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3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,420 Ratings  ·  609 Reviews
A first-time novelist pens a Jane Austen-inspired romantic comedy of errors as two girls get a part in the boys' school musical. What follows is a series of misinterpreted--and missed--signals, dating mishaps, and awkward incidents.
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published February 16th 2006 by Putnam Juvenile
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Mar 26, 2009 Jenny rated it really liked it
Ha! This proves I like light, fluffy books. Although rather predictable this book was thoroughly enjoyable. Right on the cover was a recommendation of praise from Stephanie Myers which made me roll my eyes, and consider not reading the book. I'm glad I did though, I loved the two friends, Ashleigh's loyalty was refreshing. Though her "Enthusiasm" didn't seem so very Enthusiastic after the first 50 pages or so. Not when compared to the crazy things she's done in the past. The love interest of bot ...more
Jan 12, 2010 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hannah by: Hanneybean!!
Shelves: ya, 2010-reads
Enthusiasm is a fluffy, comfy book filled with references to Jane Austen and some of her works, most notably Pride & Prejudice.

A YA book, it was recommended to me by my teen daughter, so of course I had to read it. A quick, fun read, with a cast of cute and quirky (though unrealistic at times) characters, Enthusiasm is definitely marketed to capitalize on the teen fascination with boys, crushes, first kisses and clueless parents.

Very sweet and light fare, although as a mom I do take issue wi
Mar 18, 2015 Valerie rated it really liked it
This book is so sugary sweet you could say maybe it almost too sweet. But as it is it's just what I needed. I was in the greatest mood while I was reading it and after I finished. This is probably the reason why I don't read as much deep sad books. You know how you sometimes keep the feel of the book while you're reading it for a while? If I'm having a hard time then there is no way I'm going to read a sad book. I have to be in the right state of mind.

Julie has a friend name Ashleigh, who is an
Apr 09, 2013 Jessi rated it it was amazing
I love Jane Austen. I have read all of her completed novels at least twice. I've read quite a few JA para-lit novels, and this is by far the best of the bunch. It includes allusions to not only P&P, but Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and even a little Mansfield Park, too. Although she borrows from Austen's characters, Shulman does a great job of making them (and the story) fresh and unique. There was never a doubt in my mind as to the ending (it is, after all, a romance, and a YA o ...more
Oct 05, 2008 Halli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: q1-2008, favorites
Text to Self

This book is definately for the light of heart, teenage girl. Which is exactly what I happen to be. I found a lot of connections between this book and my self. I am a lot like the main character Julia. We both have an extreme love of the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice, we both love, even though we might not show it all the time, our very best friend more than anything, and would do almost anything for them, and we both hold on dearly to the dream that we will one day find our
Aug 05, 2011 Angie rated it liked it
Shelves: good-uns, ya
It's been around five years since I first ran across ENTHUSIASM by Polly Shulman. And, honestly, when I think about it, I'm fairly certain I got this recommendation from Stephenie Meyer's website way back in the day. I believe she had it on her list of recommended reads and I picked it up based on that and the fact that it had a Jane Austen angle. It seems like there are so many of those these days, but at the time I hadn't read many. I'm very glad I did pick it up, as this is a perfectly deligh ...more
Nov 23, 2007 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you adore Jane Austin? Are you searching for your very own Mr. Darcy? Do you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about? Ok, well Julia Lefkowitz and her next-door neighbor/life long best friend Ashleigh Rossi do: Julia is a huge fan of Austin, especially Pride & Prejudice, and Ashleigh, well she is what you might call an Enthusiast. At least, that is what Julie calls her. You see Ashleigh has a tendency to become deeply, passionately obsessed with something, committing her whole lif ...more
Mar 12, 2015 Ahnya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jaff
Julie has grown up her whole life with a best friend who is an Enthusiast. Whenever Ashleigh, Julie's best friend, finds a new craze she jumps head first, and rarely comes up for air. Her latest craze is non other than Jane Austen which she found when Julie lent her a copy of Pride and Prejudice. This craze has Ashleigh speaking in 18th century English, and only wearing long skirts or dresses because it is immodest to reveal the shape of one's legs. Her craze also involves a hairbrained scheme t ...more
Margaret Harrigan
Dec 07, 2014 Margaret Harrigan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was my second time around reading this book. I just finished my other one and wanted something to read, so I went to my shelf and picked this one up.
Honestly, I forgot how much I loved this book. Its quick read, light, funny and just perfect for a few hour long distraction on a rainy day. As a sucker for rom coms and romance stories in general, I don't care how predictable it is, I love it all the same. Its one of those books that requires me to stop for a minute to relax my face because i
May 01, 2016 Ella rated it it was amazing
Wow. I did not expect this book to make me laugh as much as I inevitably did. Things just get so chaotic, and the heroine heaps tons of crap on herself resulting in hilarious moments of: "what the heck!?" The end is precious and had me "aw-ing" out loud.
Apr 01, 2009 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Super cheesy but super cute. I was in the mood for something just like it and i laughed out loud so much throughout the whole book. Julia's friend Ashleigh is so comfortable in her own skin you wish you were just like her but some of her ideas are so embarrassing. Some of the problem in the book seem so unrealistic and cheesy but the sad part is that they are totally true and are a huge deal in a teenaged girl's life . All in all theres no way after you have finished the book that you can help b ...more
Sep 26, 2015 Stacy rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I went from "This is so stupid" to stupidly grinning.

