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Clearly Ashleigh had finished the research portion of her fad and moved on to the active stage. Now that she had decided to enact a 200-year-old love story with us as the heroines, I was afraid the results would be mortifying.
Without much hope, I tried to head her off. "I thought you despised boy-crazy girls like Michelle Jeffries and those people. You always said crushes were for noodleheads."
Ashleigh drew herself up to her full height, which I couldn't have done in her position-standing on my bed-since my head would have hit the sloping roof; her figure may be more mature than mine, but she's six inches shorter.
"I speak not of crushes, Miss Lefkowitz," she replied, "but of True Love."
True Love! What girl hasn't dreamed of that? Even the shyest among us longs for a soul mate-someone who will understand our hopes and fears, laugh at our jokes, offer us his coat when the afternoon turns cold, charm our parents, and admire us, flaws and all....
Yet if Ashleigh cherished a similar dream, I feared for her peace of mind. For is True Love likely to come to a high school sophomore who dresses in a chorus robe and ballet slippers?
"Okay, but listen, Ash," I said. "You're not planning to go to school wearing that, are you? No guy will even look at you." Me neither if they see me with you, I added inwardly. "Couldn't you please, please, please wear jeans?"
As always, my plea fell on deaf ears. "I see not the necessity of discussing with you, Miss Lefkowitz, the propriety of a young lady wearing Trousers. As you know, modesty forbids us to reveal the shape of the Lower Limbs."
If you do get a boyfriend, he's going to want to see a lot more than just the shape of your Lower Limbs, I argued silently. Fortunately, I reflected, the school year wouldn't start for another week-enough time, I hoped, to make her see reason.
"And don't you think you could call me Julie?" I continued. "We've known each other long enough, surely."
"My dearest Julia, you are right, indeed you are right. After all, in Pride and Prejudice Miss Elizabeth Bennet addresses her bosom friend, Miss Lucas, by the name of Charlotte, and they are no more affectionately attached than the two of us. But please, my dear friend, allow me to continue. As I said, I believe I have the solution to our puzzle of where to find our heroes."
"Our puzzle? It's not my puzzle," I put in.
Ashleigh shook me by the arm, letting her language slip a bit in her impatience. "Will you listen already? In Pride and Prejudice, where do the younger Bennet girls turn for lively masculine company? Why, to the regiment of soldiers quartered near their home. Were we to follow their lead, where better to seek suitors than among our neighboring young men in uniform?" ...
Forefield, an exclusive boys' prep school, rises above the town of Byzantium both geographically and socially. Its main building, once the mansion of the Forefield family, can be seen from most of the town, including my attic window. As a little girl I thought it was an enchanted castle, the home of a witch or a princess. I now considered it the home of gawky boys with crests embroidered on their blazer pockets-that is, of snobs, dorks, adders, or (most likely) snobbish, dorky adders....
"You want to crash the Snoot School Dork Dance? Are you out of your candy wrapper? What could that possibly have to do with Jane Austen?"
"Surely, Miss Lefkowitz, you can see that a gathering of young gentlemen dressed in formal attire, well practiced in time-honored dance steps, and unaccustomed to the company of young ladies-and therefore bound to treat us with modesty and respect-is the ideal place to meet our matches. Can you be blind to the perfection of the plan?"
Perfection! If the plan had any, I certainly was blind to it. In my experience, at least, boys who hadn't spent a lot of time around girls were less likely, not more, to behave themselves.
Excerpted from Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Julie is just an average girl, trying to lead a normal life. That¿s kind of hard, especially when her best friend, Ashleigh, is an Enthusiast. She brings Julie on a wild ride, waiting in line at 10:00am for a concert ticket when they give out tickets at midnight, wearing flower flannel nightgown to the mall, and many other absurd actions that make Julie embarrassed. There is one passion that Julie keeps to herself though; Jane Austen¿s famous love story Pride and Prejudice. However, Ashleigh¿s new obsession just happens to be Jane Austen. Since Julie is the loyal friend that she is, she somehow another found herself crashing an all-boy¿s prep school dance. Since Ashleigh believes they must dress resembling to the characters in Austin¿s book, Julie finds herself wearing high heels and a vintage frock. There, she meets her own Mr. Bingley, Grandison Parr. However, when her best friend also falls for Grandison Parr, Julie doesn¿t know what to do. Will she be willing to break her best friend¿s heart over a boy or will she have to suppress her love for Grandison forever?<BR/> This suspenseful romance is sure to grab any teenage girl¿s attention. As the phase of dating and boys comes along, most girls can probably relate to Julie¿s situation. I believe this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to induce themselves in a breathtaking romance.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 10, 2013
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Posted October 16, 2012
This review is just about te sameple! The sample is horrible!
All it says is credits, copyright, and when it finally got to the actual book it didn't say that the book had even started and there was only a sentence in the novel that remained.
Posted August 25, 2012
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Posted March 30, 2011
You know you're in trouble when you and your best friend. Only problem is you keep this fact away from your friend.
