Oct 012011

Sense and Sensibility for YA Readers

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Sisters Gabby and Daphne just cannot seem to get along with each other! Gabby and Daphne’s views of the world are so contrasting they cannot find one thing to agree on. Daphne believes in true love, Gabby doesn’t even think love exists. Daphne is eagerly anticipating going to prom this year, Gabby staunchly refuses to go. Daphne likes to daydream and live in her romantic fantasies, Gabby doesn’t have time for dreams, she’s too busy being responsible and doing her share of the housework. Daphne adores their unreliable, late-on-child-support father, Gabby favors their overworked and stressed out mother.

Gabby and Daphne are facing a difficult period in their lives right now. Besides the usual hardships and growing pains every teenager suffers through, Gabby and Daphne have divorced parents, financial stress, and are forced to move out of their home because their mother can no longer afford the rent. In addition, just like every teenage girl – both sisters are experiencing some boy troubles. Daphne has fallen in love with the new kid in school and is determined that he is her future husband. But does he feel the same way? And Gabby’s best friend Mule (short for Samuel) has been hinting that he would like to be more than friends. But does Gabby reciprocate these feelings? Who can these sisters turn to with their troubles? Who is there to comfort them? Certainly not their exhausted mother or self-absorbed father. And they definitely can’t confide in each other…or can they?

Even though I am no longer a teenager, I absolutely loved every minute of reading Sass and Serendipity! This is the sort of novel that can be appreciated and admired by both young adults and Sense and Sensibility fans! Sass and Serendipity isn’t an exact retelling of Sense and Sensibility, there are several new twists to the plot and some characters are missing or playing different roles. What is similar between the two are the themes: the dichotomy between sense and sensibility, the consequences of restraining your feelings or letting them run rampant, and self sacrifice verses selfishness. It was interesting to see two teenage girls face many of the same issues that Elinor and Marianne faced. It just goes to show you how timeless Jane Austen’s novels are!

In addition, I liked that this book wasn’t formulaic or predictable. Ms. Ziegler captured the essence of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, but made the story her own. While the characters weren’t exact carbon copies of Jane Austen’s characters, they were skillfully drawn, well-rounded, and accessible. At times I wanted to give Daphne a good shake and tell Gabby to stop being so negative, but overall I found both heroines very likable. I also loved how Ms. Ziegler played with the Elinor/Edward and Marianne/Brandon love stories – some surprises are in store for you, my friends!

Unique, delightful, and heartwarming – Sass and Serendipity is an Austenesque novel I’d highly recommend to both Young Adult readers and Jane Austen admirers!


This is my third completed item for the “Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge” hosted by Austenprose.

Follow My Reviews!

No spam guarantee.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

  2 Responses to “Sass and Serendipity – Jennifer Ziegler”


    Thanks for the review. I’ve had my eye on this for a while!


    Above all, this is an excellent YA novel with a nice nod to Austen’s plot. The absolute confidence she had in writing with a teen voice was the best part of the book, in my mind.

Your conversation and participation are always welcome; please feel free to "have your share."