Saturday, May 14, 2011

YA Review: Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

In one sentence: An addictive, cute, quick read that I couldn't put down.

From the back of the book: 

Jane Austen never had friends like this...

"There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding herself tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast." Julie knows from bitter experience. Her best friend, Ashleigh, veers wildly from one obsession to the next, dragging Julie along on her crazy schemes. Ashleigh's current fancy is also Julie's own passion: Jane Austen's great love story Pride and Prejudice. Dressed in a vintage frock and dragging her feet, Julie finds herself sneaking into a dance at an all-boys' prep school with Ashleigh, in search of heroes. Unfortunately, they both fall for the same one: the handsome and gallant Grandison Parr. Will Julie have to choose between loyalty and love? Or will Ashleigh's embarrassing antics drive him away before Julie gets a chance?

So, I totally related to this book because, Hi, my name is Leah and I AM an Enthusiast. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? I find something I like and then I dive full on into it. Hence that unfinished crocheted afghan in my closet, my very large collection of jewelry making supplies, and the artist's station that's gathering dust in the corner of my Me Time room.

Shulman does a great job with her characters. Julie and Ashleigh are believable best friends and Grandison is definitely swoon-worthy. Plus, all the supporting characters were just as interesting as the main ones.

 The cute little misunderstandings that happen between everyone is very Austenlike. And doesn't everyone love good ol' Jane? The play that our characters get involved in creates the whole story-within-a-story thing that I always find enjoyable.

If you ever loved an English class then this is a book for you. I mean, how can you not love an acrostic sonnet or the fact that Julie and Grandison speak in rhyme and meter during their first meeting?

Bottom line: If anyone asks me for a good recommendation in the YA contemporary genre, this will be one of the first ones I'll suggest.

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