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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Book Review: Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Razorbill (June 11, 2009)
Language: English
Buy at Indiebound, Amazon, Borders, Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

REVIEW: I personally do not own any Prada heels. But if there was a chance I could have an experience like Callie's, well I'd definitely give a Prada purchase some serious consideration! Who wouldn't want to spend a whirlwind of a time in a palatial mansion- attending balls in lavish gowns with a handsome, green eyed duke and becoming best friends with his adorable sister?

Before I read this novel, I thought that it was going to be retelling of sorts for Pride & Prejudice. While the book does give a reverent nod to Austen with Alex and Callie's relationship, Prada & Prejudice was not a retelling in any way. Mandy Hubbard has definitely made this story all her own. Callie was highly relatable, super cute and terribly funny.

Although she really did try hard to behave properly, Callie's twenty first century thinking definitely got her into trouble more than a time or two. My favorite moments were the ones when she displayed her modern, outspoken opinions toward the constricting societal and cultural norms that were commonly accepted back then. The following is an excerpt from the first morning after Callie and Alex have breakfast together. It's one of my favorites-
"She's not my superior. And neither are you."
"I outrank you," he says, half spitting the words as he edges even closer.
"So? Does that make you better than me?" I put one hand on my hip and clench the other in a fist.
"Yes, it does!" he thunders.
"Ugh! You're unbelievable," I say. "I've never met anyone so arrogant in my life."
Callie went through a great deal of growth in this novel, and I loved watching her confidence soar and her personality blossom. The way she voiced her opinions with Alex, refusing to sit by and watch Emily marry a man she did not love, made me intensely proud of her. Alex's character was charismatic and exciting. I couldn't help but anxiously read on, hoping that the two of them would stop butting heads and realize they were a perfect match for one another. (I also wondered who would win in a battle of wits- Mr. Darcy or Alex? That would be one heck of a great match up!)

Ever finish a book and breathe a contented sigh as you walk away with happy thoughts for the rest of the afternoon? That was how I felt after reading Prada & Prejudice. For me, the underlying message was that no matter how many fancy shoes you purchase or whose identity you are masquerading under, you can't change who you really are inside. Whether you travel two hundred miles on a school trip or two hundred years into the past, the only way to ever be really content is to learn to find value within yourself.

My only wish in regards to this novel is that Mandy Hubbard will have the opportunity to write a sequel for Callie and Alex! And even if that doesn't happen, I know I will be revisiting this wonderful book to bring some of that feel good sunshine back into my life. Prada & Prejudice will brighten even the rainiest afternoon with it's warmth, spirit and continuous fun!

To learn more about the book, read my INTERVIEW with Mandy Hubbard!

Mandy grew up on a dairy farm outside Seattle, where she refused to wear high heels until homecoming and hated them so much she didn’t wear another pair for five years. A cowgirl at heart, she enjoys riding horses and quads and singing horribly to the latest country tune. She’s currently living happily ever after with her husband (who, sadly, is not a Duke) and her daughter (who is most definitely a princess). Prada and Prejudice is her first novel.

To learn more about Mandy and her writing, visit her at her Official Website & Blog!

Prada & Prejudice is available for sale now. You can order from Amazon HERE!


Mary Ann DeBorde said...

Mary D

Thanks for the heads up on this one, it sounds like an entertaining read :)

ladystorm said...

Sounds likea cool book, thanks for the review.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh wow. Great review. I SO want to read this.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I love books that leave me in a happy place.

celi.a said...

I've had this one waiting for me to pick it back up - perhaps now's the time? In any case, great review! You've got me excited about it again. :)

bookwordlover said...

I've just given you an award at http://bookloverbookreviews.blogspot.com/2009/10/one-lovely-blog-award.html

Booklover Book Reviews

Yay! Reads said...

I'm currently reading Pride And Prejudice and this 'retelling' seems to be such fun! I want it. Great reveiw!

Yay! Reads said...

I granted you an award, congrats!
Go to my blog to check it out:

Janicu said...

Oh man, I've been eying this one for a while and you're making me want to run out and buy it NOW!

GFDesignz said...

woohooo I had never heard of this one! Sounds like another great read for me! Thank you!

Lucy said...

This was a great book! I've never read Pride and Prejudice, but I bet this book could be considered more fun and entertaining to read for the 21st century.