Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prada & Prejudice (YA)

Prada & Prejudice. by Mandy Hubbard. 2009. Penguin. 288 pages.

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a teen girl on a class trip to England should be having the time of her life.

What's a twenty-first century girl to do when she finds herself transported to the early nineteenth century? That is what happens to Callie on her trip to London. She stumbles--thanks to her new Prada shoes and her own clumsiness--back in time, to 1815, to the estate of a duke no doubt. She finds friendship and love in unexpected places as she assumes the identity of another. By "becoming" Rebecca, an American cousin of the family, she gets to come of an age and learn some life lessons that she just might be able to take back with her...if she ever gets to go back "home" that is.

I wanted to love this one. I had high hopes for it actually. And maybe my expectations were a bit too high. It's a fun, light romance. I think it will appeal to many readers. Especially younger readers. But I didn't find it particularly satisfying or charming. I found Callie to be a bit annoying in both the twenty-first and nineteenth centuries. It had its enjoyable moments, don't get me wrong, but I didn't love it.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


survivinglifedaily 10:51 AM  

Hi! I just wanted to let you know I'm a new reader of your book reviews! I love the way you describe the books that you read, and look forward to many more suggestions from your site!

Laurel Ann 12:36 PM  

Hi Becky - thanks for your honest review. Sorry you were underwelmed with this one. I rather liked it. Their were funny moments and hunting out the allusions to P&P kept me engaged.

One of the challenges as an adult in reading teen fiction is that it is not always as sophisticated as adult fiction. I can see how you were disappointed. You read a lot of teen fiction and I value your opinion. This was author Mandy Hubbard's debut novel and I think that she shows great promise.

Thanks again, LA

Becky 3:36 PM  

Laurel Ann, underwhelmed is the right word. I guess Callie does get the "prejudiced" part down. The way she judges Alex and condemns him automatically just because he's a rich duke, and cute at that. But while Elizabeth was prejudiced too, in a way, I never got annoyed with Elizabeth Bennet the same way I was with Callie. I also thought it took Callie a couple of chapters too long to realize where she was and that it wasn't a prank. Still, I think the premise is a fun one. I wish I could have connected more with Callie and Alex as a couple. The romance just didn't quite work with me. You know how you just *feel* that Darcy and Elizabeth belong together, well, I never felt much from either Callie or Alex.

Margaret Ann Abrahams 3:36 PM  

Really appreciate your review - and your refreshing candor. Haven't read this book, but the title is very clever - and as a fan of time travel novels, maybe I'll get around to reading it.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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