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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (208 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Orange Blossom

"There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding herself tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast." Julie knows from bitter experience: her best friend, Ashleigh, is an Enthusiast. Ashleigh’s current fancy is also Julie’s own passion, Pride and Prejudice, and the heroine’s quest for True Love. And so Julie finds herself swept along with Ashleigh, dressed in vintage frocks and sneaking into a dance at the local all-boys’ prep school. There they discover several likely candidates for True Love, including the handsome and sensitive Parr. And Julie begins to wonder if maybe this obsession of Ashleigh’s isn’t so bad after all. . . .

How can I describe the book Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman? In a word I would call it charming. It is a young adult romance, but any romantic with a sense of humor (from 12 to 92) will enjoy this straightforward and sweet story.

While reading this book, I fell in love with Ms. Shulman’s writing. It’s fun, yet intelligent, and this translated into her characters. You can clearly tell the author has a love of Austen and classic literature. She has a flare for poetry, too which comes out in the writing. This is a book of comedy as well as romance and other issues of family, friendship, and first loves. It was very well written and interesting especially finding all the Jane Austen and other literary references. The author has depicted teen age relationships extremely well.

What really endeared this book to me is that I found myself really starting to feel everything that the heroine of the story was going through. As Parr would walk into the coffeehouse where Julie was enjoying a beverage, my heartbeat sped up just like the heroine’s. Even though it is written in first person from the perspective of the heroine, you get to know the hero, Charles Grandison Parr very well. You know what he’s feeling, his passion and his torment. You will fall in love with him.

It’s a clean, sweet story that I would recommend for pre-teen girls and up. I would read this one again…and again…and again.

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