L.'s Reviews > Persuaded

Persuaded by Jenni James
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's review
Aug 28, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: own
Read in August, 2012

Originally posted here: http://living-a-thousand-lives.tumblr...

Minor spoilers

The Cover
I guess the model is pretty with fabulous hair? Is she lying on leaves? In any case, HUGE FACE! DO NOT WANT!

The Story
As you can see on the cover this book is part of The Jane Austen Diaries, in this case it’s a modern retelling of Persuasion with teenaged characters.
4 years ago Amanda rejected the boy she loved because her popular friends thought he was a loser and persuaded her to dump him. Soon thereafter said boy, named Greg, moved away with his parents. After 4 years his family returns as millionaires and Greg now goes by Gregory and is suddenly a hottie and all the girls fawn over him. He acts cold and indifferent towards her and rubs it in her face that he’s now very desirable and doesn’t have a thought left for her. (again, terrible blurb, sorry!)

The Protagonist
Amanda was a doormat. Plain and simple. To me she was a very, very weak character who let others decide for her and treat her like crap. Anne Elliot made a big mistake and followed her trusted friend’s advice and regretted that decision for years but to me she was never a weakling. She was really nice but still smart and head strong when she had to. Amanda however rejected a good friend for popularity and even then she regretted it immediately. The moment he left, she turned into a meak and insecure girl who lets her family and friends walk all over her without even thinking that there’s something wrong with their behaviour. Look, I’d understand if she was a chicken who’s afraid to stand up to people but she doesn’t even realize that she’s being treated like a doormat and that is where the problem is. She needed Greg to tell her that she was pretty and to give her a confidence boost, which is not a bad thing BUT the moment he was gone, the confidence was gone too and only returned when he started to love her again. And this right there is the wrong message to send to teenage girls. I can’t help but compare this to Measuring Up where the boy build up the girl’s confidence but also encouraged her to be able to stand up on her own and to believe in herself. In Persuaded, Amanda needs Gregory to protect and save her and I feel like her character never really grows or rather she doesn’t really have a character/personality. By the end the only thing she learns is that she shouldn’t listen to people’s advice on who she should love, she never learned to stand up to her family or anyone else for that matter. A weak main protagonist, who’s also a little bit of a Mary Sue, is one of the things I have a big problem with so this is a huge minus point for me.

The Heart Rate
Gregory was…tall. And hot apparently. He was supposed to feel betrayed by Amanda but still stood up for her and helped her every chance he got. He also started to date Amanda’s best friend Kylie, the same friend who persuaded her to dump him. I assume he did it to get back at Amanda, but to be honest, it just doesn’t line up with his character to date a girl he should hate, but we never see it, on the contrary it seems as if he really liked Kylie. Anyway, the romance was sweet I guess. It did make me feel a little warm and fuzzy inside whenever Greg helped Amanda but I don’t know if it was because their romance was that great or because of the residual feelings from reading For Darkness Shows the Stars, another (much better) Persuasion retelling. It’s probably the latter. The romance was insofar believable because you just know and expect it to happen. Greg is for the most part very one-dimensional and you don’t really get to know him that much beyond the fact that he’s rich, hot and a nice guy who’s protective of Amanda. Unfortunately this is not enough for me to call him a good love interest. I blame the first person narration and Amanda’s lack of personality.

The Good
- Jane Austen: I’m a sucker for everything Jane Austen and I’m always looking for retellings or variations (if they’re good or bad is another story)
- Greg’s parents: They were refreshingly nice and real, a little over the top but still sweet.

The Bad
- Characters: The main protagonists aren’t really fleshed out so it’s no wonder that the supporting characters are even more one-dimensional. I like most of them (except Kylie and Sydney (Amanda’s stepsister)) but that’s it. They don’t really serve a purpose and are mere props. Plus, I can’t help but trying to connect these characters with Jane Austen’s characters and they are NOTHING alike and totally mixed up. I know this is a retelling and only inspired by Persuasion but still, the fundamental feeling and characterstic should still be there.
- Plot: There were so many unrealistic moments here. Like why doesn’t Amanda know most of Kylie’s friends? Shouldn’t they have mutual friends? It seems as though before Greg’s return Amanda didn’t interact with anybody but Kylie. Then we have Sean, Greg’s cousin. He just appears out of nowhere in their town and Greg goes: “Sean? Sean Benally? Good to see you!…” This is not how you greet a cousin but a random classmate maybe. And why would you have to add your cousin’s last name? And wouldn’t he let you know he’s in town and why is he in town alone in a restaurant? We never find out. These were just a few examples of some random and contrived things going on here. Oh, and I kind of have a hard time pin pointing the age of most of the characters. We find out later that Greg’s 19 and another character is 21, but they all seem like 16 year olds to me…
- Corny dialogue: I had to skip whole pages at the end because I just couldn’t stand the cheesy dialogue.

The Rating
I read a lot of fluffy young adult novels because sometimes you just need a light, fun read where you don’t have to think a lot. But this is probably one of those books I’m too old for. I think if I was a lot younger (like in Middle Grade), I’d probably love this. I give this 2 stars because despite it all I still wanted to finish this book and for Jane Austen.
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Samia Ruponti spot on!!! I felt too old to read it too. plus, I hates Amanda with fierce passion. not only she doesn't realize that her family is mistreating her, she seems totally ok with it! that, I can't abide by at all.

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