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review 2017-12-06 23:38
A joy to read despite the shortcomings
Only Mr. Darcy Will Do - Kara Louise

I’m such a sucker for these kinds of books featuring Pride and Prejudice. There are so many different types of retellings and most of them are good. This one has its moments and it was enjoyable to read.

 

So in this twist, our beloved Mr Bennet dies prematurely and Elizabeth becomes a governess. This was rather interesting, and it does suit Elizabeth rather well - although back then in the day it’s a drop in the society ladder and everyone she knows makes sure she knows it.

 

So she meets Rosalyn which I thought at first, was an ideal friend for our dear Lizzie. She’s a bit  vapid and valley girl type of character. Especially when Mr Darcy is around (can’t blame her, we all love Mr Darcy) but it’s almost to the point where she’s annoying about it.  It’s not until the latter half of the novel where Rosalyn does a complete 360 and she becomes a pretty awful person (including her mother).

 

The plot in this one tries to stay within the main one we’re all familiar with it just diverts the path a bit and comes back to full circle. Which is nice as it tries to stay true to the original story at the same time you just get a different “what if” scenario to enjoy reading. I’d have to say I enjoy reading Hamilton (another cousin of Darcy’s) playing along with Elizabeth. It was playful banter and he sounded like the type of rogue we all love to read and fall for (albeit, foolishly). It was a bit hard to get into at first but it’s worth going through to the end as once Rosalyn does her 360 turn, everything becomes much more interesting.

 

The only thing I did not enjoy reading is towards the end Darcy does something completely out of character and it just did not sit well with me. He’s not the type to be outspoken even when it comes to be madly in love. Don’t make him something he’s not. It nearly ruined the entire book as it was doing so well staying close to the true nature of the characters only to have him do something he wouldn’t EVER do (nor can you picture him doing so).

 

Also, the ending just dragged too much for me. We get it. We all know what’s going to happen. We all know what did happen. There’s no need for extra fodder in the last few chapters of the book. It could have just ended with the proposal or wedding and done. Perhaps the last few chapters could have been made into an entirely new idea for another book to be made. It was just so unnecessary.

 

Overall, it was a good read for those that love Pride and Prejudice “what if” scenarios and fans. I enjoyed it despite those changes in characters that nearly caused me to grind my teeth and yelling out certain expletives.

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review 2017-11-28 12:52
It's a pity, because there's a good story somewhere here.
Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe - Melissa de la Cruz

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.

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review 2017-10-19 03:55
Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe - Melissa de la Cruz

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

 

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe is a festive retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

 

The book starts with Darcy Fitzwilliam returning to Pemberley, Ohio because her mother has had a heart attack.  Eight years earlier, Darcy had a furious row with her father because she did not want to marry her boyfriend Carl who came from a well connected family in Pemberley.  When her father threatened to stop financially supporting her she fled to New York.  Darcy is now a partner in a hedge fund and is the third wealthiest woman under 29 in New York.

 

Her mother is recovering well from her heart attack and insists they should still hold their annual Christmas party.  At the party she is reunited with her best friend from high school Bingkey Charles who now lives in LA.  She gets very drunk with Bingley at the party and she meets her neighbour Luke Bennett.  At school she hated Luke and he thought she was selfish and entitled, as they start trading insults under the mistletoe he kisses her passionately.  Darcy is shocked because she felt sparks.  Luke is a simple carpenter happy with his lot in Pemberley, how can she be with a man like that?

 

In my twenties I only read chic lit books.  Now I am older I read psychological thrillers mainly but I still read Marian Keyes, Katie Fforde and Holly Martin . However I love Christmas and I enjoy festive romcoms this time of year.

 

This was not a bad book, however I thought the plot was unsophisticated and lacked any humour.  The explanation for Darcy becoming estranged from her whole family in the first place was ridiculous.  I could understand why she wanted a career before marriage but why did she allow herself to be cut off from her family for 8 years. Also Darcy was supposed to be a successful 29 year old million heiress but I found her immature and tempestuous. I think this booked is aimed more for teenagers then adults 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-12 21:28
Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe - Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Author:  Melissa de la Cruz

Publisher: St. Martin's Press 

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Four

Review:

 

"Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe" by Melissa de la Cruz

 

My Thoughts...

 

If you are looking for a 'feel good' quick read for the holiday you may like this one by this author focusing on Darcy Fitzwilliam and Luke Bennet.  We find that a lots will happen as Darcy returns home for the holiday after her mother has had a heart attack.  Darcy was quite a successful woman however she also had a life that was full of insecurities.  I enjoyed how this author was able to deliver a modernized retelling of 'Pride and Prejudice' and let's not leave out the Mistletoe where there will be a 'complete flip of characters.'  What will happen when one of the richest women who doesn't have time for nothing but work...comes home after been gone for eight years, having to deal with her strained relationship with her father, mother's illness and having to attend her parents's yearly Christmas party? Will a lots of the events that take place in this story set off some events from the past that seem to collide with Darcy's future? What will happen when Darcy meets up with Luke Bennet...the carpenter?  What happens when Darcy begins to think that maybe living the simple life would be better than the one she now has?  Now to get all of these questions answered and so much more you will have to pick up this novel [Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe] and understand that its a spin off/flip of the original 'Pride and Prejudice,' a Jane Austen Classic however, this will be a quite a different story that is full of  twist and turns, 'lightheartedness, self discovery and second chances.'

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-17 21:01
Good As You
Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride – 30 Years of Gay Britain - Paul Flynn

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

This was a really interesting insight into gay culture in the UK, from the seventies to nowadays: how it shaped itself, the hurdles gay people had to go through, how other people’s views gradually changed...

The book’s chapters follow specific themes, such as TV, AIDS, politics, football or pop music, rather than going in a purely chronological order. This makes for a rather comprehensive view of various areas of British culture, in the light of what being gay more specifically entails. The chapters are also well-segmented, and it’s fairly easy to pick up the book again if for some reason you had to leave it (to go do those pesky things called ‘work’ or ‘sleep’, for instance).

I learnt plenty here: how the introduction of explicitly gay characters in shows like East Enders or Coronation Street was perceived, how their actors were perceived at the time, how it changed with more recent series. Or how specific bands and singers were seen, who became a ‘gay idol’, who remained in the closet, who openly announced it. Or the many people who lost their lives to AIDS—and may not have, if they hadn’t had to remain closeted and more information had been available. Or Clause 28, which I had never heard about until now (not being from the UK probably didn’t help in that regard), and the journey from there to legalising same-sex marriages.

Paul Flynn interviewed quite a few interesting figures within the scope of this book, including Alison (who worked at the Lighthouse, offering end of life comfort to patients dying of AIDS), David Furnish (Elton John’s partner), or football player Robbie Rogers—not being particularly interested in football in general, I admit I somewhat knew that the latter is still a difficult area when it comes to being gay, but I wasn’t sure to which extent.

If anything, I would’ve liked to see more about the AIDS period, and somewhat less about the Kylie Minogue parts, so I guess I’ll have to pick other books for this.

Conclusion: Probably better as an introduction that will give you pointers to what to research in depth, so if you’re already very familiar with the country and period, the book might seem a little simplistic. Otherwise, go ahead.

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