Enthusiasm
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Enthusiasm

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  2,877 ratings  ·  555 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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Jenny
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
Jessi
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
Hannah
Jan 12, 2010 Hannah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Valerie
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...more
Halli
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...more
Angie
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
Molly
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
Lauren
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
Kelly
Cute! It is funny for me to read about teenage angst now that I'm way past that age...I just want to say "Girls - communicate! Fight for what you want...".
Amy
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...more
Laurel
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...more
Laura
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...more
Felicia
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...more
Anne Osterlund
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...more
Cindy
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...more
Ruth
Feb 11, 2008 Ruth rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Marcene
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.
Tiana
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.
Joant
Light, fun and a nice tie in to Jane Austen. This book walks on that thin line of sweet and clever, without becoming insipid and silly. I enjoyed the female characters willingness to be true to themselves and loyal to one another.
Laurel Bradshaw
I was pleasantly surprised by this sweet little book. It's a quick read about friendship, high school crushes, school activities, embarrassing parents, and other teenaged angst. The love story aspect is a little weak, but this is high school after all, and it's G-rated, so okay for younger teens. I enjoyed the interplay between the two girls. I was the quiet bookworm among my more outgoing friends. I would have liked a take-charge friend like Ashleigh, but Julie seemed much too passive about eve...more
Relyn
Mar 04, 2014 Relyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any girl who loves a teen love story
Recommended to Relyn by: Polly Shulman
We are having an extra long weekend thanks to snow and ice. I lovedGrimm Legacy so much that I quickly requested the rest of Polly Shulman's books. Jeffrey realized he had Enthusiasm in his library and made the trek out in the snow and ice to get it for me. He brought me a handful of YA and I've been piled up happily on the sofa for hours a day ever since.

I loved this book. Polly Shulman has a great sense of humor and pays homage to Jane Austen in this sweet love story. It's a delightful look a...more
Noémi nykyriana Molnár
Hű, hát ez meg mi volt?!? :/
Hirtelen nem is tudom, hogy mi vett rá egyáltalán a két csillag megadására :D :D
Egy legyen a Büszkeség és balítélet miatt… egyet meg kapjon Parr… akit meg viszont alig „ismertem meg„… mert ebből nem igazán lehetett…
Egyedül azt tudtam meg a könyvből, hogy Julie hány féle módon képes nyavalyogni XD XD XD ja és még véletlenül sem úgy, hogy megosztja valaki mással a gondjait, és esetleg tanácsot kér vagy valami…. áááá nem, ő szépen magában „vitatja meg„ a dolgokat… bah...more
Niki
I read this book because I was bored and I had nothing to do, and it turned out to be a very nice story. I could relate to Ashleigh.
Penny McGill
Very sweet love story with a strong friendship to balance it all. Julie's friend Ashleigh is one of those girls that you want to know - passionate about everything and willing to share her passion - and kind of don't want to know because you know you'll get swept away in her enthusiasm whether you want to or not. Polly Shulman shares all of the elements of this friendship without editing away the tough parts and lets Julie talk about how hard it is to be a friend to someone like this. It's a tal...more
Maggie
I went from "This is so stupid" to stupidly grinning.

Full review to come.
AudryT
Light, fluffy, very cute.
Becky B
Julie's best friend Ashleigh is an Enthusiast. An Enthusiast is beyond a fan. An Enthusiast is obsessed and drags her best friend into every obsession with her. Meaning, when Ash falls in love with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, she goes ALL out. She starts dressing in period costumes, she talks in period talk, and she starts developing plans to find her very own Mr. Darcy and Julie's Mr. Bingley. Of course, Austen heroines are most likely to find a suitable match at a dance, so Ashleigh dec...more
Arminzerella
Julie’s best friend Ashleigh’s new obsession is Jane Austen and, to be perfectly honest, Julie’s not thrilled about it. First of all, it was Julie who loved Jane Austen first. And if that weren’t enough, Ashleigh is insisting that they speak, act, and live like they’re back in Austen’s day. The first order of business is for them to meet some appropriate young men. Since there are no appropriate young men at their public high school, Ashleigh suggests that they crash the formal dance at the loca...more
Maia B.
May 17, 2011 Maia B. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Austen fans or YA fans or anyone wanting a light read with lots of humor
This is the kind of light, romantic novel that's perfect for the beach, the waiting room, or really anywhere else. It doesn't suck you in so that you can't put it down, but the characters are likable and the plot moves at a quick pace, with lots of twists and turns and LOTS of humor before the end.

Plus it's a great homage to Jane Austen from the teenage point of view - nothing can ever live up to Austen, but this book seems to realize it and there are enough inside jokes to keep Austen lovers ha...more
Debbie
When I picked this book up from the library, I was expecting a modernized "Pride and Prejudice." It's not. They just talk about Austen a lot. There was no prideful or prejudiced hero or heroine. Parr may be rich, but he's polite, thoughtful, and not even his parents appeared to have any social-class pride. The heroine, Julie, is described as "agreeable," but she's actually extremely passive. An agreeable person says, "Yes, that sounds like fun!" when something is suggested. Julie didn't actually...more
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Jane Austen Sequels: Enthusiasm, by Polly Shulman 1 10 Oct 07, 2012 05:58PM  
  • Love, Lies and Lizzie
  • Intimations of Austen
  • The Dashwood Sisters Tell All
  • Pemberley Ranch
  • Compulsively Mr. Darcy
  • The Importance of Being Emma (Darcy & Friends #1)
  • How to Hook a Hottie
  • Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List
  • Affinity and Affection
  • By Force of Instinct: A Pride & Prejudice Variation
  • Mrs Darcy's Dilemma
  • Echoes of Pemberley
  • Northanger Alibi (The Jane Austen Diaries, #2)
  • Mr. Darcy Forever (Austen Addicts #3)
  • And This Our Life: Chronicles of the Darcy Family: Book 1
  • Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard: A Tale of Tide & Prejudice
  • The Plight of the Darcy Brothers: A Tale of Siblings and Surprises (Pride and Prejudice Continues, # 2)
  • The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy
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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...
The Grimm Legacy (The Grimm Legacy, #1) The Wells Bequest (The Grimm Legacy, #2)

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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.”
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“And what could my father possibly want with another child, when he hardly bothered to talk to the one he already had?” 20 likes
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