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From the Hardcover edition.
Billed as a retelling of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility but reading more like "sisters on the verge of a nervous breakdown," this potentially buoyant comic novel sinks under the weight of its unwieldy high concept.
Dad's departure, leaving Mom to cope on a small salary without child support, turned Gabby, 17, into a grumpily dutiful misanthrope who's given up on love. She helps at home, works a miserable job and studies hard, then vents her frustrations on her irresponsible sister and faithful, torch-bearing Mule. Hiding a secret, Gabby repeatedly rejects overtures from handsome, wealthy Prentiss, who's gone out of his way to help her family. At the other pole of emotional dysfunction, immature and self-centered Daphne, 15, carries her fantasies of finding true love with a boy she's barely met to scary extremes. Ziegler's affectionate portrait of small-town Texas life and sharply observed secondary characters, such as Sheri who "always gave compliments as if she were complaining," bring the story to intermittent life. With their intense emotions permanently set to 11, though, the exasperating sisters have little in common with Elinor and Marianne. Austen's attention, humor and insight weren't given to deep emotions in themselves, but to how we govern them—and what happens when we don't.
Readers are advised to stick to the original. (Fiction. 12 & up)
From the Hardcover edition.
Posted July 6, 2011
Gabby Rivera and her younger sister Daphne live in Barton, Texas - one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone else. Gabby wants nothing more than to finish out her senior year and get as far away from this ridiculous place as possible. She hates being completely and utterly responsible for everything. She's the dutiful daughter who takes care of her mother and tries to help her pay the bills, because the family is financially in trouble ever since Dad up and walked away and doesn't pay child support. Gabby is also the girl who can't stand the boys and girls in her class because they are basically morons. The only friend she has is "Mule" - a quiet young man who is used to putting up with her grumbling, mumbling ways. Gabby is so tired of her sister getting away with murder.the girl doesn't seem to have to do anything in life and Gabby is sick of it! Daphne, of course, is the exact opposite. Daphne believes in fairy-tale romances, love at first sight, and she loves her dad's visits no matter what. She simply doesn't care that he doesn't pay - he's her absolute hero. Daphne is what Gabby calls one of the 'morons;' she is part of the JV cheerleading squad and doesn't seem to realize that she needs to get a job and help out the family. She's so tired of Gabby being the prettier one, the smarter one, the one Mom likes.and Daphne wants to find a way to fit into the world by living 'happily ever after.' Running late for class, again, Daphne runs directly into a young man in the school hallway. Luke is a new kid and Daphne immediately sees him as the man waiting for her down the aisle as she floats toward him in a white wedding dress. Luke reads romance novels, he's shy and kind, and Daphne simply can't wait to become his girlfriend. Unfortunately, Daphne doesn't realize that Luke has his own fears when it comes to being the new kid, and may not be the Prince Charming Daphne thinks he is. Gabby now has to put up with her sister who's once again stuck in her "dreamy world." After seeing Mom and Dad, Gabby doesn't believe in love. The only time she even experienced anything like it, she was a young girl at 13, and met up with a boy named Sonny in the town's park. Of course, that's all just a memory now. Mom tells Gabby that they're about to get kicked out of their home. They find a place to live - a caretaker's cottage beside a manor house - where a boy Gabby blames for quite a bit lives with his rich family. Not only must Gabby deal with her sister, her job, school, grades, but now she has to see the boy who she believes may have wrecked her life so long ago. This is a wonderful story that will remind many who have that sister, how hard it is to grow up beside the "perfect one." As any sibling - young or old - will see in this fun, high-spirited novel, no life is ever perfect, and the sister you literally can't stand will always be the one you defend and support. In other words, YOU can ruin your sister's life, but NO ONE else can. After all, you've earned the right, haven't you? Quill Says: This is a warm, entertaining story with a whole lot of heart!
3 out of 3 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 July 13, 2013
Posted June 4, 2013
Posted April 27, 2012
You know, I've never fully understood my little sister's mentality but this book opened up that big looming door for me. And now that i see where she is coming from i can honestlsay that i never hated her in the first place i just never bothered to be a proper big sister. I'll do that from now on, i promise.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2011
Posted July 3, 2011
I just love how an author can take a classic and make it in to something new. I really loved diving into this book and how it was the same yet different.
The plot line is good. I really how how even though the point of view switched up a lot, you can right away tell which sister it is. I loved how the author made these two sisters so different. Gabby, I loved her and really connected with her. I connected with her because I am just like her. Growing up with a single mother with 2 other siblings, I had to grow up fast. Gabby had to be the responsible one and help her mother out. She understood as such a young age, the responsibility that she carried on her shoulders. Daphne is just a free girl. It may seems at times that she think of only herself, but she is a young teenager and should be one.
I really like how Ms. Ziegler incorporate a real life issue in the book. Ms. Ziegler really did a great job in capturing the voice of two very different teenage girls. It was so good, that even I found myself laughing free with Daphne or getting responsible with Gabby. I like that Ms. Zieger took the reader into the world with her writing and let you be in the characters shoes.
My only gripe was the love interest. I am a sucker for romance, so it did disappoint me with how the love interest went. I was hoping for it to go a different way, but in the end, I am glad that both sisters can be happy.
Sass and Serendipity with a great classical read. Filled with lots of drama, romance, an d great writing, there is nothing like it to read. The Rivera sisters will have you by the heart from the very first page.
Posted February 15, 2012
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Posted September 12, 2011
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