Pride and Prejudice Meets High School
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Amazon Vine
Unlike the majority of girls who attend Longbourn Academy, an elite and expensive all-girl prep school, Elizabeth Bennet is not wealthy, not high society, and not obsessed with prom. As a scholarship student, Elizabeth is a social pariah. Each day she has to face taunts, pranks, insults, and seclusion. But instead of dwelling on her lack of friends and acceptance, Elizabeth spends her time maintaining a satisfactory grade point average, working at Java Junction, and practicing the piano. As you can see, Elizabeth has much more to worry about than which designer dress she will wear to prom.
In this modern and youthful interpretation of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Eulberg takes some themes and characters from Jane Austen’s novel and transplants them into the world of today’s high school students. Some of my favorite teenage reincarnations include: Colin Williams (Mr. Collins) as the socially oblivious bore who talks like he is from another century, Caroline Bingley and Cat de Bourgh as the catty and vile snobs we all hate, and George Wickham as the bad boy who has been kicked out of prep school.
In addition, I liked how events such as eloping to Gretna Green, Jane and Elizabeth’s stay at Netherfield, and Elizabeth touring Pemberley were cleverly and plausibly altered to be more accessible to teens and appropriate for modern times. I most especially loved Elizabeth’s encounter with Mrs. Reynolds, what an awesome twist!
What I enjoyed most about this modernization is the characters. Elizabeth, although she can be a little bitter, accurately resembled her Regency counterpart with her bravery, determination, and intelligence. I absolutely loved that she was a pianist, since it was something I could easily relate to! Will Darcy, in addition, was an admirable personification of Jane Austen’s reserved and flawed hero. I found him to be absolutely adorable. I know he was insufferably proud – but as a shy teen in love, he was cute! However, since the story was told from Elizabeth’s perspective, we didn’t get as much Darcy or insight to his character as I’d have liked.
The one aspect I wasn’t too fond of was the ending. It sort of felt a little abrupt and anticlimactic. Given the title of the book, I did feel some disappointment with the way this story concluded. Nonetheless, I found Prom and Prejudice to be a fantastic Young Adult version of Pride and Prejudice. I would not hesitate to recommend it to any young adult or adult reader. Elizabeth Eulberg is a fantastic story-teller and she effectively captured the lightness and charm of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in her lovely novel.