Saturday, January 22, 2011

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman (QR)

Title: Enthusiasm
Author: Polly Shulman
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (Feb. 16, 2006)
"There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding herself tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast." Julie knows from bitter experience. Her best friend, Ashleigh, veers wildly from one obsession to the next, dragging Julie along on her crazy schemes. Ashleigh's current fancy is also Julie's own passion: Jane Austen's great love story Pride and Prejudice. Dressed in a vintage frock and dragging her feet, Julie finds herself sneaking into a dance at an all-boys' prep school with Ashleigh, in search of heroes. Unfortunately, they both fall for the same one: the handsome and gallant Grandison Parr. Will Julie have to choose between loyalty and love? Or will Ashleigh's embarrassing antics drive him away before Julie gets a chance?*


Enthusiasm... what to say, what to say. I first read this book about two years ago and immediately fell in love with it. I saw it on my shelf the other day and decided to read it again (for probably the fifth time). Turns out I still love it. (I haven't read it in at least a year.) I thought about it for a while after I finished it, trying to figure out why I love it so much. It's pretty typical, fairly predictable, rather average, and not amazingly excellent. All things that would make it a typical book, nothing to get excited about. But I think that's exactly why I enjoyed it so much. It's one of the few books like that that makes you want to be sucked in and take the place of a character. Not because they go off on daring adventures or cast spells or do cool stunts, but because, when it comes down to it, that's what you want. You want that typical life, where you know everything will be okay in the end. And I think that's what really made me fall for it.

I think it's worth checking out if you get the chance. Maybe it is average. Maybe it is typical. Maybe it isn't actually that great. But I still think it's worth it. 

*summary from back cover (paperback edition)

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