February 12, 2011

Jane Austen for a new generation

I believe I have expressed before that I am a cover shopper. I like to browse the shelves to see what jumps out at me. This time it wasn't the cover but the title - Prom & Prejudice. I found myself glancing back at this title several times, never paying attention to the cover nor its author, just that title. I am a sucker for Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth edition), so upon another visit to the book store I picked this book up. Then I noticed the author, Elizabeth Eulberg, and I knew I had to buy this book. After all, I absolutely loved The Lonely Hearts Club (it was the first book I featured in my Spotlight On... page).

I was right! This book had me at its opening line:   
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.

Brief Synopsis
Lizzie Bennet is a high school junior, extraordinary player of the piano, and a scholarship student at Longbourn Academy. This causes her much strife with many of her classmates who, of course, come from wealthy backgrounds and view Lizzie as an "outsider" as well as competition. She has just two friends on her side, her two roommates Jane and Charlotte. 

Longhourn Academy students have just one thing on their mind: prom. This is no ordinary high school prom. This is how they will be introduced into society. While Jane is enamored with Charles Bingley and hopes he will ask her to prom, Lizzie finds herself repulsed by the entire idea, but most importantly she is repulsed by Bingley's snotty friend, Will Darcy.
Can Lizzie set aside her pride and Will his prejudice in order to make a love connection, or is Lizzie destined to stay in her dorm room the night of prom?

Eulberg does an excellent job paying homage to Austen's masterpiece, using clever names to connect the modern teen to this classic. She stays true to the characterization of the tale, giving Lizzie just as much pride and Darcy just as much prejudice. This novel's cleverness is reminiscent of Meg Cabot's Avalon High, a re-telling of King Arthur. Prom & Prejudice is a strong indication that Elizabeth Eulberg will be a part of the teen writing scene for many years to come, and I for one cannot wait to devour another one of her clever novels.

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