Friday, January 21, 2011

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

genre: young adult

When your best friend is prone to obsession, you learn to get used to embarrassment and for Julia, Ashleigh is that best friend. Her current obsession? Jane Austen and all the Regency Period trappings that go along with her - the long dresses, the dancing and the hope for love. Whilst being dragged about by Ashleigh, Julia stumbles into acquaintance with a mysterious and handsome stranger who may or may not be her own beloved Mr. Darcy.

Oh, this is swoon-worthy young adult fare at its finest. The perfect amount of teenage angst, a fabulous character for a best friend, an all-boys school to crash and a grand (if slightly predictable) finish. With a fun and light romance like this one, I'm always glad when things work out how I want them to. Shulman keeps it romantic and yet wholesome, a nice change from your typical "modern day" young adult fare (she doesn't even mention what everyone is wearing all the time, which I found very refreshing) and I think she demonstrated a nice and firm grasp of the conflicted heart of a teenage girl.

As a reader who acted in high school plays of her own and who already has a fondness for a good Mr. Darcy, this one was a winner.

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