Wednesday, March 2, 2011

[Review] Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Title: Prom and Prejudice
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 28/02/11
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Price: $19.95
Source: For review (publisher)
Age: 14+
Pages: 240
My Rating:


After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the upcoming prom. Scholarship student, Lizzie Bennett, can neither afford nor is interested in designer dresses and shoes, but her best friend Jane is; especially as her crush, Charles Bingley, is returning from a semester in the UK.

Lizzie is happy about her friend's burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles's friend Will Darcy, who'd snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn't seem to like Lizzie, either, and she assumes it is because her family has no money. But if Will Darcy is such a jerk, why does Lizzie find herself so drawn to him?

Will Lizzie's pride and Darcy's prejudice keep them apart, or will they overcome their mutual distrust and accept their attraction? Elizabeth Eulberg has created a delightful modern-day romp through the well known parlour rooms of Jane Austen's world, it is a love story to entertain and engage as much now as then.

My thoughts: 

Not long ago, I read Eulberg's debut novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, which I was disappointed by. But after hearing so many good things about Prom and Prejudice, I was excited and very willing to give the author a second go. And I'm so glad I did, because this book was just amazing. I'll begin by admitting that I have not yet read all of Pride and Prejudice. I normally have a hard time sticking with long books, which is why I normally do not get to the end of classics. *ahem* Anyway, that's beside the point, because after having read this delicately written novel I cast it in my bucket list without hesitation.

Lizzie Bennett, the talented pianist that she is, scored herself a scholarship position in Longbourn Academy, where everyone is rich and hides behind their money. She struggles with her first semester, but she comes out of it alive and with a friend or two -- score! But the hottest event of the year, prom, is quickly approaching. And that means rich, spoiled girls chattering away in the restrooms about what dress they have picked out, who they're going with, and connections-over-connection. After a misfortunate few encounters with Will Darcy, she has him figured out, or so she thought . . . and what about this ex-scholarship student George “Wick” Wickham who seems to be completely charming and fun and so into Lizzie?

The main character, Lizzie, is a strong and exotic character, especially when compared to the 'regular', rich students at the Academy. Told from her perspective, she has been continuously ridiculed and isolated for being a scholarship student. I think that her actions were reasonable, that she made mistakes that were plausible and that any other person could have also done. With all of the pain and misery she had to go through during her time at the Academy, I could not help but feel sympathetic towards her, and the feeling of not belonging (all NSWs and VICs, shudder with me) is something that everyone can relate to. Her best friend at the Academy, Jane, is sweet and despite her lack of distinguished personality, she was loyal to Lizzie through to the end, and I was definitely rooting for her to be happy.

Darcy is a character all his own, and everyone is aware of Darcy and his lingering charm. I think without realising it, I'd fallen for Darcy. I'm sure hoping that he's this "dreamy", for lack of a better word, in the original. He has a withdrawn personality, especially towards scholarship students, and later we are privvy to the reasons as to why he (and possible also all other students at the Academy, to an extent at least) came about to this prejudice. Now that I've read this book, I finally see why people seem to fawn over him.

Prom and Prejudice centralises itself around Longbourn Academy and the social prejudices that come attached with the amount of money students' parents earn. Eulberg's story based on the original, Pride and Prejudice, is entertaining, engaging and will have readers flocking to the classics section.


First 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."

Favourite Quotes
A non-spoilery-but-still-favouritey-review.

"Darcy clenched his jaw. "You're certainly a harsh critic. Did you maybe even try to get to know us before you began judging?"
    "When?" My voice cracked unexpectedly. "When there were food stamps shoved in my mailbox? When I had to scrub off the 'Hobos not wanted' that was scribbled all over my door? When people were throwing things in my face during my first week? Tell me, have you ever had a milkshake thrown in your face?"
    Darcy looked embarrassed. He had no idea what I'd been through. And there he was, the King of the Elites, telling me that I was misjudging them."
(pg. 31)



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I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

Challenge: Contemporary YA Challenge 2011 (well, it's kind of contemporary)

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