Out June 11, 2013
Spies and Prejudice is everything my middle school self wanted. It is a mix of Veronica Mars and Pride and Prejudice and I ate it up every word. I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time in the 6th grade and it has been my favorite book since. I also loved Veronica Mars (side note: I am so excited for the movie!). Combining these two story lines only made me love this book more. Spies and Prejudice follows Strawberry (Berry) Fields a.k.a Lizzie Bennet (that’s right she’s named after a Beatles song…Just one more thing to make me love this book) who is a 16 year old girl whose mother died when she was 8 and father has her help with his private investigation company. Then enters two brothers Tanner and Ryan, who are not at all what they seem. As Berry starts to look into her mother’s death eight years ago, all of her preconceived notions about her love, her family and her friends are all turned upside down. This was such a fun read and EVERYONE SHOULD GO READ IT!
Besides it being a Pride and Prejudice-esque story, which pretty much guarantees I’m going to love it, I actually thought Vance did a really good job with making this story her own. I have read a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of Pride and Prejudice styled books and this one is one of my favorites because Berry is her own person and is not just Lizzie Bennett reincarnated. In reality, Spies and Prejudice takes the bare bones plot of Jane Austen’s novel and creates a whole new story. Berry is an only child and her mother is gone. It’s hard to imagine Pride and Prejudice without Mrs. Bennett and I think Vance did a really great job of making the story of Elizabeth and Darcy come to life in a completely different world and set of circumstances. Some of the plot points are there, such as Darcy confessing his love to Elizabeth and her turning him down, but other than that the characters in Vance’s novel really have their own personalities that you really come to care about. Berry is a damaged protagonist and she makes tons of mistakes, but that just endears her to you more. Her self-doubt, her need to find answers, her stubbornness, her unwillingness to open up to people all form a dynamic character that is engaging to read about. Even though I think some people would call this a fluff novel, I think there is more depth to it at closer inspection. The plot is a little unrealistic, but the realness of the characters make up for that.
**I read an advanced readers copy of this book.