Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Review: Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg


Description (from Goodreads):

From the much-buzzed-about author of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB (already blurbed by Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle, and Jen Calonita), a prom-season delight of Jane Austen proportions.

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

My thoughts:

Prom and Prejudice was everything I expected, and much more. It was the perfect, fluffy summer read with a likable protagonist and a guy to swoon over. It managed to surprise me even though the story it is based on is SO familiar to me. And it managed to make me fall in love with Pride and Prejudice, once again, by showing that the story Austen's novel tells to us is so universal it fits this type of environment as well. 

Lizzie Bennet is a scholarship student at a prestigious Longbourn academy. She is intelligent, funny and talented pianist, but since she does not come from the money, she is not accepted among her peers. When the junior girls of the academy go prom-crazy, Lizzie just has to continue her life - reading, homework, piano practices and work at a local coffee place. Lizzie knows she won't be going to prom; who would ask a girl who gets a milkshake thrown to her face or a cup of coffee poured over her loaned design dress.

At the beginning of the new semester Charles Bingley is back to Pemberley Academy, the Longbourn Academy equivalent to boys. Charles and Jane, Lizzie's roommate, a girl from the money but actually Lizzie's friend, have had something between them before Charles' semester abroad, and it seems that the flame between them is still burning hot. Jane is kind and has taken Lizzie as one of them, so when Jane asks Lizzie to join her in different functions in order to meet Charles, Lizzie cannot say no. But soon enough, Lizzie realizes that with the company of Charles comes also the company of Will Darcy; Lizzie and Darcy start their relationship with the wrong foot and eventually Lizzie will do anything not to spend time with Darcy. But it seems that Darcy's thoughts are completely different. Of course, there are Lydia, Jane's sister who keeps causing problems to the family, Charlotte, also a scholarship student, Colin who is nice but sometimes too attentive... And Wick, a former Pemberley student who was thrown out of the school and who seems very attentive towards Lizzie. But for some reason, as she spends more time with Darcy, she actually starts to look for his company...

I LOVED LOVED LOVED Prom and Prejudice; the moment I got it to my ereader I had to read through it on one sitting (that is why I stayed up 'til 4.30 am and now I am dying). Lizzie is such a likable character, just like the original Elizabeth from Austen's novel. I loved how the passion Lizzie feels towards music was described - it was something that took her out of the misery of her high school life. Jane, Lydia and Charles are also close to the original ones; the characters are modernized to the setting, but they still possess the characteristics of Austen's original characters. Will Darcy, of course, is dreamy and handsome - I am still waiting for an ugly Darcy (THAT IS NOT EVEN POSSIBLE!) He is proud and cold at the beginning, but as we all know, deep down he is the man we all dream about - caring, rich but so humble, the perfect brother, a great boyfriend/husband candidate. 

As I said, this book surprised me at parts. I am so familiar with the plot of Pride and Prejudice that I kept waiting for different things to happen. I do not want to give too much away, but I must say at one point I was surprised about how the events turned out; that is a good thing, because the book keeps even those who know the plot of Pride and Prejudice like their own pockets surprised. 

I love the fact that Pride and Prejudice, and other Jane Austen novels are turned into the modern adaptations for young readers (check Rosie Rushton, she has a tons of different YA-Austen adaptations) because it might encourage the young readers to pick up the actual Austen novels after reading a contemporary piece based on the novels. Austen's novels are so beautiful and the stories so universal that no wonder people still are drawn towards them.

I recommend Prom and Prejudice to fans of Austen and the original P&P, but I also suggest it to everyone who loves a good romance, a likable protagonist and a swoon worthy guy. 

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