Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
by Melissa de la Cruz
St. Martin’s Press
Retelling / Romance / Contemporary
Get a copy here!
Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.
Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?
Quick Reasons: so many thumbs up for a gender-bend well done!; this was refreshing and entertaining; the romance might have been a bit too quick for my taste; LOVELOVELOVED that this was written from DARCY’s POV; some of Darcy’s motivations fell a bit…flat? for me
You’ve all been around my neck of the igloo for long enough to know that I go ABSOLUTELY PSYCHOTIC over Pride and Prejudice retellings–ANY and EVERY Pride and Prejudiceretelling. So when I (somehow completely accidentally!) stumbled across this book on Amazon, I KNEW I needed it in my life–how could I possibly say no to a genderbent retelling of what has become bae in my heart?! There was no way I could turn the chance down. And then I received this as a Christmas gift from my mom. It was meant to be, I suppose–the world (and my Penguin Army) wanted me to READ THIS BOOK.
Let me tell you, this is probably one of my favorite P&P retellings of late. Melissa de la Cruz put a lot of time and effort into taking characters we’ve all inherently grown to know inside and out……and giving them their edge back. The fact that this is a gender-bent retelling helped to give her the room for creativity and individualization that might not have otherwise presented itself. Mix this with the chosen POV for this journey–that of Darcy, instead of Luke–helped to even further distance this from the original tale. I really adored the many small, seemingly benign choices that Melissa de la Cruz made along the way–they helped to shape and mold this into a unique and refreshing adventure!
The romance did feel a bit…simplified? quick? fairy tale like? It felt contrived to fit the story, instead of the other way around, I suppose. I felt as if these characters, while moaning and groaning about the inherent chaos of romance, jumped VERY quickly from “they mean nothing to me” to “I must give them EVERYTHING.” While I understand that this is a very short journey and that whirlwind romances can and do happen, even today… I felt as if perhaps the romantic portions of this read were not quite as complex as they otherwise could have been. The fact that certain characters, without real thought or reason, find themselves throwing everything they think away for the chance of love that they didn’t before want… it was a bit unrealistic for me. Or maybe I’m just growing jaded in my age.
Still, this was an entertaining and beautiful retelling of a novel that I apparently just can’t get enough of, and I’m so pleased with how gorgeously Melissa de la Cruz pulled off the gender-bend. These characters are quirky and just far-off enough from the originals to stand beautifully on their own, which is a MASSIVE plus in a retelling! Overall, I had a ton of fun reading this, and am so happy to have received a copy for my shelves (and my ever-growing collection of all things P&P). I’d definitely recommend to lovers of P&P (because OBVS, right?!), seekers of well-crafted retellings, and hearts that still hold out hope for their “love at first sight….or kiss” moment. Keep an eye out for mistletoe this season, Penguins; destiny could be waiting.