Friday, February 11, 2011

Review: Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

Attention Jane Austen fans: this is a book for you! Even if you haven’t read any Austen novels you can still enjoy this story. But if you have any experience with Austen’s novels you will see elements of then throughout Polly Shulman’s Enthusiasm. I had fun identifying plot elements from Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (the three Austen novels I’ve read). But there are allusions to all of them. The characters, Ashleigh and Julie, reference Austen’s heroines and try, sometimes successfully and other times not successfully, to imitate them.

I enjoyed this novel so I’m having a hard to telling what it was that was so great. You see, this book might be called a feel-good novel. It doesn’t push the envelope and is a sweet story with a happy ending. But I liked it! Yes, it was a tad predictable (at least for me). But that did not keep me from enjoying the story at all.

Julie and Ashleigh’s relationship was my favorite part. They seemed like a couple average girls. They are having their first serious crushes and dealing with boys for the first time. They’re not sure how exactly to act. What do you do when a boy obviously likes you but you don’t like him? You don’t want to be mean. How do you show a boy that you do like him? Without feeling like an idiot? The girls are
Summary: Julie’s best friend, Ashleigh, is an enthusiast. Julie never knows what new obsession will catch Ashleigh’s fancy, but she does know she’s likely to be drawn into the madness. Ashleigh’s latest craze is Julie’s own passion, Pride and Prejudice. But Ashleigh can’t just appreciate it as a great read; she insists on emulating the novel’s heroines, in speech, dress, and the most important element of all—finding True Love. And so Julie finds herself with Ashleigh, dressed in vintage frocks, sneaking into a dance at the local all-boys prep school, where they discover some likely candidates. The problem with Ashleigh’s craze this time, however, is that there is only one Mr. Darcy. So when the girls get a part in the boys’ school musical, what follows is naturally equal parts comedy and romance, as a series of misinterpreted—and missed—signals, dating mishaps, and awkward incidents make Julie wonder if she has the heart for True Love.
at a tender and vulnerable age. They know it and try to be good to each other. Not all girls are “mean girls” who harbour jealousies and constantly criticize. Julie and Ashleigh are regular teens with regular issues - school, boys, parents. And I liked them for it. 

Publisher: Speak, 2006     Pages: 208
Rating: 4 Stars     Source: Amazon Storefront


  1. I love the sound of this one, I shall have to read it soon!!! Great review!!! Glad to hear that you enjoyed it! I have a award for you Here