Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition
by Erin Butler
Release Date: 09/16/14
Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Liza Johnson takes fangirl to a whole new level of crazy when she decides to take dating advice from her literary hero: Jane Austen.
With the help of her best friends, Liza sheds her ancient-speak and complete Austen wardrobe for something a bit more modern in an attempt at finding her very own Mr. Darcy.
Enter Will, the new kid and Liza’s Darcy incarnate. Add her BFF’s ex to mix and the sexy Brit who kisses with an accent, and Liza is in trouble.
So, what’s a girl to do? Without her mom to go to relationship advice, Liza turns to the only person she can truly trust with matters of the heart via her mother’s copy of COMPLETED WORKS OF JANE AUSTEN.
It’s too bad Austen’s heroines have never played Spin the Bottle or Seven Minutes in Heaven. Liza’s determined to find her true Austen-esque happy ending, but if she can’t trust herself instead of books, she just might end up in her own tragic love story.
Now onto the Review….
What I liked: One of my biggest pet peeves when reading YA is when the main characters don’t sound their age. Like yea, I get it you are a werewolf fighting against a curse, going through puberty, and trying to protect that chick over there, but come-on sound like a teenager. Luckily, Erin Butler’s characters sound like teens. They use slang and the vernacular of their (our?) generation. They have teen problems and they talk about it in a way that makes sense to their age group. Can I just say FREAKING FINALLY. It was so refreshing to read something in YA Contemporary that sounded, well, contemporary.
When I first picked up this book, I thought it was going to be a re imagining of “Pride and Prejudice,” especially given the main characters first name and was more intrigued as to what this was going to look like played out through High School, as opposed to, the Regency-era. However, I would classify this as a story that borrows rather than retells and I think it adds all the more intrigue. Half way through the book I stopped trying to figure out who was playing what P&P character and really began to enjoy the story as it stood.
What I didn’t like: The boy drama in the beginning between Ryan and Will. It felt very trite and was honestly super confusing.
What I meh’ed on: So, while I wouldn’t say that this was something I didn’t like, but I will say it did make it difficult to really fully get into the book when I began, is that fact that it is clearly for a teen audience. While I think that gives it a ton of charm, it did make it difficult for me, as an adult, to really relate until I was well into the book and suspending some of my post-first relationship boy knowledge.
Overall, this was a really charming story and Butler wrote what, to me, feels like a genuine teenage experience. I think an older reader can appreciate it in a “Omg, Eliza and Janie get yourselves together and use your brains!” kind o f way, but this would be even more appreciate for those in the same age-group as the main character. I’m excited to get this book into my students hands since I think they’ll really enjoy it and possibly learn a new appreciate for P&P and Jane Austen. (7.5/10)
About the Author
Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she enjoys reading. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially loves the ones with kissing scenes.
Erin lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. She prefers to spend her time indoors reading and writing, but will venture out for chocolate and sunshine. She is the author of BLOOD HEX, a YA paranormal, HOW WE LIVED, a contemporary New Adult novel, and FINDING MR. DARCY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION, a contemporary YA.
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