Thursday, 20 October 2011
Review: Pies & Prejudice (The Mother-Daughter Book Club)
Author: Heather Vogel Frederick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Publication Date: September 14th, 2010
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Three years ago, the Mother-Daughter Book Club was formed when four friends decided to start a book club to bring them closer to their daughters. The four girls had very little in common, but they soon became best friends and book lovers. Now Jess, Emma, Megan and Cassidy are about to enter the ninth grade. All their plans for high school change when Emma’s family decides to house-swap and spend the year in Bath instead of Concord. The book club perseveres by having Emma and her mom attend the monthly meetings via webcam. In honour of Emma spending the year in Bath, the book club is going to read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. While Emma moves to a village outside of Bath, a new family lives in her house. The boys, Simon and Tristan, go to school with the other girls in the book club. Cassidy immediately clashes with Tristan, a stuck up ice dancer. Megan hits it off with Simon and starts a fashion blog called Fashionista Jane. However, her blog causes problems for her at school and with her budding relationship with Simon. As Jess struggles with her crush on Emma’s brother Darcy, she also worries about not knowing what she wants to do when she grows up. When Emma gets on the wrong side of Annabelle, a regular Caroline Bingley, she makes Emma miserable with some unflattering photographs. The girls want to surprise their friend by paying for her to come visit for spring break to cheer her up. They come up with their own business selling pies to friends and neighbours, called Pies & Prejudice. As the girls adapt to high school and deal with crushes and Queen Bees, they ask themselves, what would Elizabeth Bennet do?
I picked this one up based entirely on the title, since it references two things I love (I’m referring to pies and Pride and Prejudice, not pies and prejudice. That would be weird- I hate prejudice.) I really wish that these books were around when I was a pre-teen, since I would have loved them. When I was younger I would have related to Emma, since we have a lot in common. We actually were both named after the book Emma, oddly enough. The girls were all great characters and a lot of fun. They were all very different and I feel like there’s a character for everyone to relate to. I loved how all the girls found different things that that enjoyed and found their own projects to do. They were all so resourceful! I thought Megan’s blog was very clever and hilarious, although I knew it was only going to cause trouble. From early on I knew what was going to happen in the story, but I still had fun reading. The audience intended for this book is middle school aged, and as a whole it didn’t matter that I’m 6 or 7 years older than the characters. The actual book club discussions were too juvenile for me, but I still enjoyed the book overall. It was very character driven and I really liked that. The writing was great and I found myself feeling everything along with the characters. It didn’t matter too much that I hadn’t read the earlier books in the series, although now I want to read them. I loved how Pride and Prejudice was worked into the plot. Throughout their first year of high school, the girls dealt with a lot of issues, such as dealing with bullies, crushes and finding out who they are and what interests them. Overall, Pies and Prejudice was a fun take on a classic, and a great read for middle school aged girls.
“Never say 'I can't.' 'I can't' is a limit, and life is about breaking through limits. Say 'I will' instead.”