Monday, January 10, 2011
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single guy in his spring semester at Pemberly Academy must be in want of a prom date.
After winter break, the girls at very prestigious, very wealthy, girls-only Longbourn Academy are suddenly obsessed with the prom, which they share with the nearby, equally elitist, all-boys Pemberly school. Lizzie Bennett, who attends Longbourn on scholarship, isn't exactly 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 Will Darcy, Charles's friend, who's as snobby and pretentious as his friend is nice. He doesn't seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it's because her family doesn't have money. It doesn't help that Charles doesn't seem to be asking Jane to be his prom date, or that Lizzie meets George Wickham, who tells her that Will Darcy sabotaged his scholarship at Pemberly. Clearly Will Darcy is a pompous jerk who looks down on the middle class - so imagine Lizzie's surprise when he asks her to the prom!
Will Lizzie's prejudice and Will's pride keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? From Elizabeth Eulberg comes a very funny, completely stylish prom-season delight of Jane Austen proportions.-- Speak
Last year around this same time, I read THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB by Elizabeth Eulberg and absolutely loved it -- you can read my review here. So when I discovered that she has another young adult novel available, I jumped at the chance to read it. Her latest book is called PROM & PREJUDICE and I loved is just as much as THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB. In fact, I have to say that Elizabeth Eulberg is fast becoming one of my favorite YA authors.
PROM & PREJUDICE tells the story of Lizzie, a young girl who struggles to fit in at the prestigious Pemberly Academy. She is one of the few girls there on a scholarship and definitely doesn't fit in with the rest of the wealthy (and very mean) girls. Lizzie has a few very special friends and her love of music, but she can't help but be bothered by the constant bullying of the girls. To make matters worse, Lizzie feels as if the handsome, but snobby, Will Darcy looks down on her because of her lack of money. So when Will suddenly asks Lizzie to the prom -- a very important event at Pemberly, Lizzie is forced to reexamine many of her original assumptions about Will and a few other events in her life.
PROM & PREJUDICE is just a terrific book for teens and even tweens. As a mother of a tween, I love that Ms. Eulberg writes clean and entertaining stories that girls will enjoy but also ones with fantastic lessons. I honestly couldn't put this book down! In addition, I am pretty confident that girls of all ages are going to relate to Lizzie's story. Who didn't feel as if they were in some way an outsider in high school? I know I did. And who didn't have questions about who they could trust as a friends and even as a boyfriend?
I absolutely adored the character of Lizzie and I truly believe that this book was a coming-of-age story for her -- and you know how I love coming-of-age stories. (Of course, I also loved her best friend Jane and Will, but Lizzie really stood out to me!) Despite being in my 40s, I could really relate to Lizzie and many of her insecurities. Lizzie was a nice girl, but she definitely wasn't perfect. She held grudges, she was quick to dismiss Will, she was judgmental, etc., but most of her negative actions were a result of her insecurities. I appreciated how real Lizzie seemed, and I couldn't help but love all of the lessons she learned throughout the story.
In addition to being just a wonderful story, PROM & PREJUDICE was also loosely based on Jane Austen's PRIDE & PREJUDICE, but you probably already figured that out from the title and the characters' names. The tie-ins were terrific and I thought Ms. Eulberg did a great honor to Ms. Austen with her retelling; however, it is definitely not necessary to read PRIDE & PREJUDICE to enjoy this book!
PROM & PREJUDICE would make a fantastic book for a teen book club or even a mother daughter one. Of course you could compare and contrast this novel with the original PRIDE & PREJUDICE, but there are also a ton of things to discuss within the pages of this novel. Some of the themes which you might want to explore include harsh judgments, friendship, dating, loyalty, trust, self-confidence, staying true to one's self, forgiveness, and acceptance. I truly believe that Lizzie experienced so many universal life-lessons that all girls will benefit from reading her story!
I really can't say enough good things about PROM & PREJUDICE! I absolutely adored it and can't wait to share it with my tween daughter. It's just a sweet book that I know she and her friends are going to love. Make sure you check out Elizabeth Eulberg's facebook page.
Giveaway alert: I have two copies of PROM & PREJUDICE to share with two lucky readers. To enter, just fill out the form below before January 16th at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!
Thanks to Big Honcho for providing me with a review copy of this delightful book.