Julie is in quite a dilemma when she finds out that her best friend since forever considers Grandison Parr, the super-cute boy, to be her Mr. Darcy. Doesn't everyone want to find their Mr.Darcy at some point in their lives? The problem is that Julie had always had her eyes set on him but due to loyalty she suppresses the ever obvious feelings and let her friend take the lead. But the chemistry between both Julie and Grandison is ever evident. Not to mention its extremely hard to not feel anything for a person if you're with them 24/7.
Overall this book was a super light and easy read. Definitely recommended for those who just want to relax and not rack their brains too much. I actually enjoyed reading this book and there came a point where i was super eager to find out what happens so i finished the book overnight.
The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover. I have always been attracted to books that depict a certain old story or is based on one, like this one. Did you know that Jane Austen's niece Anna wrote a novel named Enthusiasm which she sent to her aunt. Miss Austen then changed the name and said that it should be Who is the Heroine? Such was the case in this novel. One definitely wonders who actually the heroine is. (not really)
Posted January 28, 2011
This book has quickly become my new favorite. It has both characters that are relatable and an amusing story line, and by the end i really felt like i knew the characters. I could not put this book down and would recommend it to everyone, It is the essence of a teenage romance. : )Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2010
How can I describe the book Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman? In a word I would call it charming. It is a young adult romance, but any romantic with a sense of humor (from 12 to 92) will enjoy this straightforward and sweet story.
While reading this book, I fell in love with Ms. Shulman's writing. It's fun, yet intelligent, and this translated into her characters. You can clearly tell the author has a love of Austen and classic literature. She has a flare for poetry, too which comes out in the writing. This is a book of comedy as well as romance and other issues of family, friendship, and first loves. It was very well written and interesting especially finding all the Jane Austen and other literary references. The author has depicted teen age relationships extremely well.
What really endeared this book to me is that I found myself really starting to feel everything that the heroine of the story was going through. As Parr would walk into the coffeehouse where Julie was enjoying a beverage, my heartbeat sped up just like the heroine's. Even though it is written in first person from the perspective of the heroine, you get to know the hero, Charles Grandison Parr very well. You know what he's feeling, his passion and his torment. You will fall in love with him.
It's a clean, sweet story that I would recommend for pre-teen girls and up. I would read this one again.and again.and again.
Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Posted February 4, 2010
i can honesyly say this is my all time favorite book. If your a Teenager thats a hopeless romantic & you love blond boys with terquiose eyes.. YOU'LL LOVE THIS! i wont spoil it for you. just trust me. READ IT!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2009
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Posted October 28, 2008
There are plenty of reasons for readers to be enthusiastic about Polly Shulman's new novel, ENTHUSIASM! It is full of fascinating characters, funny situations, and even romance. The book is told from the point of view of Julie, who is best friends with always-enthusiastic Ashleigh. Ashleigh doesn't just have interests; for her, they're always full-blown obsessions. She's been through phases where she has loved a band called the Wet Blankets, Harriet the Spy, ballet, King Arthur, and a lot more. When Julie lent her friend PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, by Jane Austen, the newest fad began. <BR/><BR/>For Ashleigh, the Enthusiast, it could never be just a great book. She's got to speak like someone from hundreds of years ago, learn ballroom dancing, wear long skirts, and find True Love. As usual, Julie's got to try and talk some sense into her friend. Sure, they'll still end up publicly humiliated (as usual), but maybe it can be to a lesser degree. Perhaps she can convince Ashleigh to at least put on some jeans! <BR/><BR/>No matter what Julie does, however, she still can't convince Ashleigh to give up the idea of finding True Love--dressing and acting like the heroine from a Jane Austen novel. Ashleigh is convinced they'll be able to find True Love while crashing a dance at the local boys' prep school, Forefield Academy. The rest of the story has confusion, romance, comedy, humiliation, and a lot more that will have readers hooked up until the very last page! <BR/><BR/>It's a story that teens will be able to relate to, even if their best friends aren't nearly so enthusiastic as Ashleigh. Everyone's been embarrassed by a friend, but you've still got to stick by them, right? And then of course there's the fact that Ashleigh has set her sights on the guy Julie's crushing on. A sticky situation that lots of girls can relate to! Told in Julie's engaging, witty voice, this entertaining story has every element of a great young adult novel that is sure to be popular for a long time to come. I know I'm not alone in hoping for another novel by Polly Shulman that's as unique and interesting as this one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 4, 2008