Full review to come.
Apr 11, 2016 Meg rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It's a sweet, clean romance with enough teenage angst to be interesting. Despite the occasional use of swearing (deity only), I would happily recommend this book to anyone 10 or older. The language has hints of Jane Austen, Shakespeare, and even A. A. Milne. The descriptions are lovely without bogging down the motion of the story. The dialogue is quick and witty. And, despite being a quick read and light story, it explores themes such as friendship, loyalty, love, and class/mon ...more
Jun 13, 2016 Tori rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read Polly Shulman's Grimm Legacy series of books, which were very sweet, and got around to reading her first young adult novel, Enthusiasm. This is exactly the type of book I would have loved as a young teen - romantically predictable and clever!

The first sentence in the book starts it off well: "There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding hereof tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast." Ashleigh is the enthusiast - someone who latches on to "brilliant" ideas
Nov 20, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This was an adorable book! I don’t normally go for the “chick-lit” kind of books, but this was really just fun and cute. Also, it was $1 at Books-A-Million…so it was hard to pass up. However, in my opinion the Stephenie Meyer recommendation doesn’t do much to sell the book.

So, Julie and Ashleigh have this amazing friendship. Not only have they lived next-door to each other for their whole lives, but there is a tree that connects both of their bedroom windows. They can constantly go back and fort
I had a blast reading Polly Shulman’s novel Enthusiasm, her homage to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice! It had been released in 2006 and was on my ‘to read’ list for quite some time until I felt the need for something summerish and light to read. Since it is classified as a young adult novel for grades 7-10, I was prepared to be underwhelmed by a less than sparkling plot and characterizations. My assumptions were so wrong! Totally!

It is quite amazing to think that this is Shulman’s first novel
Jan 03, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: old-reads
Ok, I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for well-written YA romance. This book falls into that category; characters that seem relatively real, a romance that doesn't feel too far-fetched, and a plot that doesn't want to do much more than allow the characters to find each other (in other words, no causes and no massive misunderstandings/traumas to overcome).

The plot is a mixture of Pride & Prejudice and Midsummer Night's Dream, with people falling for the wrong person or assuming the wrong person is
This book had potential to be one of the cutest novels I’d ever read, despite the slightly serious-looking cover (I know there’s hot pink, but still). The story caught my eye because well, who doesn’t have a flighty, overly-enthusiastic friend who loves picking up new hobbies? Throw in a hot guy, a rule-breaking plan with lots of mischief, a kick-ass title, and you should have the formula for a nice fluffy story.

Unfortunately, the story was not as captivating as I’d hoped. Maybe its just me, but
Anne Osterlund
Aug 24, 2011 Anne Osterlund rated it liked it
Julie and Ashley have been best friends forever. Through Ashley’s King Arthur phase, her Wet Blankets phase, and now . . . Jane Austen. Which involves “no showing of the lower limbs,” learning the quadrille, and crashing the fall dance at the local all-boys school, in search of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley.

Julie is an excellent best friend. She’s prepared to suffer the social criticism, the missteps, and even the total embarrassment of getting turned away from the dance.

But just how well will that
May 09, 2009 Cindy rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen, romance, 999
This was a fun teen romance that was neat little twist on Jane Austen. Julie's friend Ashleigh is always having these phases, or 'enthusiasms.' Suddenly Ashleigh discovers Jane Austen, and decided to go all out. Julie finally persuades her not to wear long dresses to high school, but agrees to go along to a boys' school dance, where they can meet their Mr. Darcys.

Like I said, it was a fun book. Ashleigh reminds me of several people I know, but fortunately, not quite so obsessed. And just about e
Feb 11, 2008 Ruth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ages 12 and up
Recommended to Ruth by: Stephenie Meyer
Shelves: fiction
This is a cute, young adult romance. I would have just given it three stars, but there were a couple well written, very romantic scenes that pushed it to four stars for me. I love it when authors are able to convey emotional intensity without being smutty.

