I’m a book nerd. My degree is in English. And I can’t stand Jane Austen. I mean, I absolutely hate her books, most notably Pride & Prejudice.
I know, I know. This is blasphemy! But it’s just not my cup of tea. When it comes to “the classics” I prefer stuff written in the 20th century (like The Great Gatsby or Catcher in the Rye), and when it comes to literature in general, I’m a contemporary gal. I can wax poetic about the genius of Stephen King. But Jane Austen makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out because I just find it so freaking boring.
It’s not easy taking a classic period piece and placing it in modern times, but Eulberg makes the societal drama work by setting her story in a prestigious New England boarding school. Because if there is any place in modern society where someone can make a big fuss about who has money, who doesn’t, and who is taking whom to prom — it’s in a snotty boarding school.
In fact, it was seeing how Eulberg adapted and modernized Austen’s novel that I found most captivating. Because I’m still not a fan of Pride & Prejudice — so those aspects that remained true to the source novel still irked me to no end (and that’s no fault of Eulberg’s). And while I had a pretty good idea how the book would end (anyone with an ounce of knowledge about Austen’s novel would), I had a BLAST seeing how Eulberg would get her characters there in this modern twist.
Eulberg approaches her updated retelling with a fresh eye, and seeing how her version plays out in a realistic, contemporary setting is what makes Prom & Prejudice such an enjoyable read. Both Austen fans and non-fans alike will find plenty to enjoy in this sweet, charming novel.