Thursday, March 4, 2021

Review: "Pudge & Prejudice" by A.K. Pittman

I first read Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice as a junior in high school. Honestly, I wasn't too impressed 不 ... but as a senior in college, I was introduced to the 5-hour 1995 miniseries, and suddenly I was ALL IN on Austen. I've never been a classic literature snob, so I've read and watched all the retellings/adaptations/loosely based on the book stories ... and when I heard about Pudge & Prejudice, well, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it!

Pudge and Prejudice is an homage to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, transported to the fictitious Northfield Texas High School in the year 1984. After moving to Northfield with her family, Elyse Nebbit faces the challenge of finding her place in a new school, one dominated by social status and Friday night football. When Elyse's effortlessly beautiful older sister Jayne starts dating Charlie Bingley, the captain of the school football team, Elyse finds herself curious about Charlie's popular and brooding best friend, Billy Fitz. Elyse's body insecurities eventually complicate her relationship with Billy, leaving Jayne and Elyse's exceedingly blunt friend, Lottie, to step in and help Elyse accept herself for who she is, pant size and all.

Oh my goodness! Pudge & Prejudice is certainly the best book I've read so far in 2021, and it just might be my favorite Pride & Prejudice retelling!

Set in mid-1980's Texas, this delightful YA novel is full of 80's movie, TV, and music references. I was born in the 80's but identify more as a child of the 90's, so I wasn't sure if I'd get all the references (my entertainment during the 80's consisted of PBS, The Cosby Show, Steve Green, and Sandi Patti)... but apparently I've caught up in the intervening years, as I was at least familiar with everything mentioned.

Elyse is the Elizabeth Bennett character. Smart, witty, and overweight, she's used to being overshadowed by her beautiful older sister Jayne and vivacious younger sister Lydia. Pudge & Prejudice is 100% Elyse's story, and it's so fun to watch her begin to see beyond her "fat shell" and come into her own at her new school.

I loved how author A.K. Pittman wound the basics of Austen's story into her retelling ... all with a twist! Even without the P&P parallels, this would've been a great story (and those unfamiliar with Austen's classic should still enjoy the novel), but the references just made it sublime!

This book is exactly what the YA market needs - it's clean, romantic, and not at all preachy. It's just a really great story! (It also really, really, really needs a sequel!) 5 stars.

Buy the book (Amazon ad).

A.K. Pittman is an award-winning author of thirteen novels, including the Christy-nominated Sister Wife series and the critically acclaimed The Seamstress. An enthusiast for all of the writing world, Allison holds active leadership in her local American Christian Fiction Writers chapter, and she heads up a thriving critique group in the San Antonio area. When not writing, Allison teaches middle school English, working as a conduit to introduce her students to new, fresh literature. You can follow her around on Instagram (@allisonkpittman) or Twitter (@allisonkpittman) and keep up with her writing news on her Allison Pittman Author Facebook page. Here you'll learn what's going on with new books, next books, and day-to-day life with Allison and her husband, Mikey. You'll also get a peek at Snax, the world's worst dog.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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