Monday, May 23, 2011

50 Books in a Year: Book #23 Prom and Prejudice

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date."

           And, so Elizabeth Eulberg's tale of prep school and prom dates, Prom and Prejudice, begins. I've read several books that are either Jane Austen spin-offs or are inspired by Jane Austen novels, but hadn't started any for The Jane Austen Reading Challenge that ends this summer and thought I should get on it. Some friends of mine and I took the tiny tot and went to a Scholastic book fair last Thursday. While I was slow paced, reading covers and watching the kiddo as she grabbed books and plopped down on the floor to read, my friends brought me books that they thought I would find interesting. My friend Amanda, who also likes Austen and her tributes, found this book and we immediately decided to purchase copies. I think she purchased hers with the intent on giving it to her little sister (after she read it, of course) I purchased mine entirely for myself...what could be better than a light-hearted YA novel geared towards my favorite Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice? The answer: nothing.

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
      After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.
     Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?
    Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise.

          I know a lot of people think of these Jane Austen spin-off books as sacrilege and avoid them as being beneath what Jane Austen would have wanted for her novels. I think of them as flattering towards Austen and, also as a conduit to others who might not read Austen otherwise. Eulberg portrays each of her characters in the same manner as Austen. Lizzie is brash and pig-heading, Jane is unassuming and sweet, Charlie doesn't have any clue as to the reasons why his sister is so rotten and Will Darcy reminds me so much of Fitzwilliam Darcy, it's hard to imagine that he wouldn't have been this way had he gone to a modern-day private school in the States. It's really cute that Longbourn is the Academy for girls and Pemberley is the boys school, Eulberg throws in a lot of fun tidbits for Austenites who pick up this book to read. I gotta tell you, so far I'm enjoying this book and its tribute to the Austen novel.--even if I do know how it will end. I only hope that it gets teenagers to read more Austen, as I am amazed every year that there are whole groups of students who have only watched the movies.

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