Summary: The book Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman shows the true life of enthusiasm as well as its meaning. The novel depicts the life of two teenage girls; Julie Lefkowitz and Ashleigh who are indeed very close friends, but do not have much in common. Julie is calm and keeps to herself while Ashleigh is an absurd enthusiast who has extreme enthusiasm over all sorts of things, from movies, to novels and all the way to history.
But now, Ashleigh is obsessed with the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. Ashleigh is so obsessed with the characters that she wants to make the story come true, all she ever talks about is Pride and Prejudice, as well as classical English. She seems to believe that she is part of the story, walking around in classic cloth, gowns and armors that are made from the most diverse materials. These two girls have known each other since elementary, and Ashleigh has embarrassed Julie multiple times. But now that they are in high school and coincidentally they both go through the affection and dreams of Pride and Prejudice, they are both obsessed with the novel and want to meet their very own Darcy and Mr. Bingely from the novel. Both girls sneak into a prep boys school dance with the help of a friendand unfortunately both develop feelings for the same Mr. Darcy or Mr. Bingely named Charlie at the dance. What will the girls do being obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, a novel that lives in teenage girls even in modern times, but instead of two girls and two guys this time there’s two girls and only one guy?
Why I picked it up: I picked this book up because this book seemed very famous and the novel itself seemed illustrative and visual. It was a very romantic and crafty as well as an intelligent novel with a lot of connections to literature in it. The writing and depiction of feelings seemed enthusiastic and the title Enthusiasm itself had a broad meaning, which made me want to find out what the book was about.
Why I kept reading it: I kept reading this book because it was very exciting and interesting, there were a lot of dilemmas and comedy along with tragedy and the idea was clever. I enjoyed how the book was connecting the old novel of Pride and Prejudice to our modern world and showing how much it can possibly affect teenagers.
Who would I give it to next: I would give this book to anyone seeking a humorous and entertaining novel, which at the same time provides the reader with new and creative ideas as well as ways to connect literature with teenagers.
Reviewed by Ahmed E.