Friday, January 15, 2010

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Enthusiasm

Finished Polly Shulman's Enthusiasm a few days ago. I don't tend to gravitate toward "chick books" voluntarily, but as I've been reading some in the past year or so, I've found myself generally liking what I've picked up. This one was no exception. If you have one of those goofy friends that you love dearly, but they frequently drive you nuts, and you sometimes cringe at the thought of being seen in public with them, then you can relate to Julie, the narrator of this book. When her best friend Ashleigh latches onto a subject, or an interest, she dives in headfirst and completely. Her latest thing is Jane Austen, particularly Pride and Prejudice. She decides that she loves the book and should have been born in that era, so she dresses in period clothes, uses the language of the period, you name it. When she proposes that she and Julie should crash the very formal dance at the nearby private boys boarding school, Julie thinks she may have hit her limit as to how far she'll follow Ashleigh, but follow she does. As they are about to be tossed to the curb, 2 boys rescue them and they actually get into the dance. The four become friends, but life gets complicated when Ashleigh develops a crush on one of the boys. Problem is, Julie likes the same boy, but hides her feelings so as not to betray her friend. The characters are very likable, and there is nothing objectionable in the book. Fine for both middle school and high school students. A light, fun read. And it was nice to not be hit with any language or adult situations, just a few kisses.

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