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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review: "Pride & Popularity" by Jenni James

So as soon as I saw the title "Pride & Popularity" on Jenni's facebook profile, I knew it'd be a book I'd like. Because obviously, I love Jane Austen. And I love YA. Jenni combined my two book loves effortlessly.

This review comes as a two part series! Part 1: The Review, Part 2: The Interview!

The Point of the Plot:
Chloe Hart knew from the moment she set eyes on Taylor Anderson that he was too popular for his own good. And she's right, of course, especially when she discovers how miserable he's trying to maker her senior year. But could Taylor's behavior possibly be because he likes her? Impossible ...

Basically Believable: ****
Four stars because Jenni is right on with teen behavior. She makes the misunderstandings of regency Jane Austen fit perfectly in high school. My OCD, nit-picking eye only caught one or two places where the teens channeled a bit too much Jane Austen--that's how into the book I was. (Perhaps a person can't appreciate what I'm really saying here until they've had me edit their work. Feel free to bash my infamous pet peeve below.) I never doubted whether the situations in the book could occur and the story felt totally smooth and natural.

Charismatic Characters: *****
Jenni's parallel characters rock. Taylor is a to-die-for-hunky-hotty and Chloe is so perfectly put-off but in love I could kiss her. Neither one is ever annoying as too many romance characters can be! Chloe's best friend Madison (Jenni's verson of Lizzy B.'s friend Mariah Lucas) gets a little lost in the mix, and I found myself wishing for more of her and (Mr.) Collin(s). Alyssa is a great reincarnation of Jane Bennett and just as lovable. Chloe's mom threw me for a bit of a loop. She came off as normal and mostly normal mom-ish until the infamous scene with Collin, when her turn into loopy Mrs. Bennett surprised me. All in all, I'm all for the characters. I didn't doubt them, I loved them, they all had me cheering for them.

Yay or Yuck: The Final Word: ****
Pride & Popularity is the perfect guilty pleasure read. I raced through it in two days. The writing is simple and very easy to follow, making it enjoyable bathtub-and-candles type stuff. The plot lost the tiniest bit of steam right around the big Halloween party, where I felt it seemed to try to hard to follow the original Pride & Prejudice plot instead of following it's own road. Still, it righted itself within a few chapters and maintained a lovably, giggle-worthy pace throughout the rest. As with the Madison-Collin characters above, I longed for more of the Mr. Collins character, especially since one of my personal favorite scenes is the Mr. Collins proposal scene in P&P.
I still give Pride & Popularity a firm Yay and recommend it to any Austen lover--or any romance lover for that matter!

Buy Pride & Popularity here.

And don't forget to wait anxiously for Part 2: The Interview. They'll be a prize for those of you "early birds" if you catch my drift ...

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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