The story is very cute. I loved the pride and prejudice references. There are quite a few Jane Austen characters here. Important themes include friendship, loyalty, family roles, first love, misunderstandings, and self-image. It's a short read
Jan 09, 2016 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give it a 4.5 only because it was a bit too predictable...of course that's because I've read Austen's works. So, it was a bit comforting reading the familiar plots and storylines speckled throughout the book. Overall an enjoyable and quick read.
Jan 18, 2016 Sara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 2016
What a cute book! After reading (and loving) this author's Grimm Legacy series, I decided to pick up her first book to see how I enjoyed it. And this was great! Julia and Ashleigh are best friends whose adventures typically stem from Ashleigh's enthusiasm for her current interest. After Ashleigh gets into Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice in particular, the two of them crash a cotillon at an all-boys prep school in town, meeting two nice guys there, Ned and Parr. Ashleigh declares her love for ...more
Apr 02, 2015 Lobo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Azt hiszem vannak az ifjúsági könyveknek olyan kategóriái, amihez én túl cinikus vagyok már és míg bohó ifjúként faltam a hasonló kiszámítható és sablonos történeteket, ma már csak fanyalogni tudok rajta és rámutatni, hogy ezt már olvastam, esetleg jobban megírva is. Mindezek mellet nem tartottam jó főszereplőnek Julie-t. Nagyon sokat kesereg és siránkozik, túlságosan is passzív, meg teszetosza. Ráadásul a könyvnek még mélységet adhatott volna az elvált szülők gyerekeként élni, megbékülni az új ...more
Nov 02, 2015 Mharla rated it really liked it
I've read this book with full enthusiasm. Credulity at it's finest! How could I not know? How could she not know? It was completely obvious from the very beginning - she had kept her mind and eyes closed for almost 3/4 of the story.

At first, I am confused. I completely enjoyed and relate to the enthusiast personality - which what we called "CRAZY". And that was weird (not weird but unlikely) because the enthusiast herself was not the main character. I do what she did most of the time - getting i
Feb 18, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-1-12
Julie Lefkowitz has been roped into any interest or hobby imaginable by her friend Ashleigh Rossi, affectionately known as "The Enthusiast." When the focus of Ashleigh's enthusiasm shifts to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Julie is forced to accompany her to the local boys' school in quest of true love. Chaos ensues with comedic misunderstandings and unfortunate circumstances as Ashleigh and Julie learn about themselves and the men of their dreams.

This was an interesting contrast to Anna an
Mary Ann
May 16, 2016 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
When I first picked up this book, I thought this would be another cliche romantic comedy, yet I soon found out that I was mistaken. This book was very engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed it. “Enthusiasm” explored the themes of love, friendship and family, through the eyes of Julie Lefkowitz, the main character of the book. Shulman created a dilemma where Julie liked the same guy as her enthusiastic best friend Ashleigh. Yet after various misunderstandings and turns in plot, Shulman skillfully reso ...more
Jan 26, 2013 Marcene rated it it was amazing
It was so FUN to read this book. As dumb as it may sound I felt like a teenager with a "crush". My heart fluttered at the "first kiss" and I laughed out loud in parts of this book (which hardly never happens when reading). I look forward to reading this book again in the near future.
Feb 04, 2013 Tiana rated it really liked it
Cute read and the characters are adorable, even if the cover is a little ugly (in my opinion). It all felt true to high school, with the crushes, misunderstandings and awkward advances. You gotta love the main guy - poetry, flowers, jewelry - I mean, he knows how to win a girl.
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Polly Shulman has edited and written articles about books, infinity, edible jellyfish, planets, circuses, and many other subjects for the New York Times, Science, Salon, and many other publications. She is an alumna of Yale, where she majored in math. She puts cayenne pepper in her chocolate cookies and reads forgotten books with frontispieces. In high school she worked as a page at the New York P ...more
More about Polly Shulman...

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“Just let me wait a little while longer,
Under your window in the quite snow.
Let me stand here and shiver, I’ll be stronger
If I can see your light before I go.
All through the weeks I’ve tried to keep my balance.
Leaves fell, then rain, then shadows, I fell too.
Easy restraint is not among my talents,
Fall turned to Winter and I came to you.
Kissed by the snow I contemplate your face.
Oh, do not hide it in your pillow yet!
Warm rooms would never lure me from this place,
If only I could see your silhouette.
Turn on your light, my sun, my summer love.
Zero degrees down here, July above.”
“And what could my father possibly want with another child, when he hardly bothered to talk to the one he already had?” 22 likes
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