Definitely, Maybe in Love is a brilliant re-imagining of the classic Pride and Prejudice encompassing all the themes from the original story while giv...moreDefinitely, Maybe in Love is a brilliant re-imagining of the classic Pride and Prejudice encompassing all the themes from the original story while giving them a contemporary, realistic make over including extra spice that I am sure a lot of us would have loved to have seen with the original Mr Darcy ;)
Told in first person narrative from the perspective of Spring (yes that’s her name) as the judgemental, opinionated Elizabeth Bennett character. Spring feels she has to be the embodiment of her beliefs in order to be taken seriously. From braiding her hair to becoming vegetarian, however this has the reverse effect than she intended, branding her a zealot rather than a intellectual. Her outward persona is completely at odds with how she really is and she has difficulty in reconciling the two. While coming to terms with who she is she tends to alienate people, causing her further internal struggle. Her emotional and psychological path is the basis of this re-imagining and you can’t help but become attached to Spring.
Spring’s professor steers her away from her narrow mindedness; showing her that she needs a more balanced approach to her thesis and life in general. Pairing up with the rich, attractive son of a land developer, Henry aka Spring’s nemesis, challenges Spring on many different levels. It forces Spring to re-evaluate her beliefs and open up to new ideas. As we all know making assumptions makes an ass out of you and me ;) First impressions based on gossip are rarely the correct ones. A hard life lesson for Spring especially when her heart is in the balance.
The flow of the story is fantastic, divided into seasons the book provides a visual journey of Spring’s character growth. I would have really loved to have some of the pivotal scenes told from Henry’s perspective to gain further insight and balance of the character development. Henry provides a very charismatic Mr Darcy figure with a little less arrogance if truth be told :)
My only quibble with this re-imagining was the characters picked to represent Lydia and Mr Wickham, that aspect of the story didn’t gel with me but out of all the characters in Definitely, Maybe in Love it was really the only option available.
Any fan of Pride and Prejudice will be delighted with Definitely, Maybe in Love.(less)
I have to be perfectly honest and say I didn’t really connect with the characters in this story, however I can appreciate that the pupils in the libra...moreI have to be perfectly honest and say I didn’t really connect with the characters in this story, however I can appreciate that the pupils in the library will identify with them far more than I can.
Told in first person narrative from Camille’s point of view. At 16 she is very immature, an only child of much older parents she has been somewhat over-protected and sheltered. Yet, for all Camille’s parents rules I felt deep down they were un-involved on a daily basis in Camille’s life.
The vocabulary and characterizations are very OTT although I have to say that they are fitting even if I struggled particularly with the vocabulary used in the dialogue. Extremes of personalities and events lead the plot, nothing is expected.
The writing is fabulously descriptive, even if it is gory at times (shudders). The incorporation of Gothic imagery and conventions within the plot re-enforce aspects of the original classic Frankenstein tale within the imagination.
Dark, twisted humor within the narrative will resonate with the majority of pupils in the school library. CJ should be commended on her ability to tap into and convey the type of twisted humor that teens find appealing.(less)
Let me start by saying that unfortunately I don’t think free verse works in e-book format. The reason for this is that the words in free verse form a...moreLet me start by saying that unfortunately I don’t think free verse works in e-book format. The reason for this is that the words in free verse form a pattern on the page, sweeping you along with the story, the shapes of the words and the use of white space within free verse always add a dynamic element in the prose that I found lacking in the ebook version.
As this is a re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet while reading you are inevitably awaiting the tragedy to strike. Told in first person narrative from Julia’s point of view. A musical prodigy dedicated to the piano from a very young age. Her dedication is admirable but it does control her life, she isn’t a sociable person on the whole and tends to life in her head more than interacting with others even her parents. In all honesty I didn’t like Julia very much, I didn’t connect with her and found her actions questionable for most of the story.
On the other hand I adored the love interest in the form of Reed; the complete opposite of Julia in social and economical standing yet he was far easier to relate to. I didn’t agree with his choices either but at least there was an understanding within the prose as to why he made the decisions he did. In the main part it was taken out of his hands and he was a product of his environment. The whole nature versus nurture debate in full force, it made me question if Reed every really stood a chance. I wanted a happy ending for him more than anything. The phrase ‘Don’t Judge A book by it’s cover’ certainly applies to Reed. I did think that the drug use was slightly glorified, even though the effects were shown they didn’t pack the same punch as Ellen Hopkins Crank.
The class divide was vividly portrayed and proved that it still exists perhaps it always will, the prose really provided food for thought on a number of issues ranging from social/economical divide to the use of drugs. The insight provided into the trials and tribulations of navigating social situations showed the similarities in situations experienced by both the privileged and poor, something I hadn’t previously considered; when you don’t have money you only think that to have money would make you happier there’s the thing it can’t buy happiness. The difference in Julia’s life compared to Reed’s does soften Julia as a character and makes here appreciate things she had previously taken for granted.
Quotes from Romeo and Juliet are placed at the chapter headings and re-enforced the story-line doubly impacted by the use of the play within the classroom setting where the characters give their opinion on the original.
As always with free verse I am impressed with the use of simile and metaphor enabling the imagery to be conveyed within few words. The family relationships are the cornerstone in Romeo and Juliet and giving credit to Stephanie Parent they were equally dynamically and symbolically portrayed within Defy the Stars.
My favorite part of Defy the Stars was the use of music, the way in which the history of music added to the main plot really appealed to me. I loved how music was shown to bridge the gap in social standing. Also the use of music to evoke memories both good and bad, all the emotions tied to certain songs. This is something I definitely relate to.
On the whole an interesting re-imagining of the tragedy that is Romeo and Juliet.(less)