Polly Shulman¿s novel, Enthusiasm, was an awesome book and I would highly recommend it to others! It was about many different topics that teens deal with each day, such as both `girls¿ and `guys¿ attempting to figure out who they have crushes on, while at the same time trying to discover who they are as individuals. Enthusiasm¿s theme seemed to be that of a romantic comedy with two oddly paired friends 'Ashleigh and Julie', opposites even, going through different events together and each dealing with the outcomes in very diverse ways. I have yet to read the novel, Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin, but this book makes it apparent that many of the events are based upon situations that occurred in that novel. Nevertheless, I do not feel that the fact that I had not read Jane Austin¿s book, took anything away from my enjoyment of reading Enthusiasm. ~Julie narrated the entire book so the story line is written from her perspective. She comes through as a `down to earth¿ girl who realizes that her friend Ashleigh is obsessive whenever she is introduced to a new `craze.¿ However, Julie seems to enjoy her friends company and goes along with Ashleigh¿s `over-the-top¿ attitude towards fads anyway. Julie is interesting because she is `normal¿ and `real.¿ She could be any one of the girls I know. For example, she is not perfect and neither is her family. Because of this imperfectness, she has problems that make her believable as a character. Her parents are divorced, her Mom struggles to make ends meet by working two jobs, and Julie worries about her appearance. She feels that she has long arms and legs and that she is too thin. ~Ashleigh, on the other hand, is the very opposite of `down to earth,¿ with her attachment to crazes and willingness to try anything. She does not seem to think anything is wrong with her wild ideas and obsessions. One time she got in line for tickets to a `Wet Blankets¿ concert twelve hours before the sale began. She even brought actual wet blankets to cool off with in the heat. Then, she even handed out wet blankets to others as they arrived. She is a convincing person as she is able to talk Julie into coming along with her on all her adventures. Despite all her `hair brained¿ ideas, Ashleigh comes across as a caring person and a good friend. Julie described one event where, as important as Ashleigh¿s obsessions were, Ashleigh was willing to discontinue one of them because Julie did not seem to like the idea. As a result, this example showed that Julie¿s friendship meant more to Ashleigh than her fads. Despite Ashleigh appearing as very outgoing, she seems `real¿ as well, because she was a mixture of imperfections and good points, as is Julie. ~The two main characters, Ashleigh and Julie, are placed in a setting that is depicted as being a typical high school with events happening before, during, and after school. After Ashleigh reads Jane Austin¿s novel, Pride and Prejudice, she makes it her mission in life to become like the characters in the novel. One of her goals is to meet two boys who resemble men in Pride and Prejudice. This leads the girls to sneak into the Cotillion, a dance, at an all boy¿s prep school 'Forefield Prep School' where they indeed meet two boys, Charles Grandison `Parr,¿ and a boy named Ned. Neither Ashleigh nor Julie realized it, at the beginning, but both of them developed a crush on the same boy, Parr, who seems somewhat shy but intelligent. Julie knows that Ashleigh has a crush on Parr, but Ashleigh seems to believe that Julie likes Ned. Julie does not disclose her secret feelings for Parr. This concealed crush is the conflict of the story. ~The main incident that led up to the resolution of the conflict of crushes between Ashleigh and Julie was their decision to take part in a play at the Forefield Prep School where interesting events take place. The most significant occurrence was when the main female character in the play 'YoWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 21, 2008
I had a blast reading Polly Shulman¿s novel Enthusiasm, her homage to Jane Austen¿s Pride and Prejudice! It had been released in 2006 and was on my `to read¿ list for quite some time until I felt the need for something summerish and light to read. Since it is classified as a young adult novel for grades 7-10, I was prepared to be underwhelmed by a less than sparkling plot and characterizations. My assumptions were so wrong! Totally! It is quite amazing to think that this is Shulman¿s first novel! If you check out her picture on her web site she looks barley old enough to be `out¿ in society!. Educated at Yale Univeristy as a mathematician, she obviously possesses both left and right brain skills! This writer is pea green with envy and is in total awe of this level of talent in one so young. Like Jane Austen, Shulman is all about language, social observation and characterization. It is easy to see why Austen is one of her favorite authors and how she inspired her writing. The book¿s auspicious opening quote, ¿There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding herself tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast¿ sets the tone of Austen-esque language throughout the novel that is respectful but not mimicy to Austen¿s prose. The narrative is told from the perspective of fifteen-year old Julie, whose best friend since grade school is Ashleigh, an `enthusiast¿. From Harriet the Spy to candy-making to military strategy, Julie never knows what or when the next craze will over-take her friend, but she is certain to be pulled into it. Now, her latest inspiration is also Julie¿s passion, Jane Austen¿s novel Pride and Prejudice. However, Ashleigh¿s new possession of Regency manners and decorum mortify her conservative friend. Not only do they include speaking in Austenese, but wearing Regency attire to school, learning to country dance like her idols Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, and ultimately, the ardent pursuit of her own true love. Ashleigh¿s latest hair-brain scheme is to find their Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley by crashing a boy¿s prep school dance! Knowing Austen¿s world through her novels and movie adaptations was helpful, but not a prerequisite to enjoying this delightful novel. By following Julie¿s 21st-century hardships, anxieties, mix-ups, and social blunderings we see that they are interchangeable with any 19th-century Regency Miss¿ life ¿ for what young lady of any era does not wish, hope, and dream that a young gentleman will notice her, and return her affections? posted by Laurel Ann, AustenproseWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2008