Posted by : Ruby EscalonaTuesday, November 24, 2009
29-year old Emily Albright is a manager in an independent bookstore in New York City. After one disastrous date after another, her best friend decides to book her on an 18-30 tour in Mexico in order to meet new guys. But Emily, determined to escape that Mexico tour, booked herself a Jane Austen book tour in England.
However, the book tour is not what it seems: it's filled with pensioners, except for one journalist named Spike, who goes about interviewing people about why they think Mr. Darcy is the ideal man.
Until one day, during the tour, Emily meets the real Mr. Darcy.
Hmm... Initially, I thought "Okay. This seems like an interesting book to read." It is a chick lit that deals with a Pride and Prejudice character -- Mr Darcy. I got it from BookMooch and read it as part of our October Book Club, where we have to read Pride & Prejudice and an offshoot book.
Anyway, lets now go on to my thoughts. First off, I really got confused with the story. Seriously. I had a few moments where I would scratch my head and go "What happened?" and "How did that happen?" Especially in parts where Mr. Darcy would magically appear out of nowhere.
Granted, there were dragging parts every now and again, but some parts were just sooo boring and full of useless details [at least for me], that I had to force myself to go read the next few pages of the book.
Character-wise, Emiy is portrayed as a romantic, idealistic girl, who had no fashion sense whatsoever. But the way the author described how she packed her things as she was leaving New York for London seemed unreal. I mean, packing a lot of books instead of clothes? Come on! That is so unreal. Bookworms usually pack around 3-5 books per trip and if they need to read some more during the trip, they head off to the airport bookstore or any other bookstore they could get their hands on, not pack everything that they have in the closet.
As for Spike, well, he was inconsistently described in the book. He's blonde and a bit dishevelled, but you don't have to go bashing him about saying he's got a potbelly or something.
There's also some characters that don't need to play a supporting role but is wildly described in the story. I don't need that much information, right?
Location-wise, I think it was well-researched, as the places described in the book are existing and do tie up to what is in Jane Austen's novels and/or screen adaptations! I know because I googled them myself too. :) Classic example: Sham Castle in Bath! I've been to Bath [well, for only a few hours] but never knew there was a Sham Castle that existed in the first place!! However, one thing that isn't feasible? The coach picking up all the tour participants in the airport. Of all the tours I've known, they normally pick up the people in their respective hotels or at a bus stop! It isn't feasible to be in an airport!
Plot-wise, It lacks originality. There are some parts which were just a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice, albeit different circumstances, character names, and jobs. It does have some fantasy elements in it though [what with Mr. Darcy popping up every now and again and blank pages of a book] but definitely not enough to capture my attention.
Overall, I'm a bit torn on whether I liked the book or not, so I'll probably give this a rating of 2.25/5.
I'm surprised that for a chick lit book, the heroine was not funny enough for me, and the scenes between the hero and heroine lacked to give me that fluttery feeling in my stomach that I get whenever there were sweet and cute moments happening between them.
Oh, also don't be surprised that some of the spellings are different -- the author is based in the UK.
Read it if you're a Pride & Prejudice fan who wants to read the story told in a modern point of view, who wants to have a feel of how it would be like to have Mr. Darcy pop up in the modern view, and well, just want to read a chick lit book.
Final Rating: 2.25/5
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