Liam Darcy, I Loathe You

224p. (The Jane Journals of Pemberley Prep). ebook available. Cedar Fort/Sweetwater. 2015. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781462116829.
Gr 7 Up—Lizzie, Nila, Alice, Cate, Vivian, and Fiona are given a writing assignment to document their daily lives at Pemberley Prep. Each of the six students represent characters in Jane Austen's classic novels. Doxey, however, misses the mark in her attempt to marry Austen's work with today's target audience. This series opener is far too convoluted to be considered a retelling. The use of multiple Austen characters from different books is likely to make it difficult for readers to remember which teen reincarnate corresponds with which Austen novel, especially considering how little of the original characters' personalities remain intact. Unfortunately, the primary characters blend together, making the multiple narrator format hard to follow. The voices are too similar to distinguish among the narrators. Claire LaZebnik's Epic Fail (HarperCollins, 2011), a retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice set it in an affluent California high school, is a better alternative.
VERDICT Libraries looking for modern adaptations of classics should steer clear and pick up Sara Benincasa's Great (HarperCollins, 2014) and Jackson Pearce's Fathomless (Little, Brown, 2012) instead.

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