Thursday, December 23, 2010

Prom & Prejudice (YA)

Prom & Prejudice. Elizabeth Eulberg. 2011. [January 2011] Scholastic. 288 pages.

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

Lizzie Bennet is a scholarship girl at Longbourn Academy. And it's tough going--many of her classmates (especially girls like Caroline Bingley and Cat de Bourgh) take joy in tormenting her. Fortunately, she's found a friend in Jane, her roommate, and Charlotte, the second scholarship girl. And she loves her piano teacher, Mrs. Gardiner. This opportunity--as challenging as it is, socially--is once in a lifetime. And Lizzie is grateful, most of the time. If only her school wasn't so prom-obsessed. If only every Longbourn girl wasn't expected to go with someone from Pemberley Academy. If only Collin Williams wasn't the only Pemberley guy interested in her.

Lizzie Bennet first meets Will Darcy through Jane. She's unimpressed. Sure, he's cute. Sure, he's rich. But. He's such a snob. (She happened to overhear him saying some not so nice things about scholarship girls.) And these two seem destined to argue if their first few meetings are any indication...but he seems to be going out of his way to see her. He knows her schedule at the coffee shop. And it's rare he doesn't show up for one of her shifts. He seems to want something from her, but what?

I loved this one. I just LOVED it. It's clever; it's funny. As a modernization of Pride & Prejudice, it works really well. There are so many scenes that illustrate this...

One of her conversations with Collin:
"Elizabeth, did you find your jacket?" He motioned toward Jane's red wool coat, which I was now going to be wearing until the end of winter.
"Unfortunately, no."
"Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. I once lost a jacket that I loved very much. It was corduroy. No, tweed. Brownish gray. Really, it was a fine coat. My teddy bear had a matching one. We often wore them together. But then, one day, I left it in a park. When my mother and I went back for it, it was...gone."
"I can see you miss it," I said, looking for an escape route. (101)
One of the scenes where Jane's younger sister, Lydia, "shines":

"I'm just having fun," Lydia protested. "You're so uptight." Her eyes grew wide and she started jumping up and down. "No. Way. This song was, like, THE song from camp last summer. I totally remember the routine we came up with. An up-tempo pop song started playing on the sound system, and before any of us could stop her, Lydia was on the dance floor, spinning around with her arms stretched out. In less than ten seconds, she cleared a space of about ten feet around her. She was relishing the attention.
Jane was horrified. "Please make her stop." Her voice was nearly inaudible.
I headed over to the platform. Lydia was doing something that looked like the Charleston, but with her usual manic energy. She started spinning her fists in the air and shouting "WOO!" every few seconds. I could hear the snickering as I passed through the crowd. (94-95)
I appreciated this adaptation. I loved what Eulberg added to the story. I thought it was a nice balance between staying true to Austen's original story, and creating a great teen romance all her own.

Points of Interest: Romance, High School, Popularity, Bullying, Prom, Dating, Friendship, Music (Piano), Modern Adaptations of Classics, Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice.

See also: The Lonely Hearts Club. Elizabeth Eulberg. Prada & Prejudice. by Mandy Hubbard.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Junou Zamor said...

I usually don't read books like these, but this sounds like a good enough read. Awesome review, I especially liked the quotes you included; a taste of the author's writing style was what really pursuaded me to give this book a try.

Anonymous said...

I read this book and was blown away by the ending it was so good i love this book so much!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This was a truly awful book and 'Lizzie' came across as a really unlovable character and she lacked everything that made the original ELizabeth Bennet of Austen's classic such an amazing character.