3 out of 4 stars
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Readers of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, or watchers of any movie versions, are familiar with the classic tale of the Bennet family’s financial struggle and Mrs. Bennet’s eagerness to find advantageous marriages for her five daughters. It’s a story of division between the wealthy and the poor, family scandal, and changes in perspective. In Prejudice and Pride, Eve Delson has reimagined this timeless tale in a modern setting, and it’s not the Bennet women who are looking for love—it’s the handsome Bennet brothers.
Delson did a fantastic job of recreating Austen’s story in a modern setting. In her version, the Bennets attend college at Longbourn University, a prestigious college for the rich and famous, only because both parents work there. I particularly liked how well she created male versions in the Bennet brothers whose personalities matched the original Bennet sisters. Delson also managed to create a female version of the dreaded Mr. Collins, and boy did Willa Collins’ comments make my jaw drop at times! Best of all were the lovely Darci Fitzwilliam and Charlize Bingly, who played their roles well throughout the retelling.
I loved how Delson pulled relevant issues into the story, including the problem of drug dealing/drug use and the media’s ability to produce a sensational story that doesn’t quite ring true. She also included positive social activities like pet adoption, volunteering at youth events for orphans, and environmental awareness advocacy. Delson was able to use both the positive and the negative situations to create scenarios that allowed her characters to interact in a fully-developed reality where their character growth and relationships could evolve naturally.
Although the story retained some predictability, it was fun to look for the correlations between the original story and the new. I did find some of the dialogue a bit crude, but the “your mom” and “that’s what she said” jokes were, fortunately, few and far between. A few of the scenes between Darci and Eli Bennet also felt a bit cliché, but overall, I enjoyed the progression of their storyline, and the book had a satisfying conclusion.
My favorite part of the whole book was the family scandal portion of the storyline. Delson created the perfect scenario for a modern retelling that made sense and built the tension necessary to match the “scandalously patched up marriage” portion of the original.
Unfortunately, I found more than ten errors scattered throughout the book. There were no significant plot holes or notable distractions from the story, merely minor typos and punctuation errors that would be fixed with a final round of proofreading. Therefore, I give Prejudice and Pride a rating of 3 out of 4. Austen fans looking for a gender-bent retelling of the classic story may enjoy this book, and those who enjoy modern romance with no erotic content should find a pleasant read as well. Mild profanities exist within the novel but are kept to a minimum. The content remains appropriate for a teen+ audience. As a final warning, please note that this book will make you want to watch the movie for comparisons (and that in itself was rather enjoyable too)!
Prejudice and Pride
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