Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Fifteen-year-old Callie's class trip to England is, like most things in her life, remarkably unremarkable. Ever since she was overheard making a derogatory remark about cheerleaders by one of the most popular girls in school, Callie has been permanently on the D list. To her misery and embarrassment, she has been ditched by her class-trip buddy, leaving her stranded at their London hotel. A scheme to join fellow classmates on a surreptitious trip to a hot club leads to her tripping spectacularly over her new Prada heels. Upon waking from her blackout, Callie discovers that she has been transported to Regency England and is now the long-lost American friend of Emily, a well-to-do teenager. True to her character, she makes a series of faux pas with the titled gentry, earning her the disapproval of a matriarch and a dashing 19-year-old duke. Although her adjustment to an 1815 lifestyle is rough, she begins to appreciate her friendship with Emily and her surprising budding romance with the duke. Callie's perpetual awkwardness, chronic foot-in-mouth syndrome, spiritedness, and openness make her genuinely likable. Endearingly funny episodes involving a Heart and Soul pianoforte duet and a CPR rescue in front of an astonished crowd are contrasted with Callie's determination to rescue Emily from an engagement to a suitor 30 years her senior.

This was another one of those books that I just thoroughly enjoyed. It wasn't anything special, and it was fairly predictable, but it was exactly the kind of book I was in the mood for when I read it. (Isn't that the best??) I thought Callie was a very likable character and Alex (the Duke) was a character I had a love-hate relationship with. I loved him, but I hated how conceited he was. I really liked his chemistry with Callie once he loosened up a bit. The story line was cute, not overly clever, but it was a fun twist on the "Pride and Prejudice" story, for all you Jane Austen lovers. I really liked the end. The entire book, I was trying to figure out how the story could be wrapped up into a nice, little, feel-good package, and I think the author did that well. Austen fan or not, I say--check it out!

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