Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Someone Thinks She's a Big Girl...

When I read Prom and Prejudice a few weeks ago, everyone (well more than one person, I think) asked me if I had read Enthusiasm (another P&P-inspired, though only in a very loose sense, high school chic lit). I said no, because I had heard from a few sources that it wasn't great (s.b. that she gets together with the wrong guy - I have no idea why I even listen to her anymore on that subject :) and the sp.s that it was weird or something).  But I heard from a few other sources (Aliza) that it was decent, and since Sarah Sp. owned it, I figured it was worth giving a whirl.  First of all, as it turns out, I had read it, which I realized as certain parts seemed very familiar.  Can't remember whether I liked it or not the first time... though my guess is that I mostly enjoyed it at the time, since it's a fairly innocuous high school romance. Uh oh, I know you're saying (just let me have that one :))... Rochel has no patience for high school anymore, right?

That's exactly what I said... but the truth is, this really was the chip on my shoulder talking.  The book wasn't high school in the sense that it dealt with the usual young adult sagas of friendship, parents, school and of course boys.  I mean, it dealt with all those things, but Julie (main character)'s voice isn't so whiny I can't stand it or anything.   And I don't feel any marked lack of sympathy for her petty little issues... well maybe a little bit annoyed with the way she gives into Ashley (best and crazy friend), but in general, she's a good kid ;).  The problem is actually in quite the direction - I felt like I'd taken a wrong turn from the parking lot and stumbled into the Globe Theatre or onto the Yorkshire moors (was that not poetic? :)) Julie's secret longing for the man (boy) she (thinks she) can't have... Parr/Grandison/whatever his name is penning anonymous poetry in her honor.  Never mind that I'm not quite sure what took them so long to get together, because I wasn't convinced they couldn't have sorted everything out months earlier, you cannot expect me to believe high schoolers ever achieve this depth feeling, or that if they do, it has any lasting meaning whatsoever.  It was actually ridiculous... but I think that was kind of the point. The book was an homage to Jane Austen, I suppose, because Ashley and Julie love P&P... but I think it drew more than a bit on Romeo and Juliet and such, and I think was deliberate.  Nothing like a light take on a tragedy as a stage for subtle humor, I suppose.

And in that vent, it was on the funny side, I guess.  Not laugh out loud or anything, but it's certainly less annoying to think of it that way than to take it seriously.  Or not too seriously anyway... but it's not entirely farcical.  The truth is, the only enjoyment to be got out of it relies on suspending all skepticism and buying in to the romance.  As a reward, you get... well I suppose you get angst, but I have to say I didn't even really enjoy the angst... maybe because I failed in total suspension, I don't know.  But I just couldn't see enjoy the pining like I usually do :) Still, you know, he's a nice guy, very talented, and all that other stuff too :) and she's got plenty going for her too.  It was nice when they got together at the end, and it wasn't total torture waiting for them either.

Verdict: 2.8/5

No comments:

Post a Comment