Longbourn is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the servants.
Although I’ve never fully read Pride and Prejudice, I can quote many of the lines by heart from watching the 1995 miniseries (with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth) more times than I can count.
Longbourn doesn’t really provide any new insights into P&P, though it does add some backstory. It is more of a standalone novel taking place in the same setting as P&P. At the same time, I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you’re already familiar with P&P.
A Downton Abbey and P&P mashup seemed like a brilliant idea, but Longbourn didn’t accomplish that. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t love the story.
You might like this book if you are interested in…
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is about a 16-year-old girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster who is battling thyroid cancer. At the support group her mom forces her to attend, she meets a 17-year-old boy named Augustus Waters, who lost his leg to osteosarcoma.
Hazel and Augustus hit it off immediately. Hazel finds Augustus charming and ridiculously good-looking and he tells Hazel she reminds him of Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta — beautiful with a dislike for authority. The two fall in love and bond over a shared appreciation for a book called An Imperial Affliction, which ends abruptly in the middle of a sentence.
The story takes Hazel and Augustus through the emotional highs of love and the lows of impending death… and even on a trip to Amsterdam to ask the author of An Imperial Affliction what happens after the story ends.
Overall, I liked The Fault in Our Stars. Sure, the characters may be pretentious and the monologues unrealistic, but I thought it was cute and heartwarming and, of course, tragic.
Here’s one thing that really bothered me, though: every time I read “Augustus Waters,” I couldn’t help but think of Aurane Waters, the handsome admiral from A Song of Ice and Fire. 😛
So anyway, I think The Fault in Our Stars is best suited for its intended audience (teenagers), but adult YA fans may enjoy it, too.
The movie version of The Fault in Our Stars comes out in June. The trailer is below:
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who play the star-crossed lovers, are also going to act as brother and sister in another big YA movie, Divergent, which comes out in March.