Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

This was the first book for the new book club over at Backstage Lounge, a little pixel art forum I visit. I'll admit, I judge the book from the title, and had low expectations for it.

Synopsis from Goodreads

After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t 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 Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise.

This held up to my expectations, which as I said before, weren't very high to start with. Longbourn and Pemberly have been turned into boarding schools, where just everyone is a douchey, stuck up, spoiled, selfish trust fund brat. I didn't like any of the characters. Jane is way too trusting, glass always full type person, but some reason the common sense and brains of Austen's Jane don't seem very evident. Lizzie seems to be always whining, whether internally or verbally, which is out of character with Austen's Elizabeth.

Did I mention this is set in high school? I didn't like high school society when I was in it. Most of those tv shows or movies about the popular high school students picking on the nerd/loner/new kid/etc generally make me want scream. This book reads just like those bad movies, or a piece of really bad fan-fiction. Her rewrite of the memorable opening line had me cringing and the run on sentence in the first 6 pages pretty much doomed it.

Its about 231 pages* (including acknowledgments. with large spacing and pretty huge margins top and bottom) and it only took me about 12 hours max to read it, and at least half of that was work and driving to my brother's to babysit and back again (I did not take it with me either). The writing and story is so simplistic, I'm sure 8-10 year olds can read it with little difficulties. Probably if I had seen that it was classified as chick-lit and that Stephanie Meyer was a strong reason for it coming around, I would have skipped it all together and say my library didn't have it.

I gave this 1.5-2/5 stars, though the 2 seems generous at times. I got more enjoyment out of the two sample chapters of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Dawn of the Dreadfuls than this whole novel.


Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

I'll definitely be staying away from this novel after your review.

Have you read Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan? It's the only modern-day re-telling of P&P that I've really enjoyed.

Sarah said...

No I've not. I've only the sample chapters of the zombie one for any Austen retelling. I love a good retelling of Austen's work on film but haven't tried any of the books. There's just so many of them out there. Some reason I'm a bit more tolerant of the chick-lit genre when its on film. I'll have to look that up, seems a good one to start with.