(Image from Barnes & Noble)
Every girl in Farmington, New Mexico, loves gorgeous Taylor Anderson. Except Chloe Hart. The 17-year-old despises Taylor, who really doesn't need a league of admirers since he's already his own biggest fan. Why he seems determined to win Chloe over is a mystery to her. They're obviously not meant to be together. Not even as friends. Except when she actually gets to know Taylor, she discovers there might be more to him than just his cover model face. Which isn't going to stop her from hating him, of course. No matter how charming he is, Chloe refuses to fall for Taylor—until she realizes that's exactly what's happening.
I'm not going to belabor the point here: I gave Pride & Popularity, the first book in The Jane Austen Diaries series by Jenni James, a D because it deserves it. On the bright side, the novel is quick, clean and teaches some good life lessons. On the not-so-bright side, the writing is terrible, the editing sloppy, the characters flat, the dialogue unnatural, and the plot nonexistent. I could go on, using words like cheesy, predictable and unrealistic, but you get the message. If the book wasn't a Whitney Award finalist, I wouldn't have read past the first page.
I know that's a harsh assessment, but, as Randy Jackson (of American Idol fame) likes to say, "I'm just keeping it real." Of course, I could be totally off-base here, especially since Pride & Popularity gets (mostly) rave reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc. If you've read it, what's your keeping-it-real opinion? Am I crazy? Have I lost all sense of what makes a good book? What's your take?
(Readalikes: Um, I can't think of anything. Can you?)
If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG
To the FTC, with love: I bought Pride & Popularity at Deseret Book with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger. Ha ha.