Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Enthusiasm or unhealthy obsession?
There are books and authors about which people obsess. Harry Potter, The Catcher in the Rye, Jane Austen. Sometimes these obsessions become physical manifestations. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman is the second such concerning Austen's Pride & Prejudice for teens that I've read this year.
I didn't really want to like this one. I don't know why I didn't, but it won me over. I remember when it came out, entering my sphere of recognition right alongside First Impressions, and I said, "Well, I simply can't read both of them," and picked the one without the jumping girl. For reasons unclear to me, I want to put this one together with Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies). Like at Best Buy where you can get two DVDs for $20, plastic-wrapped together as if a person couldn't imagine a DVD library containing one without the other.
Anyway, Julie has loved Jane Austen for years. She finally got her bff to read Pride & Prejudice, and now Ashleigh has taken it over as her very own obsession - she even refuses to wear anything but skirts. Ashleigh decides that they must find their own Mr. Darcy & Mr. Bingley - by crashing the All Boy's School up the hill. Only Ashley just assumes that Julie would be happy with an insipid Mr. Bingley, and promptly falls for Julie's Darcy! Gasp! Drama! (actually, literally drama, they join a musical to be closer to the boys).
This is for a slightly older audience than First Impressions, but it is essentially your typical romantic comedy with some era obsession going on, but it was entirely fun. Yay! It's a first novel, so I'm interested to see what Shulman will right next.
Cybils tally: 19/80