decide how you wanted the story to go. Did you go down the dark, scary hallway or did you choose the safer path? You could re-read the books as often as you like and get a different story each time.
The reader is a 28-year-old penniless, Regency-era woman who lives in London, England, and who is looking to find a wealthy husband before she becomes a spinster. There are other characters – Lady Evangeline Youngblood, a free-spirited woman; Sir Benedict Granville, a well-off relation of your employer Lady Craven; Captain Angus MacTaggart, a rugged Scotsman who spends his days caring for orphans; and Lord Garraway Craven, who is mad and bad and often dangerous.
But depending on what you want from the book, you can take a safe path or live dangerously, except at the beginning: “Sorry. This may be a choosable-path adventure, but as a penniless young unmarried woman at the start of the 19th century, your options are somewhat limited. They will get better, though. Turn to Page 67.”
If you met a person, you turn to one page, but if you haven’t met the character, you turn to another. Sometimes you don’t have a choice and have to turn to the page you were told to turn to, while at other times you can embrace destiny or go down fighting.
“The course of true love never did run straight – and neither does this book,” says the introduction. “Do not submit yourself to woe and confusion by turning the pages in numerical order. Skimming to a different section or letting your eye linger too long on the entry next to your intended destination could have the same result as committing a similarly act of impropriety while at a ball: Scandal! Heartbreak! Utter Ruin.
“In other words, no cheating.”
Romance isn’t my go-to book, but the choose your own path certainly made it a fun read. I would love to read more adult versions.
A copy of this book was provided by Penguin Random House for an honest review. The opinions are my own.
Note: I need to know it this type of book is a nightmare to both write and edit.