Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

At Longbourn Academy, nothing is so highly esteemed as Prom.  Prom, prom, prom - it's the most important event of the year, and if you don't go, you must have died in the night.  Or you'll just have to live with a really bad reputation.
Lizzie Bennet doesn't plan on going to prom.  Her reputation is already looking like a smashed bug.  The first week at Longbourn, someone slushed a strawberry smoothie into her face.  But at least she has two friends - Charlotte, the bookworm friend who doesn't really like parties; and Jane, her perfectly kind and adorable roommate who loves Lizzie just like she is.
You see, Lizzie is a scholarship student at the Academy, which has 99% spoiled, filthy rich brats as its inhabitants.  And right across the way is Pemberly Academy, for the boys.  It's the same deal.
But when Charles Bingley, the adorably sweet guy from Pemberly begins to really like Jane, Lizzie is introduced to his snotty sister Caroline, and his best friend, Will Darcy.  Will Darcy is proud and doesn't like scholarship students...he's just like everyone else.  Or is he?
But when scandal hits Longbourn and Pemberly for the second time in just as many years - between Jane's sister Lydia and ex-Pemberly bad boy Wick - Lizzie must overcome her prejudices against Darcy to help Lydia, or else who she thought Darcy was before will color her depiction of him forever.


My thoughts -
How cute!  I wasn't sure what to be expecting from this book, but I quite enjoyed it and definitely recommend it.  It wasn't as polished or detailed as I was hoping - the writing was a bit plain for my taste - but nevertheless it was so fun and sweet and innocent and I will definitely be reading it again!

Character notes -
I felt a really strong connection with Lizzie.  If I was in her situation, I would have done the same exact thing and felt the same way.  And while I didn't always admire her choices (choices I myself would have made), I admired her as a person and loved the way she was always genuinely caring for people, even if she was a bit wary at first.

Darcy...  Yes, I absolutely loved this teenage portrayal of Mr. Darcy.  He was the clearest character to picture and the best developed.  I felt like I did was reading the original and/or watching the movies:  I was interested in him, then disliked him, then I hated his guts...then I felt sorry for him.  And then - I loved him!!  At first, I felt like he laughed a little too much and showed a bit too much emotion for Mr. Darcy, but it fell in easily with his character and I love the direction Elizabeth Eulberg took it.  His and Lizzie's interactions as the lead roles were absolutely perfect and fitting for the story.  Their relationship was handled with care and their fights, irritation, and then love for each other was pulled off without fault.  (Darcy is by far my favorite character.)

As for the other characters...  Jane and Charles are almost exactly like their originals.  I found Caroline to be really super the original, but...not.  I liked certain scenes she was in (like the cabin scenes), but most of the time she was just annoying.  Cat de Bourgh was...weird.  Collins was hilarious and Charlotte was a sweetie.  And Wick...  I liked his character (and hated...), but his nickname really really really bothered  me.  It would have been better if they had called him George.  Or "G".  Anything.  Anything but Wick.  Ugh - for some reason it just bugs me!

Story notes -
Prom and Prejudice was very closely related to Pride and Prejudice, of course, but I really liked the original way Eulberg pulled it off.  I was surprised as though I was reading the story for the first time.  I think she might have switched around the order of certain things (just a tiny bit, not enough to really notice), and she added some really neat surprises - my jaw actually dropped and I squealed at one of them!  The story was fairly smooth.  I loved that all of my favorite scenes were kept - and I totally felt the right emotions at the right times.  (Mr. Collins proposal, Mr. Darcy's letter, a lot of his and Lizzie's fights... They were all there!)

Some of the dialogue lacks strength, bu this was easily overlooked.

The only thing that confused me (and only at first) was where the story took place.  Like, England?  That's what it felt like.  But no, it keeps referencing to East Coast places.  So, it's on the East Coast.  But I was a little confused as to what city.  Not that it mattered much...I just couldn't figure it out.

Something I can't make my mind about - the society that these teenagers live in.  It seemed a bit odd...old fashioned.  I know this is supposed to take after an old book that takes place in an old-fashioned society... But in the first ten chapters I felt like Longbourn was far removed from our society.  However, after that I became used to the extremely proper way the characters talk to each other (among other things) and the story  swept me away.  I liked that aspect, and yet I didn't....

One phrase to sum up this book (final thoughts) -
Adorable and light!  I finished this book in one day and totally loved it.  I could not put it down!  It's a great vacation read - this summer while I go beach camping with my family, I think I'll bring this along and enjoy the sweet retelling of this awesome love story one more time. :)

Nothing to worry about for the parents, by the way.  Not even a single cuss word.  A references to Wick getting drunk with a girl and trying to "take advantage of her".  He tries again with another girl, but they are caught.  Both characters are drunk but it is implied that nothing has happened between them.  Exactly (almost) like the original.

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