November 2, 2011

Book Review: Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Prom and Prejudice
At First Sight: Lizzie Bennett has never quite fit in the prestigious Longbourn Academy, where she attends on a scholarship. Lizzie, a middle class girl from Hoboken feels quite out of depth at Longbourn where everyone is rich and not interested in knowing people who aren't. 

Her only friends there are Charlotte - the other scholarship student - and Jane, Lizzie's roommate. Now that the second semester is starting, all the girls at Longbourn are crazy about one thing: PROM, even Jane who is excited about the return of Charles Bingley after a semester spent in London. 

Lizzie herself doesn't think she'll get invited to prom, but agrees to go to a party with Jane, where the boys from their sister school, Pemberley, will be at. That's where she meets Will Darcy, Charles best friend who seems to have a problem with scholarship students, immediately rubbing Lizzie the wrong way.

But with their two best friends crazy about each other, it's hard for Lizzie and Darcy to avoid each other, particularly after it seems Darcy doesn't want to avoid her at all. 

Second Glance: Prom and Prejudice is a modern spin on Austen's Pride and Prejudice but I think it was more like based on the" idea of" than an updating. Overall, I liked it, but it wasn't what I expected and I felt like it left to the side a lot of the things I love about the original P & P. 

In this offering by Elizabeth Eulberg, there isn't much about what I always thought Pride and Prejudice was about aside from the love story: the relationships between these sisters. I understand why it changed in this retelling - while only Lydia and Jane are sisters while Lizzie is Jane's friend - but it still bothered me a little, and it bothered me that they basically cut off Kitty and Mary entirely, I admit I have a soft spot for them as people either hate them or forget about them all together. 

Also, the characterization of everyone was a bit cartoon-ish and over the top. I think it's possible to write about overly privileged girls and boys without making them sound like cartoons and I'm not sure it was entirely successful here. 

Bottom Line: I'm sad to say I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would, though it was a lot of good, campy fun. I just wished the characters and situations had been more grounded.

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