book review · Books

Book Review: A Higher Education: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Rosalie Stanton

41ak7a7xgtl-_sy346_It is a truth universally acknowledged that first impressions are a bitch.

In a sea of college freshmen, Elizabeth Bennet feels more like a den mother than a returning student. She’d rather be playing Exploding Kittens than dodge-the-gropers at a frat party, but no way was she letting her innocent, doe-eyed roommate go alone.

Everything about Meryton College screams old money—something she and Jane definitely are not—but Elizabeth resolves to enjoy herself. That resolve is tested—and so is her temper—when she meets Will Darcy, a pompous blowhole with no sense of fun, and his relentlessly charming wingman, Charlie.

Back at school after prolonged break, Will Darcy is far too old and weary for coeds. Yet even he can see why Charlie spontaneously decides the captivating Jane is “the one.” What throws Will is his own reaction to Jane’s roommate.

Elizabeth’s moonlight skin and shining laugh hit him like a sucker punch. And he doesn’t like it. Elizabeth Bennet is dangerous, not only because she has a gift for making him make an ass of himself, but because she and her razor-sharp wit could too easily throw his life off course, and he can’t afford for that to happen again.

Yet he also can’t seem to stay away.

This book was so much fun. Every time I found myself having to put it down I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters and their sizzling interactions. (I’ll admit up front that I have never once read Jane Austen, sacrilege I know, but in my defense, I have tried).

From the start, I fell in love with Elizabeth. Brilliant, funny and with a wicked tongue she’s everything I love to see in a heroine. Mr. Darcy didn’t disappoint either and their interactions were amazing. I loved it every time they verbally sparred with each other. I’m surprised my Kindle wasn’t sparking at times.

Beyond the amazing characterizations, I was so happy that Stanton seamlessly included a wonderful mix of diversity into the story. Jane, Elizabeth’s best friend is African-American and eschews every stereotype but also doesn’t back away from handling racial issues within the story. Not only that, we are treated to LGBT characters who are not walking stereotypes but simply humans going about their lives.

Elizabeth comes across as less a raging feminist than a person who understands what it means to have to be a woman in this day and age and the sometimes monumental challenges that come with the territory. She makes her mistakes, owns them, and isn’t afraid to learn and grow, something I love her for.

It’s not often I enjoy a het romance this much (Jami Gold being the other exception), I might even have gotten teary-eyed at a couple of scenes. This is one romance I’ll be revisiting and likely soon.

 

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