Author: Polly Shulman
Published: 2006 by Speak (division of Penguin Group)
“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: 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?
This was an adorable book! I don’t normally go for the “chick-lit” kind of books, but this was really just fun and cute. Also, it was $1 at Books-A-Million…so it was hard to pass up. However, in my opinion the Stephenie Meyer recommendation doesn’t do much to sell the book.
So, Julie and Ashleigh have this amazing friendship. Not only have they lived next-door to each other for their whole lives, but there is a tree that connects both of their bedroom windows. They can constantly go back and forth to each other’s rooms, and do everything together. And they get a lot reasonably well, because of their respect and patience for each other.
The main conflict in the plot is the mutual liking of one boy. However, this isn’t just a boy, this is Grandison Parr who is eligible, handsome, and (in Julie’s opinion) the perfect guy. Anyways, they both like him, but Ashleigh voices her feelings first, so she gets “first dibs” or whatever. The problem is, Julie has liked Parr ever since she first saw him, before she even knew his name. Now she has to try to be indifferent, to honor her friend’s feelings. I can relate to the whole “liking-the-same-guy-as-your-best-friend” thing, as it’s happened to me. I really liked the way this was handled in the book.
The book is pretty predictable, but it’s so fun to read and the characters are so interesting, that it doesn’t really matter.
Content Warnings: Some kissing and some mild language.