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First (Wrong) Impressions by Krista D. Ball

In this modernization of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet works for a charity running a homeless refuge, Jane is missing a leg after a car accident, Lydia is a wannabe actress, and Charlotte Lucas has been transformed into Lukas Charlotte, Lizzy’s best friend and male co-worker. By the time I finished the first two chapters, I knew I was going to enjoy Ms. Ball’s twists on my favorite characters. Lizzy is more outspoken than ever and Darcy’s arrogant awkwardness and sly sense of humor is marvelous. I really liked how very human they are. They both do clumsy, stupid, normal things that make me laugh or commiserate, depending on the circumstances.

This book is well-written, with a perfect quantity of humor and romance. The author gave it a wonderfully modern feel; I particularly enjoyed the Twitter conversations. It isn’t all fun, though. Much of the story is set on or revolves aroung Lizzy’s refuge. Her whole life revolves around helping drug addicts, prostitutes and criminals. Sometimes she can really help them, but other times it’s not enough.

Lizzy is a boiling mess of frustration during most of the book, leading to many rants. Which leads me to my one complaint about the book. There is so much ranting that after a while it starts, in my opinion, to feel preachy. Lizzy is a passionate liberal and is unafraid to voice her opinions. Good for her. At first, her impassioned speeches were a good way of getting to know her character better. However, after the umpteenth rant against organized religion, conservatives, pro-lifers, etc., it began to detract from my enjoyment of the novel. Overall, I really liked the story and the characters, but by the end I was wondering if the book was just a vehicle for the many, many rants.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy getting into political arguments with fictional characters, as well as to those who like to see Jane Austen’s characters turned on their heads in a variety of interesting and mostly entertaining ways.

I reviewed this book for the Indie Jane blog.



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