Friday, March 30, 2012

Pride and Popularity by Jenni James

Pride and Popularity by Jenni James
Published by Inkberry Press
On shelves now!!!
Reviewed by: AmyG (big sis)

Pride & Popularity

Chloe Elizabeth Hart despises the conceited antics of the popular crowd, or more importantly, one very annoying self-possessed guy, Taylor Anderson, who seems determined to make her the president of his fan club! As if! Every girl in the whole city of Farmington, New Mexico, is in love with him, but he seems to be only interested in Chloe. 
This modern high school adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” is a battle of wits as Chloe desperately tries to remain the only girl who can avoid the inevitable—falling for Taylor.

Pride and Popularity is the first book in the Jane Austen Diaries series. I'm sure many of you have seen my review of Northanger Alibi a couple of months back.  They are both books in this series, but I've read them out of order!  That's okay though, they are all stand alones, and in their own way, modernize one of Jane Austen's works!  

Like Northanger Alibi, Pride and Popularity is a fun, sweet read!  Where Northanger Alibi was more suttle in its references to Northanger Abbey and tended to more represent the same themes, Pride and Popularity, is a more evident moderinization of Pride and Prejudice.  I had a lot of fun trying to figure out the parallel characters and situations.  I cracked up several times over the names that Jenni James chose!  She chooses names that allude not only to the books but the classic P&P movies as well!  See if you can find all the connections!

Pride and Prejudice has some of my favorite characters of all time!  Mr. Darcy (the Colin Firth one) is one of the great loves of my life!!!  The characters in this, do not disappoint either.  Where, historical Mr. Darcy, probably would not blend well, in a modern day high school, Taylor does almost to a fault.  Instead of hiding his feeling behind a brooding, prideful personality, Taylor is the life of the party.  He always has a girlfriend, and girls are falling at his feet left and right, except for Chloe of course.   However, no one ever sees his true feelings.  He masques them behind his popularity.  Everybody knows who Taylor is, but nobody truly knows him intimately until Chloe slowly starts to break down his walls.  He's an endearing character that pulls at your heartstrings.  Just like the orginal Darcy, you'll think less of him at first, but by the end, you'll be cheering in his corner!

Georgiana makes an appearance as well, but she's of preschool age, so no eloping with the dreaded parallel of Mr. Wickham.  She's a cute addition to the novel that I absolutely loved!  Chloe's mom, like Mrs. Bennett is pretty dreadful as well, but I missed some of her comic relief.  Chloe's mom didn't suffer from an excess of nerves as did the orignial Mr. Bennet.  She does have that uncanny ability to force relationships on her daughter though!  All in all, one of the best things about the books is comparing the characters to the original.

Ms. James adds her own spin on things that leaves a touch of her in the novel.  Any of you ever heard of MORP?  I hadn't either!  But, its the opposite of PROM, where the girls ask the guys in lieu of Sadie Hawkins.  It's a very cute idea and oh the drama it causes!!! You will love it!

If you are a fan of modernizations, then you will not be disappointed!  Being a mom, I am always concerned about what books are out there for girls, and I would say whole heartedly that I would let my daughter read this.  It's labeled as a YA book, but I think middle grade girls might love this book even more.  Pride and Popularity is a lighthearted contemporary that will leave you happy and carefree.  Just eh right dash of high school with a heaping spoonful of Austen to make it the perfect, sweet treat!