By Elizabeth Eulberg
Date Published: January 1, 2011
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.Prom and Prejudice is a cute, simplified retelling of-you guessed it- Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Euhlberg does an interesting job of connecting the characters, names, places, events, etc. of the classic to a modern-day setting. Euhlberg takes on a literal interpretation of Austen's story, only, in a world with phones, coffee shops, and Macy's. It was really amusing to see what she would come up with whenever a new character was introduced because they all had the same names as their original counterparts. However, this was really the only thing the book had that kept me going.
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?
The book reads quite like it was written in a few hours. The dialogue was stilted at times, because Euhlberg tended to switch between modern and Austen era language. Honestly most teens don't speak like they live in the 18th century today, even if they are ridiculously wealthy. I found the characterizations of all the characters to be over exaggerated, so I couldn't sympathize or connect with anyone, not even Liz, the main character and narrator of the story. For me, once a connection with the narrator is lost, it's hard to enjoy the rest of the story. I did like Will Darcy's character a lot more, but I may just be biased (Mr. Darcy being one of my favorites and all). I'll admit that there were some moments where I could not help cringing at the writing style.
It's a light, breezy read for a boring Saturday. If you're looking for something profound or suspenseful, you won't find it here. Cheesy fun? Yes. But while I found this book to be lacking, the fact that its style seems to cater to a younger audience may be a good thing. In an age where the classics aren't painted as the most "fun" or "exciting", Prom and Prejudice might just encourage those who haven't read its inspiration to look into it. I love the fact that years and years later, the classics are still as relevant as they were back then- and Euhlberg's sophomore effort is a testament to that. But my go-to book on a rainy day, or whenever actually, will happily remain Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.