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Acting Up Paperback – 27 Mar 2008
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"Tremendous fun - an ingenious update of the greatest love story of all time" (Jilly Cooper)
"A modern-day Lizzy and Darcy tale you won't be able to put down" (Company)
"A witty spin on the nation's favourite novel ... with a loveable, contemporary heroine at its heart" (Good Housekeeping)
"Good fun" (Closer)
From the bestselling author of The Learning Curve.See all Product description
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We meet Jazz who is a journalist but she takes on the lead in a play even though she isn't an actress. The man running the production is the famous Harry Noble who everyone seems in awe of, all except Jazz. She manages to get herself in all sorts of trouble and is determined to make him see that he is nothing special just because he is a "Hollywood Actor". Her role as a journalist and an actress makes for some funny reading. Everything is building up to that final performance, however with the betrayal of her best friend, her sudden but hopefully temporary amnesia and her life in general everything looks like it might go wrong on her big night.
Yes, this book is a little bit predictable but there's almost a comfort in knowing that it goes the way you want it to. Its a typical Chick-lit book and if you read the likes of Jill Mansell and Cathy Kelly read this book, it will be just your cup of tea.I finished this in a matter of hours and absolutely fell in love with the character Jazz. It is a heartwarming and funny book which is so easy to read and I loved it.
As I am editing this review in 2009, some people may or may not know that sadly Melissa Nathan lost her battle with cancer. Below you can find a list of books that she published in her sadly short life.
The Nanny - April 2003
The Waitress - August 2004
The Learning Curve - August 2006
Persuading Annie - July 2007
Melissa Nathan was a fantastic writer and I have read all of her books, including this, and they are fantastic.
She is terribly missed.
What is a charming liveliness of mind in Elizabeth Bennett becomes here an overly aggressive obnoxiousness in Jasmin Field; and Darcy's (never my favourite character, admittedly) restraint becomes something far more hardened in Henry Noble.
So overall I found this an average read that just wasn't as clever as it perhaps set out to be.
Jasmin, her sister and best friend all become involved with a celebrity version of Pride and Prejudice, and the roles they are allocated fit their lives almost impossibly well. If you know the story of Pride and Prejudice then it is rather predictable, but the writing and quick rhythm of the book still leave you giggling along.
An excellent read, though you may want to buy all of melissa's novel for a holiday as you'll get through them so quickly!
I just wish someone told me quite clearly that this is the same book!
A very bitter twist is that the main plot device features characters performing a charity version of Pride and Prejudice to raise funds for breast cancer and later Melissa herself becomes ill with the same disease, which she would have had no knowledge of when writing this book.
Back to the story. I thought it predictable, but then a "reworking" has to be to an extent. I felt that using the "play within the book" style, Melissa made it a little too obvious for us to work out who is meant to be who, and how they mirrored Austen's characters, though she does include others who don't have direct parallels and thereby avoids the story falling into parody. She uses a very light and witty tone, which generally makes for easy reading. Unfortunately I didn't really grow to connect with or care much about any of the characters. I was unable to truly get the measure of Jazz other than to understand she is very feisty, but much rougher around the edges than Lizzy Bennet. I was disappointed in Mo; some friend, hey?! And the prologue seemed completely pointless.
I think she presented an interesting take on the Lydia Bennet "scandal" for modern times (as Lydia's tale wouldn't raise an eyebrow today, would it?) and the discourse between Lizzy and Darcy was well replicated in a contemporary setting.
I loved the very cute and quirky cover with its 1960s style graphics and typeface, which reminded me of the old Bewitched show. A lukewarm read which got better about halfway through and being a huge Pride and Prejudice fan I was compelled to finish it. A quick, fun read that should interest, if not exactly delight, most Austen fans. I have The Waitress on my to read list and will look forward to that with anticipation.
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