Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Prom and Prejudice

Author: Elizabeth Eulberg

Published: January 1st, 2011

Number of Pages: 288

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

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. [From Goodreads]

Quote:

It was bad enough to see friendship and love in terms of politics. But seeing it in terms of business was even worse.

Review:

DISCLAIMER: This book is based on Pride and Prejudice and should therefore be judged leniently and not critically compared to the work of Jane Austen. (Duh.)

Because, let’s face it, there’s no winning in a situation like this one. Some people would take one look at Prom and Prejudice and run for their lives. How can a book written in the twenty-first century and written for a teen audience ever compare to the epic Pride and Prejudice? Yet, somehow, my initial doubt faded as I read this book.

Elizabeth Eulberg must have a wide range of interests. I’ve read another of her novels, The Lonely Hearts Club, and it includes tons of references to Beatles songs. Beatles to P&P? Clearly Eulberg’s brain is an interesting specimen, and I admire her for it.

The most enjoyable part of this novel was identifying the parallels between Pride and Prejudice and Prom and Prejudice as I read. Which events correspond with each other? How does Eulberg take a nineteenth century character and shove them into the twenty-first? Does she give them an iPod, North Face jacket, and a vehicle with an engine? I loved seeing my beloved Pride and Prejudice reborn, but not recorded over. It’s evident that Eulberg respects Austen’s version of the story and didn’t want to violate it, but make it more light-hearted and easier for the teens of today to relate to. I’m definitely planning on recommending this to a friend of mine who would as soon read the original version of the story as pee her pants (Honestly. The other day she said to me, “I don’t do Jane Austen.”).

While Prom and Prejudice is a wonderful adaptation of the original, I did have some problems accepting it. For instance, I kept getting caught on the awkward phrases and vocabulary. The characters seem confused as to what time period they’re supposed to be in. Their way of speaking was unnatural. Their sentence structure and vocabulary was modern one second and then, jolt!, some nineteenth century lingo wiggled its way in. The mixture of the two time periods wasn’t as seamless as I had hoped. However, I don’t think many could have done better.

Additionally, there were a few events that are sadly missing in Prom and Prejudice that occurred in Pride and Prejudice. While I understand that this isn’t Austen’s book – it’s Eulberg’s – I did notice and miss the scenes that this book is lacking. There is no Catherine de Bourgh, for example. On the other hand, I was surprised multiple times by the way Eulberg tackled certain storylines. She managed to condense and/or twist things to fit her version of the story, and it all worked together brilliantly in the end. I admire her for the ingenious way she made the tale work for her.

I know that the entire experience was enriched by my prior knowledge of Pride and Prejudice, and I seriously recommend reading Austen’s version first (or at least watching the long movie). I had so much fun drawing comparisons and found much more to admire about the book because I know how difficult the plotting must have been. Eulberg had a lot to live up to, and ultimately, she did an impressive job of remodeling the classic love story and creating something fresh and appealing to both fans of Pride and Prejudice and those people who just don’t do Jane Austen.

2 Commentsto “Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg; Review”

  1. I had read The Lonely Hearts Club and enjoyed Eulberg's writing, so when i saw this when, I put it in the back of my mind to check it out. I've read P&P several times, as well as watching "the long movie'", um, more than several times, lol. I'm curious now to see the elements you're talking about; the good and the bad. Great review!

  2. I love how you called it reborn and not recorded over– great analogy. This one looks cute but I'm… wary because of how chick-lit-ish it looks, but it seems like it did well 'adapting' the P&P storyline! No Catherine de Bourgh? 🙁 And it's too bad to hear about unnatural dialogue. Great review Madeleine 🙂

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