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Review: Spies and Prejudice (Talia Vance)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 304
Publisher: June 11th 2013 by Egmont
ISBN:  9781606842607
Genre: contemporary, mystery, retellings
Source: eARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Spies and PrejudicePride & Prejudice meets Veronica Mars in this slick romantic spy-thriller where nothing’s as it seems.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She's busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she's sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her "nothing amazing," it's no loss for Berry. She'll forget him in no time. She's more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother's death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can't Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

My relationship with this book is rather complicated. As a retelling of JA's Pride and Prejudice, it was fun. There were, however, some plot flaws that irked me along the way.

I think of myself as a JA connoisseur. Therefore, it is my duty to read all things JA related. That can be retellings, biographies, or spoofs-- it really does not matter. I also tend to love these books just for the mere fact that they are based on stories by one of my most beloved authors. Spies and Prejudice falls into the 'cute' category in the retelling department. It was highly original, so that made it fun. Tanner was mysterious enough, but he was no Mr. Darcy. Sorry! There were some similarities, but it's hard to duplicate such a perfect character.

While the plot of Spies and Prejudice follows Pride and Prejudice, there was one thing that hindered me from thinking this was a fantastic read. The romance between the characters really spoiled this for me. I was moving along with the story, really enjoying it, and then BAM! I was hit with the L-word. it made me go, "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!" Way too sudden. From that moment on, I was rolling my eyes any time two certain characters interacted. Very disappointing. The use of the L-word in a book should not feel like a sucker punch. There needs to be something backing that up. I just wasn't buying it with the characters, and I never did--even on the last page. Extreme 'like'? I would have gone with that. Infatuation? Also believable. You are my long lost soulmate that I need to be with for eternity? Pah-lease.

If you are like me and feel compelled to read any book that so much as looks like a JA retelling, go for it. You will find enough similarities in Spies and Prejudice to make you happy. You won't, however, find Mr. Darcy's twin or a very believable relationship. (But the first half of the book is solid enough.)


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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

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