The Season

DYER, Jonah Lisa & . 352p. Viking. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780451476340.
Gr 9 Up—Megan McKnight's got her eye on the Olympics. She's more comfortable on a soccer field than executing a "Texas Dip" for the Dallas elite as a Bluebonnet debutante. But with her family's ranch in jeopardy and her parents' marriage in similar straits, Megan reluctantly agrees to debut with her twin sister, Julia. What follows is a Southern-flavored Pride and Prejudice, with the Texas upper crust and one Manhattan socialite substituting for the English gentry. Plenty of familiar characters and plot points abound. The strongest literary revamp is Hank, the charming but ultimately caddish manipulator, and, of course, Megan, who jumps off the page, sticking to her guns when it's important while also evolving. Sadly, Andrew (the Darcy) is close but not quite a match for the heroine. With extravagant parties, a car chase, family scandal, and even a brawl, the Dyers keep things interesting. Megan learns what she's capable of (for good or ill) and what it means to misjudge others. Occasional swearing and sexual situations happen off-page. The dialogue ranges from wonderfully cheeky to occasionally overdramatic, with a few forced lines from the source material peppered throughout.
VERDICT This tale covers no new territory and yet is a thoroughly enjoyable read, especially for fans of Austen retellings.

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