Title: Fall For You
Author: Cecilia Gray
Genre: YA, Jane Austen-paralit, romance
Published: 10 February 2012
Rating: 8 / 10
Challenges: NetGalley Challenge
Synopsis: "To say Lizzie and Dante are polar opposites is the understatement of the century. He’s a snooty Exeter transfer with more money than Google. She’s a driven study-a-holic just barely keeping up with tuition. It’s obvious that Dante thinks he’s way too good for Lizzie. And Lizzie knows Dante is a snob with a gift for pressing her buttons.
But things are changing fast this year at the Academy. And when Lizzie’s quest to stop those changes blows up in her face, taking her oldest friendship with it, she has nowhere else to turn but to Dante, with his killer blue eyes, his crazy-sexy smile, and his secrets… Secrets Lizzie can’t seem to leave alone, no matter how hard she tries…" (from GoodReads)
My Review: Disclaimer: I received a copy of this e-book from NetGalley. I hadn't heard of this series before, but as a Jane Austen fan, I knew I had to give it a shot. This is very obviously the first book in a series. The story focuses on Lizzie (Elizabeth Bennett, from Pride & Prejudice, her best friend Ellie (Eleanor Dashwood, from Sense & Sensibility, her new roommate, Anne (Anne Elliot, from Persuasion), and her "nemesis," Emma (Emma Woodhouse, from Emma). The girls all attend a fictional boarding school in California, and the major conflict in this book is that the school is going co-ed for the first time. Anne is having trouble dealing with her parents (mom?) no longer being in charge, and Lizzie, as the editor-in-chief of the school paper, is trying to figure out a way to put a stop to all the changes going on at the Academy. The plot overlaps between P&P and Persuasion, but there are elements of other Austen novels woven in. I loved the modernized characters - Lizzie is a driven, stubborn journalist; Ellie is a laid-back surfer girl; Anne is lovesick and quietly dealing with the loss of her family's wealth; and Emma is bubbly and gossipy. At first I was annoyed by Emma's "personality" (she's my favorite Austen heroine, so I'm rather protective of her), but about halfway through I realized that was Lizzie's characterization, not the author's. It was really nice to see how Lizzie's prejudices about all of the characters evolved throughout the book, not just her opinion of Dante/Darcy. I also found it clever how one character in this book could stand in for multiple Jane Austen characters - Anne is also Jane Bennett, Ellie is a Harriet Smith for Emma, Rick is both Wenthworth and Bingley, etc.
This is a fast, easy read (not surprising, at under 200 pages), but I really enjoyed it. There are lots of plot threads that I'm looking forward to exploring in the rest of the series. I will say that I'm not a fan of the cover (that doofus is NOT Darcy, by any stretch of the imagination), but since it's an e-book I didn't even notice it really until now.
If you have reviewed this book as well, leave me a message in the comments and I'll link to your review.