The Compulsive Reader: Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

Friday, June 20, 2008

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

Julie has put up with a lot of humiliation through the years as Ashleigh's best friend. Ashleigh is free spirited, confident, and headstrong, which means that when she gets an idea stuck in her head, she goes with it, no matter what anyone--friends, family, society--says. But Julie can't help but feel a bit irritated when Ashleigh's latest craze turns out to be her passion—the work of Jane Austen. It's after reading Pride and Prejudice that Ashleigh decides she and Julie must find their own Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingely, and must crash the all boy prep school dance in order to do so, with some hilarious, dizzying, and rousing consequences.

Polly Shulman writes with all the flair and talent of a modern day Jane Austen. Her characters are decidedly grounded and candid, and the emotions are true. The plot is a complicated one that cannot be pulled off easily, but Shulman makes it look like a breeze. Julie is intelligent and sensible, which thankfully eliminates all needless drama that would weigh down the flow of the book. The credible dialogue and colloquialisms will ensure that this energetic and highly entertaining read is one that will live on in the readers’ memory long after that final page is read. Rather than come off as an attempt to mimic and modernize Austen's work, Enthusiasm stands as a tribute to the great author, and is a sparkling and humorous debut.

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Angiegirl said...

I really enjoyed this one and have been looking forward to her next book.

Dominique said...

Sounds good! I think my sister read this book...I'll have to see if she still has that copy in her room somewhere ;)

random coincidence: the book I just finished (I was a Teenage Popsicle) had a character named Ashleigh in it too. lol
Oh, and I was a teenage popsicle does have it's funny moments, but also some good serious parts. It was a good book overall :)

Liv said...

I read this book a while back and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was nice and light. Nice review!

Anna said...

I've wanted to read this book forever. Glad to know it is good to read. :]


Tasha said...

I love the cover of this book. I saw it in the bookstore the other day and wasn't a 100% on it, but now I think I will definitely have to try it out. Thanks for the great review!!