Monday, July 4, 2011

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Book:  Prom and Prejudice
Author:  Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher:  Scholastic
Year:  2011
The reason I read it:  I needed to read a contemporary realistic novel and well, I love Jane Austen
My grade:  A

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. 

My Review
It is a truth universally acknowledged that “Pride and Prejudice” may be my favorite book ever.

However, it is still, from time to time, in want of an update.

And a brilliant update on this favorite story showed up in the form of “Prom and Prejudice.”

This book was amazing.  I thought that this would be some cute, fluffy read that played on Jane Austen’s classic, but would be nowhere near as satisfying.  Boy, was I wrong!

It was cute and fun, but just like the original, there was a little more substance than just the prom.  This book looked at our current society’s obsession with money and name brand and celebrity.  It was an update that retained the important message of the original:  don’t let your own pride and prejudice stand in the way of forming meaningful relationships.

Elizabeth Eulberg (who, by the way, is Stephenie Meyer’s publicist!) does a spot on job of making this story come to life with a modern premise.  Her Caroline Bingley is just as atrocious as the original, her Mr. Collins is just as annoying and Charlotte is just as practical.  Lydia is horribly embarrassing and Jane is the sweetest girl ever.  Lizzie is spunky and intelligent, despite being blinded by her own prejudices.  Wickham is just as deplorable.

Darcy, of course, is just as dreamy as the original. (Who will forever look like Colin Firth in my mind ::sighs::) And the ending was just perfect.  It was sooooooooo.........Darcy and Lizzie!

Honestly, I wasn’t sure that she could make this work without seeming forced.  But she pulled it off stupendously!  The updated settings and story lines just worked.  She even found a way to make Wickham evil.  His attempt to steal poor Georgiana’s virtue made perfect sense in the 21st century.

I read this for my contemporary realistic book because I wanted to see if the author could make this timeless classic both contemporary and realistic.  In my opinion, she did a bang up job of that.

I have only one caveat here.  Those not familiar with the original novel may find the characters’ modes of speaking a bit off-putting.  Their dialogue had a cadence that was slightly more archaic than most modern day teens.  I loved it because it strongly resembled the original dialogue.  In my own head, I just told myself that all these snobby rich kids had been held to a higher standard of English.  ::shrugs::  It worked for me.  It might not work for you.

My grade is an A.  With, of course, a huge nod to my homegirl Jane. If you, like myself, are a huge Austen fan, go get this book right away!

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