Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Prom and Prejudice
YA; Contemporary; Austen
Source: Received an ARC via Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.
This book is pretty much exactly what you would think it is based on the cover and title: a YA contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen's beloved novel Pride and Prejudice (aka my favorite book!) This one stars Lizzie Bennet and her best friend Jane Netherfield as they navigate the tricky social scene culminating in prom at their boarding school Longbourn and their relationships with Will Darcy and Charles Bingley at the neighboring Pemberley Academy.
Although largely faithful to the novel and bringing its own sense of humor (there were many laugh out loud passages), there were some changes that I simply have to mention!
First it's told from Lizzie's point of view instead of third person like the original. I have found this very common in YA lit and I think it helps you sympathize with the character much faster. Second I found Lydia much more grating in this novel than I ever have in P&P; girl was so annoying! Another change was that Darcy's family is actually accepting of Lizzie although a de Bourgh does still attempt to interfere.
Probably the most important change, in my mind, is that no longer is Lizzie seeking a mate for life and in order to protect her upon the death of her father; instead the big event is prom, which while important to the characters is hardly the same situation. This takes away some of the dramatic tension that has made P&P so beloved. I understand though because it's hard to modernize P&P.
One change I did not entirely like was a very unsubtle emphasis on the snobbery of the girls at Longbourn in their relations with scholarship student Lizzie. It was repeated so many times and I didn't think it needed to be hammered home so much. That would be my only complaint about this book.
Overall: A quick modernization of P&P with an admirable Lizzie and many funny bits.
Cover: I love the bright pink and I feel that the dress conveys a plot point in the book but it's not entirely accurate.