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Posts Tagged ‘attempting elizabeth’

Source: Personal library
Rating: ★★★★☆

Maybe even in a fictional reality I was destined to never find happiness.

(from Attempting Elizabeth)

Jessica Grey’s Attempting Elizabeth follows Kelsey, a 23-year-old student in California who is a bit obsessed with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She’s convinced that no guy in her life could ever measure up to Mr. Darcy, and reeling from a breakup with a Wickham-type, Kelsey doesn’t quite seem to know who she is and what she wants. She has her own mortifying Pride and Prejudice-like moment at a party, in which she insults Mark, the hot Australian bartender, only to learn that he’s a friend of her roommate’s boyfriend, and now she can’t seem to avoid him.

Kelsey and Mark constantly butt heads, though the more she learns about him, the more her opinion of him begins to change. After an incident that takes her back to her recent failed relationship, Kelsey aims to take her mind off her troubles with a book. Pride and Prejudice, of course. She falls asleep while reading Darcy’s letter to Elizabeth and somehow ends up in the book itself. Soon Kelsey finds herself navigating this alternative world, her desire to become her favorite heroine in all of literature, and her feelings for Mark while trying to determine what is real — and, most importantly, trying to find herself.

Attempting Elizabeth was a fun and fast read. I’m sure a lot of us voracious readers have wondered what it would be like to step into our favorite books or inhabit our favorite characters. Would we stay there if we had the chance? Would we try to alter the events of the novel? Would we miss what we’ve left behind, or worry about ruining our favorite stories? And wouldn’t it be fantastic to meet the characters and see them as the author pictured them while writing? It was fun to follow Kelsey through Pride and Prejudice as she learns important truths about herself through her experiences as Austen’s characters. I couldn’t help laughing out loud when Kelsey said or did things that were very unlike Austen’s characters. Their reactions were thoroughly delightful.

There were times when Kelsey got on my nerves, but that made her feel more real to me. Overall, it was a creative, sweet love story that kept me wondering throughout. Although I felt the book ended somewhat abruptly, I liked how Grey made the supernatural aspects of the story seem believable. I also liked that such a lighthearted read on the surface had some deeper meaning underneath, namely the significant impact that books can have on our lives, shaping our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Disclosure: Attempting Elizabeth is from my personal library.

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