Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Features: Prom, Classic Retelling
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Overall Rating: 5/5
Cover Rating: 4/5
Cover Comments: The cover is super cute! Love the dress. I'm really sad to see those scissors there.
Lizzie Bennett goes to one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the entire U.S. The daughters of multi-millionaires, CEOs, and other important people attend because they have one thing: money. But Lizzie doesn't. She goes because she has talent. A scholarship student, or a "charity case," Lizzie barely fits in. It's only her roommate, Jane, the other scholarship student, Charlotte, and her piano teacher, Mrs. Gardiner, that keep her from running out of the Longbourn entrance hall screaming. Just as another semester is about to start, the buzz starts spreading all over the school, and the entire student body is filled a rush of excitement. The cause? Prom.
Prom is one of the biggest (if not, the biggest) events in all of Longbourn and the neighboring boys' school, Pemberley. Lizzie's friend Jane, who doesn't have a mean bone in her body, has her eyes on Charles Bingley. When Charles returns from London after a semester spent there, he returns with a friend: Will Darcy. Lizzie instantly takes him for a jerk and a total snob. After all, she did overhear him saying "Are you so naive that you would think that the first person I would want to greet with open arms on campus is a scholarship student?"
Thus begins Lizzie's long journey to prom - or not.
First off, I must confess that I have not read Pride and Prejudice. But after reading this book, my interest in the classic has definitely been sparked and I feel the need to read the original. I'm sure that at least some people who've already read Pride and Prejudice might have had some antagonism towards this book. After all, why turn a timeless classic into a simple, short, novel about prom?
I for one, beg to differ. And this goes for all classical retellings. Of course, the classics are great, but I also love to just be able to read a more modern work (that's more in my language!) so I can compare the two. And like I said earlier, reading contemporary works always sparks interest in the classicals.
The characters in this book were well-developed and not shallow. Jane? Absolutely one of my favorites. Same with Charles Bingley. And Will. Will, Will, Will. Lizzie may not have liked him from the beginning, but boy, did I! (One word: Hot.) Jane's sister, Lydia, was a total brat and made me want to throw the book at the wall. I think that's kind of a good thing. It shows I really got into the book. (Of course, I didn't actually chuck it.) Lizzie was very enjoyable and relatable. I sympathized with her situation, and even cried with her (I'm a very easy crier.) Best of all, I loved her sharp tongue and wit. Even with the "jerk" Will, she always had something to say to him.
I don't know how close the plot related to Pride and Prejudice's, but I will say that I really enjoyed the plot in this one. While simple, and some may call it cliche, I just love a light read that I can enjoy like a flaky and buttery French pastry, not a heavy piece of cake.
Whether you love the classical or the contemporary, I believe that Elizabeth Eulberg's book will enjoyed by all readers.
Personal Thoughts (What I thought as a teen reader, not a reviewer)
What is it with all these hot Will characters? Seriously. Will in Angelfire, Firelight, Clockwork Angel... SIGH. Can't we have a more exotic name? I'm not saying something heinous like Alfonso Xerxes (no offense), but just something a little more interesting! Either way, it doesn't stop me from falling in love with them.
First Line/First Paragraph/Beginning Excerpt:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.
"It was bad enough to see friendship and love in terms of politics. But seeing it in terms of business was even worse."
"Oh, Darcy!" Fitz grabbed Darcy by the collar. "You have such a way with the ladies."
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.