Prom and Prejudice
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Point; 1 edition (January 1, 2011)
Source: My personal book
Who doesn’t enjoy a spin off of a Jane Austin tale? In this version of Pride and Prejudice, Lizzie (Bennet) finds herself at Longbourn Academy on a music scholarship. Although she has an amazing talent for playing the piano, no one at the prestigious Longbourn Academy enjoys her presence since she is not from a wealthy family. Luckily for Lizzie, she has a wonderful, caring roommate named Jane. Unfortunately, Jane’s boyfriend (Charles Bingley) is best friends with Will Darcy.
Lizzie can’t stand to be in the presence of Will Darcy. Upon her first meeting with Darcy, he snubs her when he found out she was a scholarship student. Of course, Lizzie has spent so much time being tortured by the rich students at her school that she instantly takes offense to Darcy, and makes no attempt to change her opinion of him. To make matters worse, she meets the charming George (“Wick”) Wickam one evening while working at the coffee shop. Lizzie is fascinated with Wick because he was a former Pemberly scholarship student that was horribly mistreated by the despicable Will Darcy. (Notice the irony from the original tale?)
Like the original tale, Lizzie has to realize that Darcy isn’t as evil as she assumes, and that Wick is truly a cad. Swallowing her pride, she makes amends with Darcy and forms the beginning of what we can assume is a nice, healthy relationship.
Like most of the retellings of Pride and Prejudice, this version sticks to the main plot points of the original work. Of the other retellings I’ve read in the past, this one was one of my favorites. Darcy is (as always) misunderstood. While Lizzie prides herself on not being prideful, but inevitably ends up acting like the people she so adamantly dislikes. In this version, however, there are a few twists. Since the characters are too young to think about marriage, the conflict in the novel radiates around the prom. At Longbourn, prom is the equivalent of walking the red carpet at the Grammy’s.
There is really no need to go into much detail about the plot of the story, since most readers are familiar with the story of Pride and Prejudice. The plot of this book stayed at a consistent pace. I enjoyed the unexpected connection between Darcy and Lizzie’s musical idol. I think that added a nice dynamic to his character. As in the original, Wick is eventually shown as the despicable scoundrel that he is. Plus, we find out that Lizzie has a mean left hook!
This was a “cute” read that I enjoyed. I was a breeze to read through; I finished it in one sitting. The cover has peeked the interest of several of my female students, which is inevitable when you mention the word “prom” in a title. I’m excited to use it as an introduction to classic literature and one of my favorite authors of all time!