Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
This is a fun romance with lots of references to one of my favorite books, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Julie tells the story about how her overly enthusiastic best friend Ashleigh becomes obsessed with Jane Austen's books and decides that the girls will wear vintage dresses and crash a dance at a local all male prep school. Remarkably, when they crash the dance they meet a couple of nice guys and both girls develop crushes on their own perceived "Mr. Darcy." Unfortunately, their crushes are on the same boy, but since Ashleigh speaks up first, Julie never lets on that she too likes handsome, smart Parr. The story moves along with lots of misunderstandings and mis-signals, and ends up predictably happily. This book was well-written and fun and kept me entertained the whole way. It's appropriate for middle schoolers, and while you don't need a lot of background on Pride and Prejudice, it probably would be most enjoyed by someone familiar with the book (or the fabulous BBC movie version).