Feb 21, 2011

Review: Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Title: Prom & Prejudice
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point
Publication Date: 1.1.2011
Pages: 231
Genre: Romance
Series: No

Rating:  D+

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

I know I’m totally going against the grain here, but I truly did not like this book. I desperately wanted to, but I just couldn’t. I will admit that I’ve never read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but I am familiar with the storyline. And honestly, I feel like now I’ve read it.

Here’s what I did like: I liked the way Eulberg managed to weave all the characters from Austen’s novel into this. Her ability to keep the original names of the characters in her updated version amused me (Mr. Collins is now Colin, a drab but sweet boy who is mostly clueless). The idea of the storyline itself is golden, and I love the idea of a modern retelling of a class – April Lindner’s Jane was one of my favorite reads this year. However, I felt Eulberg fell short when it came to executing the dialogue and setting the scene.

It was apparent within the first few chapters that this wasn’t your typical YA book because of the lines the characters spoke. I have never known a teenage girl to ever use the word “daft” in everyday speech unless reading from a book aloud in class. The characters spoke like they had been transplanted from the 1800s into the modern age. I have a very hard time finding a book enjoyable when I know that this isn’t how teenagers talk (and I don’t mean in a Dawson’s Creek kind of way). Eulberg also didn’t take the time to explain her settings. Characters walked through blank rooms, speaking contrived lines that, quite frankly, got annoying after a while. I also am not a fan of the insta-romance. It seemed like Elizabeth and Darcy fell for each other in the span of 20 pages. There were mentionings of them taking walks together, but that was it. The reader isn’t privy to these chats, so it makes their love seem abrupt and disjointed.

In all, it almost felt like a high school creative writing assignment. Like a teacher handed a student a classic and said, “Here. Read this and rewrite it for your generation.” The potential was there, and despite the lack of setting and weak dialogue, Eulberg is a good writer. But think this story would have benefitted from another 100-200 pages more to flesh out the story.


  1. I haven't read this one yet, though I'm definitely going to pick it up from the library in the near future... it's too bad it didn't live up to your expectations. I also hate insta-love (hate it so much!!!!), so we'll see how I feel about this one.

  2. I adored this book, but I think all your points are valid. I was focusing on the surface level cuteness of the book, so I appreciated it for what it was. I did think it was a lot better than her first book (although others enjoyed that more than me.)

  3. I have been wanting to get this book, but now I am not so sure that I want to read it.

  4. I have been wanting to read this book. I did read Jane Austen's book. While I cannot compare the two since I have not read this one, certainly don't not read the original. I am sure it is far superior to this book!

  5. Ah bummer! I haven't read this one, but I love Jane Austen books and thought this might be a fun read.

    Thanks for the honest review!

  6. Hi Hannah. Thanks for sharing your honest review. I've seen a lot of reviews about this book, some favorable and few were not. I actually wanted to have this book and add it on my TBR... but now, I think I will have to check more to see if I still want it. But goodness me, I love that cover!

    Yes, you're right. 'Daft' is not a usual word for a teenager. :D

    Oh, I'm Ara. New follower. :D


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