Enthusiasm: A Book Review



Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

Summary: Julie’s best friend Ashleigh is an Enthusiast. Whether it is candy-making or insects, Ashleigh always has a new craze on her mind. Ashleigh’s current fancy is the classic, Pride and Prejudice, which just happens to be Julie’s own passion. Taking the advice of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, Ashleigh goes on a quest for true love. And so, Julie is swept up in the madness of vintage dresses and prep school boys when Ashleigh decides to crash the nearby private school’s dance. There, they have a grand old-time, dancing the night away with their newly found escorts, Parr and Ned, both likely candidates for “Mr. True Love.” But, tension arises when Ashleigh and Julie fall for the same boy. Will their friendship overcome their love life, or will Ashleigh’s newest craze make her lose her best friend forever?

My Thoughts: After reading the inside cover, I picked this book up at the library, mostly because of the mention of Pride and Prejudice. {Side note. I had the hardcover copy, which had a much better cover in my opinion. I just couldn’t find a decent photo of the hardcover edition, so we will have to make do with the paperback copy!} I was surprised at the length of the book. I didn’t realize it was just under 200 pages! Despite how quick it was, Enthusiasm was a cute read, filled with teenage drama, and heavy on the love life. Ashleigh was too innocent to hate! She may go a bit too far with her obsessions, but she always has the best intentions in mind. I kind of wish Polly Shulman included more stories about her crazes, like the event in the beginning. This would have offered more background on Ashleigh, and give a bot more depth to Julie and Ashleigh’s friendship. Julie was fine, but slightly dull compared to her best friend. However. she was a realistic character, which I have to applaud the author for. Parr and Ned were adorable, and were the perfect companions to the girls. I loved Parr because of how sweet he was, and how he cared for {blank} I don’t want to give it away! Ned was more mischievous, but he had a good heart, as well. The plot was fast-paced, which left me no time to connect with the characters. Even an added chapter or two would have helped developed the plot! Anyhoo, for my first read by the author, she left a good impression, and I would definitely puck up another book by Polly Shulman again.

Pros: Sweet characters, cute plot, and it involves Pride and Prejudice! {I read P&P over the summer. I LOVED it so, so much!}

Cons: A short book and a not well-developed plot.

Heads Up: Like I mentioned, the story is mostly about the romances between the girls and Ned and Parr, but it more focused on their oh-so adorable actions {like writing poems for one another and dancing at school balls} rather than the kissing and such.

Overall: I give it 3 1/2 stars {*** 1/2} for a quick, but cute novel, and recommend it for ages 13 and up.

Bella :)


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