Someone once asked me what it is exactly that entices me to pick up a book and read it. Not in the literal since mind you, the “what drives me to turn to the written word instead of human interaction” is a conversation for another day, but the specifics. In the interest of full disclosure (and because I’m fairly confident that the same applies to the majority of you that are reading this) 85% of the time it’s the cover.
I know, I know… “never judge a book by it’s cover” blah ditty blah blah. We all do it, there’s no use hiding behind some ancient 18th century adage that people like to spout but never actually adhere to. Cover art is meant to capture the eye of a perusing audience, after that it’s the synopsis’ job.
Which makes up another 10% of what ultimately catches my fancy. I can easily be turned on or put off by a blurb. Want to suck me in? Have a killer hook. If I fall asleep after reading just 4 sentence, I’m out.
The last 5% (and this is where you are going to call me bat-shit crazy) is if said book makes ANY reference (any at all) to my most beloved novel, Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
I’ll give you two guesses as to why I chose to read and review this book.
Yeah…I’m fairly simple minded. *shrugs*
Complete and utter ridiculousness aside (on my part, not the books) “Prejudice meets Pride” was actually a joy to read. With a cast full of lovable and witty (read: bullheaded) female characters, and a plot that is (despite a few minor flaws) packed to the gills with sweet/honest and entertaining romantic tropes, this book makes for a fun, easy and heartwarming read. (Preferably by a fire. Under a snuggie. With a huge glass of hot cocoa to keep you company.)
I’m not necessarily a “Happily Ever After” girl. If you’ve read any of my discussion posts lately you probably get that I’m more of a “kill your darlings” activist. (Which, for the record, scares the piss out of my husband.) But there is something to be said about occasionally smiling more than crying when it comes to reading. Especially around the holidays when my over-scheduled existence tends to push me right off the train into “Cranky Pants Land.” (Trust me, you DO NOT want to visit, it’s a horrible…horrible place. *shudder*)
That said, I would have appreciated a tad more of the drama that fills my “normal” angst driven romantic ventures. For example: the mid-book break-up. We all know it’s going to happen; it’s what helps build suspense and ultimately drive emotional attachment. It’s also the most (ok, maybe the second most — first kisses are the King of that castle) important moment of the book. Without it the story would be all blue skies and rainbows (Aka: boring.) In the case of Anderson’s “Prejudice meets Pride” it was just entirely too quick. THIS is the moment to drum up genuine pain, tears, and pity for all characters involved. It’s also a prime opportunity to bring back secondary characters (ie: Nicole the ex) and let them wreck havoc. The bigger the mess, the more intense the clean-up. Which will eventually lead to the mother of all reunions. This time around, the break-up seemed trivial. (Which is ironic since it doesn’t seem trivial in Austen’s version…maybe it’s the era talking.) It was also resolved within just a few pages, with a few strategically placed notes (nice nod to Austen’s penchant for heartfelt letter writing by the way. *high five*)
All of that, however, is totally and utterly meaningless beside the fact that I liked this book. Yeah it could have been a little darker in places, and yes I thought the character development of a few (Kevin’s mom, Emma’s sister-in-law, and Emma’s brother in particular) could have been more effective if a little more detailed, BUT I still LIKED THIS BOOK.
It was happy, and warm, and put a smile on my face. And at the end of the day…if a book can do that, I say: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
If both the cover and the synopsis catch your interest I say go for it. It’s well worth the time it took to read it, and would make for a great lighthearted down time reading companion.
It turns out that “Happily Ever After” isn’t as bad as I originally thought it would be.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: Sometimes something as simple as a smile can make you feel better.