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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lizzie and Darcy with cell phones!,
This review is from: Love, Lies and Lizzie- Jane Austen in the 21st Century (Paperback)In her fourth book in the Jane Austen in the 21st-century series for young adult readers, (and some older adults who are forever young at heart), author Rosie Rushton tackles Jane Austen's most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, retelling the story with a contemporary twist. Her teenage Lizzie Bennet and sisters are still hunting for beaus, but with all of the advantages of modern technology: mobile phones, laptop computers and blackberries. The Bennet family always wanted to be well connected. Well, now they are.
Rushton has been faithful to the original storyline, cleverly transferring the machinations of Regency courtship into the traumas of 21st-century teenage search for romance. There are plot changes, but half the fun is remembering the differences, and seeing her logic in updates. The most significant change is that the Bennet's are wealthy - nouveau riche - since Mrs. Bennet inherited a bundle from a third cousin. This Mrs. Bennet is still as outrageously unrefined as ever, using her new money to social climb through Meryton's better families. Mr. Bennet is still an unhappy bystander, but now resides in his music room listening to Wagner at full volume instead of the quaint and quiet 19th-century pastime of reading. The five Bennet sister's personalities and foibles are all updated cleverly. Lizzie, like Austen's, is as spirited and outspoken as we would wish her to be, Jane as kind and accepting as ever, Mary/Meredith a fervent ecologist afraid of global warming and food additives, and Kitty/Katie and Lydia are now twins; one wilder than Austen ever could have imagined, and the other unhappy because she is not. I'll let you sort out who is who! The male love interests play out well too. Fitzwilliam/James Darcy is dishy and arrogant enough to drive a Ferrari and Charles/Charlie Bingley still a pushover. Mr. Collins/Drew Collins is as toady as ever, only times two since he can reach characters by cell phone, text messages and e-mail ad nauseam. There is no getting away from him! All comfortably familiar. Only Charlotte/Emily Lucas and George Wickham were a surprise. I'll let you discovery why.
Updating a classic of world literature is a daunting task that Rushton handled with composed energy. Her plot, characters and language was up to the minute, filled with modern technology and cultural references that teenagers (and adults) will identify with. I had to laugh when Darcy's famous 'be not alarmed, Madame' letter explaining to Lizzie his reasons for separating Jane and Charlie and his treatment of George Wickham arrived via e-mail! How else? There's also lots of texting flying about speeding up the pace. Certain elements of the original story were omitted, not causing any offense to this devotee of Austen's works. In reverence to Jane Austen, Rushton began each chapter with epigraph from the original text, foreshadowing the narrative. It was a nice touch connecting the two novels with quotes that any Austen fan will recognize.
Rushton is a British author and this edition has certain colloquialisms that were quite over this Colonial's head. I do however, have a new appreciation for snogging, Pimms and wankers; -- the other words I just guessed at. The novel is split into two parts, and for some reason the second half was not as fleshed out as the first, which made it rushed and thin. My biggest disappointment was that Lady Catherine/Katrina De Burgh was not nearly as officious or condescending as she could have been, and that her final showdown with Lizzie was on the phone and not vis-à-vis, diminishing the significance to the original infamous altercation in the prettyish kind of a little wilderness. No polluting of the Pemberley shades even alluded to. No Pemberley even mentioned in the entire book!
This was a fast read and great fun. Kudos to Rushton for having the sense not to open the novel with her version of "It is a truth universally acknowledged." The cover art is also a lovely complement to the novel. Well done.
Laurel Ann, Austenprose
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars modern day austen,
This review is from: Love, Lies and Lizzie- Jane Austen in the 21st Century (Paperback)Having read both this book and the original Jane Austen version, i think this book is a great modern day twist on the classical read. It takes the old characters and brings them to life for a different generation, making the story easier to understand. Ihe book itself is about a modern Lizzie born to a modern world, it is full of the classic romance we all love, and the hetic Bennet family. I would recommend this book to people who love a classic romance.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars p and pc,
This review is from: Love, Lies and Lizzie- Jane Austen in the 21st Century (Paperback)Took me a few chapters to get into the book, but once switched on to the author's wavelength, I was more comfortable with an upfront Bennet family. Lydia and mrs B as chavs, Lizzie emailing and texting, and Collins and Lady C cleverly made real for our times. Good and entertaining.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Austen,
This review is from: Love, Lies and Lizzie- Jane Austen in the 21st Century (Paperback)I haven't read anything by Rosie Rushton before but I picked this one up because a) the cover is really pretty and b) it's described as a moder-spin on 'Pride and Prejudice' and as my other passion besides YA is 19th century literature, that definitely sounded like the sort of book I'd enjoy. I'm pleased to say that I absolutely loved it and I'm going to make a point now of searching out some of Rosie Rushton's other books. She's apparantly written several novels in the 'Jane Austen in the 21st Century' series so I'm excited to get my hands on the rest! 'Northanger Abbey', 'Sense and Sensibility', 'Emma' and my personal favourite 'Persuasion' have all been given the Rushton treatment.
