Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Fifteen-year-old Callie buys a pair of real Prada pumps to impress the cool crowd on a school trip to London. Goodbye, Callie the clumsy geek-girl, hello popularity! But before she knows what’s hit her, Callie wobbles, trips, conks her head...and wakes up in the year 1815!
She stumbles about until she meets the kind-hearted Emily, who takes Callie in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. Sparks soon fly between Callie and Emily’s cousin, Alex, the maddeningly handsome - though totally arrogant - Duke of Harksbury. Too bad he seems to have something sinister up his ruffled sleeve...
From face-planting off velvet piano benches and hiding behind claw-foot couches to streaking through the estate halls wearing nothing but an itchy blanket, Callie’s curiosity about Alex creates all kinds of trouble.
But the grandfather clock is ticking on her 19th century shenanigans. Can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, win a kiss from Alex, and prove to herself that she’s more than just a loud-mouth klutz before her time there is up?

~Owned as Kindle eBook~

This was a very cute story, though not much like Pride & Prejudice. First of all, Alex was nothing like Mr. Darcy. Yes he was snobbish and all that, but it was obvious that he was a good guy. I'd say Callie was blinded by her need to meet a real Mr. Darcy, but based on what I've learned about her, I doubt she even knows who he is. Also, there was no clear connection between the characters in this book and the characters in P&P. The only two I know for sure are Alex = Mr. Darcy and Callie = Elizabeth. I think Emily might represent Jane, and Trent, Bingley. That leaves the rake at the ball to be Mr. Wickham. And those were pretty much all the P&P connections I was able to make.

I was expecting something deeper than what I got, but it was a fine midnight read. This is more of a middle school read then a high school read; there's no deep romantic connection or anything. And everyone seemed so childish. This is NOT the best P&P retelling out there, so save this one for later down the list. I also didn't like Callie much. She was fine when she went back to the 19th century, but back in the present, she wasn't the smartest gal out there. She was a science whiz, and she called herself a nerd, but she was obsessed with being in the A crowd. She just wasn't my kind of gal.

There were a few things I hated about the book, and a lot of them occur at about the end of the book. The first thing I abhorred was Callie's stupidity. In the beginning, she kept on thinking up all these ideas to get invited to a club by the popular girls. Of course, they all failed. And they were stupid anyways. I prefer heroines who are independent and don't like the in-crowd. Another thing I disliked about the novel was how Callie bought $400 Prada shoes - despite the fact she couldn't afford them - simply because Angela (the top Miss Popular) said she could easily tell the difference between actual Prada and blowoff versions). Then, when the time comes for Callie to get her revenge, she doesn't. Angela literally says "nice blowoffs", and Callie replies that yes, yes they are. I mean, come on! There's so many comebacks to that, not to mention that apparently Angela really can't tell the difference between genuine and faux Prada. The only characters I actually liked in this book were Alex (the version from the past), Emily, and even "I'm evil but not really" Victoria.

Despite everything, the book was fairly short and easy to get through. Everything was in simple language and there was no deep background to be learned. This is probably one of the reasons this book wasn't as great as it could have been. Even though it's meant for the younger readers of YA, the book should have got some emotion out of me. Unfortunately, pretty much everything was black & white; everything was predictable (and not because it was anything like the beloved classic it's based on). I can't really recommend this book to anyone because nothing stuck out specifically in my mind, and I'm not sure Prada & Prejudice would have been enjoyable had I not been a hard-core Jane Austen fan. This book did not live up to my expectations, but neither did it severely disappoint me. I guess I'm just sort of neutral toward it.
Title: Prada & Prejudice
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Released June 11, 2009
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Romance, P&P Retelling

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