Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Well, I’ve finally entered my Austen phase (maybe 5 or 6 years late) thanks in no small part to the delightful Pride and Prejudice modernization webseries—the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. (Really, if you haven’t, you should check it out. It’s amazing.) My love for LBD inspired me to pick back up P&P, which I had previously tried and failed to get into. This time, though, I did. Soon after, craving more of Lizzy and Darcy and the hate-you-love-you trope they do so well, I turned to book modernizations.
Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
Released January 4, 2011
Source of my copy: Library
From the much-buzzed-about author of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB (already blurbed by Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle, and Jen Calonita), a prom-season delight of Jane Austen proportions. 
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date. 
After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn't interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be - especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London. 
Lizzie is happy about her friend's burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles's friend, Will Darcy, who's snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn't seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it's because her family doesn't have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk - so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?
The P&P retellings I read first were nice, but I haven’t  found one I like so much as Prom and Prejudice. It’s a cute, class story that captured the original characters and plot nicely while still keeping them fresh, and keeping me up way too late reading.

A big problem I’ve found with P&P modern adaptions (print and otherwise) is flopped attempt at Pride and Prejudice style speech and/or direct quotes coming out stilted or out of character for modern teens. Elizabeth Eulberg nearly fell into this a few times, but overall I didn’t find the dialogue especially cringe-worthy, even when it directly reflected the original text.

But on to the most important part: the characters. In a modernization of a classic novel, the characters are vital. We need to be able to see the characters we know and already love shine through in a new environment, yet they need to stand on their own. Eulberg captured a nice balance. The same goes for the plot, which needed to and did reflect Pride and Prejudice while making sense within a modern context. I loved guessing and seeing how each character and plot point would come through.

To finish, Darcy and Lizzie. Obviously, they ought to be perhaps the most wonderful part of the story, and I think they were. Sometimes I could be, as I always am, a bit frustrated by the stubborn and blind dislike between them (or maybe just on Lizzie’s side)—but hey, no one ever claimed they were perfect. Either way, I could understand where they were coming from; Lizzie had been required to get by without much extra cash, not to mention was tormented by the “upper class” and was reasonably mistrustful of money as a fix-it-all solution or as a no-strings-attached gift. On the other hand, Darcy had been taken advantage of and burned for his trust and helpfulness to those who had less than him, and reacted accordingly.

In the end, though, it’ll work out…won’t it?

Overall, Prom and Prejudice was a lovely story that’s great if you’re looking for a light, mostly happy read that will keep you reading and caring, whether you’re a P&P fan or not.




  1. How have I not heard of this Lizzie Bennet Diaries series!? I'm seriously gonna have to check that out. I have read a few contemporary P&P retellings but I normally get annoyed with them, they just don't hold the same magic.

    1. Yes, that's definitely an issue with them. A lot of times they're annoyingly predictable, too, though I guess that's a natural course of events with retellings. Lizzie Bennet Diaries does an excellent job of keeping it fresh and fun, though!


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