The story draws inspiration from 'Pride and Prejudice' but brings the literary classic up-to-date for a modern, teen audience. One of the things I enjoyed the most about it was identifying all of the similarities and differences between the characters and who they're all supposed to be based on. For example, Lizzie is now a young teenage girl who near the end of the book goes on a work placement to France to help out at a music therapy centre, unlike in the original where Elizabeth is on a touring holiday with her Aunt and Uncle. Mrs Bennet is still a screeching social climber who wants the whole family to take their rightful place in the world among the upper echelons of society. Jane is still the good, kind and considerate sister, while Lydia remains the livewire who becomes embroiled with George Wickham, the dastardly villain of the book. They're all still looking for love but doing it the modern way now with emails, texts and phone calls. No old-fashioned courting here then!
It's a credit to Rushton that she manages to make James Darcy as gorgeous, strong and silent and just as much a dark horse as the original Mr Darcy. A difficult thing to do considering the latter is beloved by females around the world. I was definitely rooting for him and Lizzie to hurry up and realise that they're perfect for each other. I will also admit that I had a Darcy sized crush on him throughout and loved all the scenes building up to their romance.
When a classic is as beloved as 'Pride and Prejudice' I imagine it must be a daunting task trying to do justice to it and yet craft something new at the same time, but Rushton's got it spot on! Her take is fresh and modern and will appeal not only to Austen fans but also to those who like a good romance with a strong hero and heroine. 'Love, Lies and Lizzie' most definitely charmed me!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dream for teenagers!,
This review is from: Love, Lies and Lizzie- Jane Austen in the 21st Century (Paperback)After years of trying to interest my daughter (now 14) in reading books Rosie Rushton has done it! I bought her 3 of Rosies "Jane Austen" books for Christmas and she has not put them down. Such is their popularity with her I have had to buy a further two in the series as she has finished the others. Thank you Rosie for showing a teenager how enjoyable reading can be.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly faithful update but more romance needed.,
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This review is from: Love, Lies and Lizzie (Jane Austen in the 21st Century) (Kindle Edition)This is a modern version of Pride and Prejudice for young adult readers. Lizzy's family has some into some money and moved to a posh estate where they meet the Bingley family, which includes Bingley parents in this version. Unlike many modern versions this one is not just inspired by P&P but quite closely follows the story. There are some differences of course, for example the Mr Collins character is Mr Bennet's godson rather than the heir to his estate but in essentials it's not far off. The characters also have some differences, Jane is not quite as super-nice, I felt Lizzy was a bit less likeable than in P&P, a little bit bitchy. The Charlotte character, Emily, is man mad. The Bennets are showns as a family that care for each other, which is nice Our hero, James Darcy, is quite a snob but his interference in the Jane/Bingley split is completely understandable here.
On the downside, I felt that the latter half of this book (it's written as book one, book two) was really rushed compared to the first half. The Bingleys leaving the area was about 70% through whereas in P&P I think it's more like a third of the way through. So the bits where she begins to change her mind about her opinion of him are almost skimmed over which makes the book much less of a romance. Also, Lizzy is very young, probably 18 when the story begins and I think it would have worked better if she'd been a few years older. Plus the texts, things like l8r haven't aged well since the book was written, and they already seem a bit dated.
On the upside, I thought that this would prove a nice enough introduction to P&P. There is no sex and I can't recall any bad language either so would be suitable for anyone to read. Can't give half marks but I would rate this as a 7/10.
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Love, Lies and Lizzie- Jane Austen in the 21st Century by Rosie Rushton (Paperback - 25 Jan 2009)