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?
Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise.
As a fan of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I was very excited to discover Elizabeth Eulberg’s high school-centric spin on the beloved classic. I’d read Eublerg’s debut, The Lonely Hearts Club last year, and knew that her empowering and humorous chick lit style would suit the story well.
Even so, I had a few concerns about the novel. For one, I wondered how close Eulberg would follow the original plot. In my experience, authors tend to pull bits and pieces of Austen’s plot, but take the story their own direction. Eulberg, however, kept the framework of the original plot, adding her personal flare by the way she modernized the story. This was by far one of my favorite aspects of Prom and Prejudice. The small changes made the book entirely unique and fresh, while also maintaining the dignity of the story. Even though the cast of characters was virtually the same and they faced the same trials as in the original, I felt like I was reading an entirely new and separate tale.
Pride and Prejudice has quite a few characters – from Bingley and his party to the five Bennet girls. Eulberg masterfully cut down the number of characters, while still doing justice to Austen’s work. Rather than having five Bennet girls running around Longbourn Academy (love this twist!), Eulberg kept only Elizabeth. Jane, in turn, became Lizzie’s closest friend (and roommate) and Lydia, the loud mouth of the five, was Jane’s little sister. This, in my opinion, was a brilliant move on Eulberg’s part, the close relationship of Lizzie and Jane was maintained, as well as Lydia’s role as the little sister. Similarly, Jane and Lizzie kept their role as maternal figures for Lydia, constantly having to save her from herself. Even with part of the Bennet brood missing, it felt as if they were there, another achievement of Eulberg’s.
Furthermore, I greatly enjoyed the twists Eulberg added to Lizzie’s character. Once again, Eulberg made the character her own by giving Lizzie a passion for music. However, my favorite change to Lizzie’s character would have to be her job at the coffee shop. This was only one of many small tweaks to the locations of important events in the novel (including Carnegie Hall and a lavish hotel in New York). It was rather comical to see Wickham and Mr. Collins making their moves on Lizzie over lattes and blended drinks, rather than classical tunes and intricate dances.
Over all, I found Prom and Prejudice to be a highly entertaining read. Whether you’re a fan of the classic or just looking for a great chick lit read, this book is sure to satisfy. Eulberg has masterfully interwoven contemporary fun and high society with the classic story of love and class prejudices.