Prom and Prejudice, by Elizabeth Eulberg – A Review

Prom and Prejudice, by Elizabeth Eulberg (2011)Guest review by Kimberly Denny-Ryder of Reflections of a Book Addict

Young adult fiction author Elizabeth Eulberg is back with Prom and Prejudice, her teen driven homage to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Eulberg has quickly earned a name for herself in the world of teen romances due to the popularity of her debut novel The Lonely Hearts Club. Her novels have a flare for the comedic which this blogger believes is to her credit, as it shines as one of her strengths. She takes perhaps the most well known line that Austen ever wrote and adds her comedic flair to draw us in.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.”

It is with this line that we enter the world of Longbourn Academy, an all-girls school filled with rich, privileged, boy-crazy teen girls who have fashion designers on speed dial and have never heard the word no before. Hoboken native Elizabeth Bennet is the new scholarship student who is tortured on a daily basis for her poor and meager background. Her roommate Jane, fellow scholarship student Charlotte Collins, and piano teacher Mrs. Gardiner are the only friends that Lizzie has at Longbourn. Lizzie understands that she’ll never be accepted into the society of her fellow students and thus throws herself into her academic studies and the piano, where she has incredible talent. Being friends with Jane however does thrust her into the company of Charles Bingley, Caroline Bingley, and Will Darcy. (Will and Charles attend Pemberley Academy, the all-boys school near Longbourn) There are some sparks between Lizzie and Darcy at first, but they quickly fizzle out once her scholarship status is found out. Unfortunately the two continue to be thrown into each other’s paths since their best friends Jane and Charles are dating. Unbeknownst to Jane and to Elizabeth, Charles’ sister begins putting a wedge in between Jane and Charles. Caroline is unimpressed with the company that Jane keeps and finds Jane an unsuitable match for her brother. Charles soon disappears from Jane’s life, causing Jane to have a major meltdown. With prom only weeks away and Vera Wang already beginning her designer prom gown, how will she show her face without a date?! Elizabeth tries to convince Jane that prom is not the most important thing in life, but to a Longbourn girl it’s the social event of the season. Will Jane and Charles get back together in time for Prom? Will Lizzie and Darcy ever get over themselves to see the other for what they truly are?

If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice and have a younger girl in your family that has no interest in reading it, get them to try Prom and Prejudice. I can almost guarantee that after reading it they will be interested in trying Jane Austen. Elizabeth Eulberg has crafted an excellent teen drama with the characters from the novel we’ve come to know and love. Elizabeth Bennet is a spieited heroine who has amazing strength, tenacity, accomplished piano skills that could rival Georgiana Darcy’s in the original novel and some misdirected notions of the wealthy. Jane and Charles are kind, caring, and looking for the good in everyone. Wickham is still a womanizing jerk, always scheming for a way to discredit Darcy. Darcy is still always looking out for his friends and family with a fierceness in him that is sometimes misjudged for arrogance and conceit.

I really enjoyed this fun retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Eulberg did a fantastic job in creating a new story to bring to a younger audience and adults too. I’ve read quite a few Austen inspired novels (as chronicled here of course) and I wasn’t bored with it at any point. It was refreshing to read not only a modern adaptation of Austen’s work, but one that adapted it to a time that we all experience in our lives, our teen years. You can definitely relate to the main characters as they struggle with finding a date for prom, trying to get through finals, first loves, broken friendships, etc.

My only disappointment was in its length. At 288 pages it was a tad short and could have benefited from a longer conclusion to the story. I’m hoping that Eulberg will continue writing more about Lizzie and Darcy inspired novels in the future. It’s a nice change to read about their teenage versions, and I think it provides a new audience an entrance into the world of Jane Austen.

4 out of 5 Regency Stars

Prom and Prejudice, by Elizabeth Eulberg
Scholastic, Inc. (2011)
Hardcover (288) pages
ISBN:  978-0545240772

© 2007 – 2010 Kimberly Denny-Ryder, Austenprose

17 thoughts on “Prom and Prejudice, by Elizabeth Eulberg – A Review

  1. I have this book on my TBR list and I was nervous that it would turn out to be silly and trivial. So I’m glad you liked the book and gave it a positive review! Now I’m looking forward to it even more.

    Like

  2. Ahh! My daughter is not as enthralled with 19th century English literature as I am, so this is a book I will encourage her to read. I confess I am not generally a fan of modern day settings, however given the story I will most likely make an exception.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Prom and Prejudice, by Elizabeth Eulberg – A Review « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog -- Topsy.com

  4. Wow, I guess the great thing about Pride and Prejudice is that it can be re-done so many different ways … I’ve seen the “inspirational christian” version and the “bollywood” version already… I’m always curious to read/watch them and see how well the authors do with Jane Austen’s material…

    Like

  5. Pingback: #83 A Guest Review of Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg « Reflections of a Book Addict

  6. I’m glad you liked the book. This sentence, however, told me that I wouldn’t:

    With prom only weeks away and Vera Wang already beginning her designer prom gown, how will she show her face without a date?!

    THAT’S the main crisis in the book? Why is this a problem? I honestly don’t understand. Go stag and hang out with your friends! Find another date! Or don’t go at all. A prom is just a high school dance. It doesn’t matter.

    I don’t think I could relate to any characters who were so focused on boys and proms that nothing else mattered.

    Like

      • Just a fun fact – the high school that I went to – you weren’t allowed to go stag. You had to have a date to attend. How strange is that!!?

        I’ve heard that it’s different at proms now, but yeah, it was that way at my high school too. You couldn’t go stag to the prom, only to the after-prom. Also, by going to prom with someone, you were effectively saying that you were serious about this person to the point where you were ready to get married the day after graduation.

        And the prom was EXPENSIVE–tickets which themselves were hundreds of dollars each, fancy dresses, fancy tuxes, flowers, limos, photographs by professional photographers, a midnight breakfast after the prom, and a weekend trip to the beach which itself cost over a thousand dollars for each person who went.

        The upshot was that four couples–all from rich and indulgent families–went to the senior prom at my high school. The rest of us went to the after-prom, and most of us went stag.

        Like

    • Tracey,
      I haven’t read Prom & Prejudice yet so I can not say for sure but Elizabeth’s other book The Lonely Hearts Club does have a group of girls who go to Prom by themselves, it is all about girl power. I am just saying I think Prom & Prejudice might surprise you. :)

      Like

  7. Pingback: Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg | Janicu's Book Blog

Comments are closed.