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Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Review

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Everybody has heard of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, whether it is because of the novel by Jane Austen or the movie. The dramatic and romance-filled plotline has captured the hearts of readers of all ages. The novel has inspired spin-offs, remakes, fanfiction and more.

Known for writing romantic and enchanting novels across the entire spectrum (of sexuality, genre and more), Melissa de la Cruz introduces a twist to this classic romance novel. In a gender-bender of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, De la Cruz sets PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND MISTLETOE in the twenty-first century all the while capturing the heart of her inspiration.

Everybody knows that Darcy Fitzwilliam is a bossy, irritatingly tough, cold-hearted snob. She never had a particular plan for her future except that it had to be as far as possible from and more exciting than the boring place she was raised in --- Pemberley, Ohio. To Darcy, Pemberley is a place where everybody hated and misunderstood her, especially after she actually left. Darcy has everything: youth, intelligence, wealth and most important, independence, but it all seems insignificant when her mother falls ill and Darcy has no choice but to return to her roots.

"PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND MISTLETOE...stay[s] true to the characters and overall idea but [makes] enough changes to create a unique story. This is the best type of adaptation."

Introducing Luke Bennett --- the bane of Darcy’s high school life. More than 10 years have passed but Luke’s scorn for Darcy’s city-girl ambitions remains as strong as ever. Darcy hates his (admittedly handsome) guts and all signs indicate that the feeling is mutual. Just as she starts thinking her return couldn’t possibly get any worse, Darcy finds that eggnog inspires a horrible, surprising attraction for Luke. After one too many drinks, Darcy awakens next to Luke...in her bed! To make matters worse, her on-again-off-again boyfriend Carl is really getting on her nerves. Begrudgingly, Darcy begins to walk down an uncalled path of self-acceptance. Will Darcy’s unwavering pride and Luke’s strong prejudice get in the way of what could be the best thing that has ever happened to either of them?

As a moderate fan of purely romantic novels I was glad to find hints of comedy in PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND MISTLETOE. This definitely made the book lively even when the characters were supposed to be suffering from a mental breakdown. I found myself laughing at Darcy’s silly thoughts. Even though readers never really entered the mind of a male Darcy Fitzwilliam, the female Darcy Fitzwilliam, presented by De la Cruz, hits the mark. Darcy is witty, intelligent and a bit cynical. Likewise, Luke Bennett is truly a male Elizabeth. He is well-off financially but prefers simplicity and cares deeply for his siblings. Luke’s outward contempt for --- but hidden attraction (which is obvious to readers) to --- Darcy creates some serious tension between the two characters. On this note, I believe Melissa de la Cruz hit the bull’s eye.

However, one thing I somewhat disliked about Darcy was that although her thoughts served as comedic relief, they often reflected those of a middle schooler. This was rather annoying considering Darcy was supposed to be a mature, grounded individual. I was expecting something different. However, her thoughts served a deeper purpose in the story that was perhaps De la Cruz’s primary intention. Darcy’s thought process added to the fact that even though she had a tough, thick-skinned exterior, she was just as unsure of herself as everybody else. Darcy’s childish thoughts were a gateway into a new, yet true version of the protagonist. Thus, the annoyance can definitely be overlooked considering the greater purpose behind it.

The plotline did not change drastically from the original but was enough to make a new reader believe this book is a standalone. That is, it was easy to forget that PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND MISTLETOE is an adaption of a story because it was not an exact repeat of the original. It did stay true to the characters and overall idea but made enough changes to create a unique story. This is the best type of adaptation.

With this being said, the book can certainly be enjoyed by all readers, whether they are fans of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE or not. Being knowledgeable about the source of inspiration is unnecessary yet convenient. There is no need to read another book before this one which is a plus for people that want a quick read. The book is not for readers who lean towards thrillers or anything similar but is perfect for hopeless romantics; PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND MISTLETOE is especially suited for fans of dramatic yet enjoyable love-hate relationships.

Reviewed by Flor H., Teen Board Member on December 13, 2017

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
by Melissa de la Cruz

  • Publication Date: October 17, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Holiday
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250141397
  • ISBN-13: 9781250141392