Sunday, October 26, 2008
Author: Polly Shulman
Awards: None, which is a travesty.
Synopsis (from the back cover): "'There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding herself tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast.' Julie knows from bitter experience. Her best friend, Ashleigh, veers wildly from one obsession to the next, dragging Julie along on her crazy schemes. Ashleigh's current fancy is also Julie's own passion: Jane Austen's great love story Pride and Prejudice. Dressed in a vintage frock and dragging her feet, Julie finds herself sneaking into a dance at an all-boys' prep school with Ashleigh, in search of heroes. Unfortunately, they both fall for the same one: the handsome and gallant Grandison Parr. Will Julie have to choose between loyalty and love? Or will Ashleigh's embarrassing antics drive him away before Julie gets a choice?"
My Review: I love Jane Austen. I have read all of her completed novels at least twice. I've read quite a few JA para-lit novels, and this is by far the best of the bunch. It includes allusions to not only P&P, but Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and even a little Mansfield Park, too. Although she borrows from Austen's characters, Shulman does a great job of making them (and the story) fresh and unique. There was never a doubt in my mind as to the ending (it is, after all, a romance, and a YA one at that), but getting there was so much fun! I wanted to read it all over again after I finished, and I probably will at some point in the future. I'm loathe to give out any details of the book, because I want everyone to discover it for themselves, but I will say that musical theater (more specifically, a musical version of A Midsummer Night's Dream) comes into play. There are also sonnets, chocolate turkeys, fun new words (like "igsome" - "ig" for short - which is used to describe something/someone bad), romantic mix-ups, and all the usual high school drama.
I bought my copy through Scholastic's Book Club, and if it's ever made available again I'll probably buy a few more. Even if you're not a fan of Austen, I'm pretty sure you'd enjoy this book - it's just that wonderful.
If you have reviewed this book as well, leave me a message in the comments and I'll link to your review.