Despite the atrocious star rating at Goodreads I thought I'd give this book a chance anyway. A gender-swapped 'Pride and Prejudice' set in the modern day? That just sounded like such a good premise I couldn't resist.
Darcy Fitzwilliam is a 29 year old hedgefund superstar. She left Pemberly, Ohio after not wanting to deal with her family or the drama or her past or be tied to her hometown and money. However, her mother has become ill and it's time to return home and face the ghosts of the past. And from there we get romance shenanigans, younger siblings who are a hassle, disappointed parents, drunken kisses and an eventual happy ending, relatively speaking.
As a concept it was really great. Author Melissa de la Cruz did a good job in updating the P&P storyline without trying too hard to shovel all the characters and story elements into a modern setting, which I thought was a problem with Curtis Sittenfeld's 'Eligible'. Some of the issues in Austen's day wouldn't really have the same impact or create the same problems today so the "younger sibling gone astray" trope had an interesting twist which I thought was a good change. How that particular story thread gets resolved was not particularly realistic though.
Which brings me a problem with the book. Maybe flipping this around made the story seem more like a "rich people problems" type of book (which I don't care for) but I was skeptical of how "younger siblings gone astray" was resolved by Darcy. That money was the tool was fine but as Darcy is pretty much a stranger (despite being a member of a very wealthy family) just made it a bit too convenient. It could have worked but unfortunately de la Cruz didn't quite close that deal.
Which is sort of an ongoing theme. The book starts well and the premise is great. But the characters are often incredibly annoying and there were times where I wondered if I was reading a book aimed at YA readers instead. The author couldn't quite decide to make Darcy a vulnerable young woman who has to grow up emotionally or just an outright jerk, which may have less to do with intent and more of the writing not quite forming most of the characters very well.
It kept me reading since I was curious enough to care to see how everything was resolved but that may have been my fondness of the original that made me wonder how this would work itself out. I think a 2.5 rating for me is closest: there's a wonderful book here but unfortunately it seems like a first draft is what ended up being printed and there was no editor to really sit down and draw out what could have been an excellent retelling. I wouldn't be surprised if this gets adapted into a miniseries or movie, though. Definitely borrow from the library if you really want to read it but it's also fine to skip it entirely.