Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review: Pies & Prejudice

Summary: Right before their freshman year, Emma's family unexpectedly moves to England! But the resourceful girls find a way to continue their club -- and discuss a particularly fitting choice, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

In England, Emma encounters a new queen bee, Annabelle. Back in Massachusetts, Annabelle's cousins have swapped homes with Emma's family and they are causing some major distractions. Cassidy clashes with moody Tristan, a modern-day Mr. Darcy, while everyone swoons over his younger brother, Simon. Meanwhile, Megan starts a fashion blog that gets her into some trouble, and Jess discovers a talent for rehabilitating wild animals.

When the girls cook up a plan to bring Emma Home, it grows into a thriving business, Pies & Prejudice. After this sweet scheme falls short, though, they are left wondering if their club will ever be together again.

In this fourth book int he Mother-Daughter Book Club series, the girls can't allow their pride or their prejudices to get in the way of their first year of high school!-- Simon & Schuster

If you've been following my blog for awhile, then you already know that Booking Daughter and I are big fans of The Mother-Daughter Book Club Series by Heather Vogel Frederick. In fact, Booking Daughter loves the books so much that she wanted to share them with her book club. (You can read about our successful meeting here.) Coincidentally, right around the same time that we picked THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB, I received a copy of the fourth book PIES & PREJUDICE in the mail.

Somehow Booking Daughter got her grubby little hands on the book first. She loved it, by the way, but that's no surprise because she has loved all of the books in the series. I had to agree with her. PIES & PREJUDICE was another great installment in a great set of books. (You can read my reviews of the first three books here, and here, and here.) I feel as if I have seen these characters grow from young tweens to somewhat mature teenagers, and I just love following the ups and downs of their lives.

While I readily admit to enjoying all four of these books, I have to say that I most appreciate the books that tie-in to books that I have read. For example, in the first book, the girls read LITTLE WOMEN (which I adored as a young girl) and in the fourth book, they read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I don't think it's necessary to have read the tie-in books as evidenced by the girls in our own Mother-Daughter book club; however, I have found that it brings my appreciation to an entirely different level. I think that's because the author does such a great job of bringing together what happens in the books that the girls read with the girls' current lives. I love how these books show that good literature stands the test of time and is still relevant today!

All of the regular characters that I've come to know and love were back, along with a few new ones. What I love so much about the girls in the book club is that they are all very different -- just like the real world. I've found that almost every tween girl that reads these books will relate to at least one of the characters. I also like the positive messages that these characters teach --  that despite their differences (or maybe because of their differences), they still can be wonderful and supportive friends. And more importantly, they learn to accept (and even embrace) the differences in others.

In PIES & PREJUDICE, the girls are starting high school so the book does have change as a pretty major theme. Since Booking Daughter just started middle school, I think she really appreciated that the girls were in a similar situation as her -- facing so many new things. In addition, I think she related to the queen bee scenes as well as the theme of friendship. Since the girls in PIES & PREJUDICE are a few years older than Booking Daughter, there were also some scenes with boy and crushes. All of them were extremely clean, but I'm still hoping that she didn't exactly relate to those scenes!

I can't speak highly enough about how wonderful these books are for middle grade girls, and especially mother-daughter book clubs. The author called this series "enhanced" reality fiction and I just love that term. The books have enough "drama" to keep the girls' interested while at the same time addressing many important and relevant issues in their lives. I found that some touchy subjects like mean girls, verbal bullying, and boys were easier to discuss when brought up in terms of this novel.

It's probably no surprise that I highly recommend PIES & PREJUDICE.. and really, the entire series. They are cute stories with fun characters that are sure to charm all types of middle grade girls!

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this novel!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

It does sound like such an adorable series. But I remember being in love with Ned Nickerson from a *very* early age, so I don't know how safe Booking Daughter is from relating to crushes!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Ah yes, Ned! I always thought he could do better (like me!). This series sounds adorable. I am going to have to casually run this under my daughter's nose and see if she bites (if I out and out suggest it, she definitely will not read it, because I know nothing). It sounds healthier than some of the stuff she is reading right now.

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

It's in the mail!
Is the subject matter too old for a 9 yr old??

Beth F said...

I love the sound of these books, especially that the characters grow through the series. I also love the idea of the tie-in books. My niece is likely too old for these, but I may have to try them anyway.

Nely said...

This sounds so cute. I love the idea of sharing books with my daughter. Too bad she's still only 4. But she keeps ogling my books saying "Mommy, some day these will be mine right?" It brings a smile to my face every time.

bermudaonion said...

I know I'm way past the target age for these books, but I have a feeling I would adore them!