by Polly Shulman (2006)
Ashleigh is an Enthusiast, the personality type that jumps into an interest wholeheartedly, much to her best friend Julie's embarrassment. Now, Ash is into Jane Austen. She's not just reading the books, which would suit Julie just fine as Pride and Prejudice is her favorite book. No, Ashleigh wants to dance a quadrille, wearing dresses only, and - most importantly - finding True Love. Ashleigh's plan: to infiltrate the upcoming boys' school dance to meet their very own Mr. Darcys. And of course, she's going to drag Julie along.
This was a fun teen romance that could appeal to teen lovers of Austen as well as those who have never read the books (or seen the movies). While there were some nods to Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice that I picked up on, Julie and Ashleigh's story stands well on its own and doesn't need any prior familiarity with either to be enjoyed. I liked Julie as the narrator, and could relate to her love and loyalty towards Ashleigh as well as her exasperation with some of Ash's more drastic schemes. Julie's romantic troubles were believable, if somewhat predictable and quickly wrapped up, but it was a nice, quick light read that I would easily recommend.
Enthusiasm fits into the 2000s for my Read YA Through the Decades challenge. For the main challenge page and links to others participating, check out the original post at Youth Services Corner.