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Bookish Boyfriends #1

A Date with Darcy

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Boys are so much better in books. At least according to Merrilee Campbell, fifteen, who thinks real-life chivalry is dead and there’d be nothing more romantic than having a guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. Then she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer to Reginald R. Hero Prep—where all the boys look like they've stepped off the pages of a romance novel. Merri can hardly walk across the quad without running into someone who reminds her of Romeo.

When the brooding and complicated Monroe Stratford scales Merri’s trellis in an effort to make her his, she thinks she might be Juliet incarnate. But as she works her way through her literature curriculum under the guidance of an enigmatic teacher, Merri’s tale begins to unfold in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Merri soon realizes that only she is in charge of her story. And it is a truth universally acknowledged that first impressions can be deceiving . . .

392 pages, Paperback

First published May 1, 2018

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About the author

Tiffany Schmidt

15 books572 followers
Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family book 1).

She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles.

You can find out more about her and her books at: TiffanySchmidt.com, TiffanySchmidtWrites.Tumblr.com or by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 640 reviews
Profile Image for Biz.
222 reviews102 followers
Shelved as 'ummm-what'
January 3, 2018
you tryna tell me that she's read all the classics and the 1 (one) couple out of all those books whose love story she wants to emulate is flipping Romeo and Juliet
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,088 reviews1,511 followers
April 23, 2018
Merrilee Campbell is the star of this young adult contemporary romance read in which this somewhat of a book nerd teen longs for romance like she's read in the classics. Merri is transferring to a new school with her best friend and younger sister and hopes that this year will be different for her. 

Starting our at Hero High Merri finds herself studying Romeo and Juliet in class and longing for her own Romeo when she meets Monroe Stratford. Not only is Monroe handsome but he quotes Shakespaere and goes for the grand gesture over and over again. At fifteen Merri thinks she's found her true Romeo but before long she begins to see that the boys in her books are much better than real life. 

Picking up this title I was under the impression it was a standalone young adult contemporary romance but since then the listing has been changed to show that this may be the first book in a series. The story is one that really was a bit over the top cutesy at times which made me think this one will probably be a favorite for the really young teens but a bit much for the older crowd. 

In the first half or so of this one Merri felt a bit too childish to me but as the story went on she did seem to get a bit better along the way. The story had it's funny moments but I do believe would have a much better shot at a wider audience had it been dialed back a tad bit. If it does become a series I'm not sure I would bother continuing on myself with the story. 

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,485 reviews190 followers
January 11, 2021
3. 5 Stars

CW: eating disorder mentioned

Well that was cute and fun!

I love retellings/reimaginings and of course reading, and this is a lovely book about both! I enjoyed that there was a lot of discussion about literature, and it is my fervent hope that the books in this series encourage teens to pick up the classic novels or plays referenced. P and P is one of my favourite books and I think this was a reasonable and accessible modern YA interpretation of this great novel.
Profile Image for Scrill.
407 reviews232 followers
June 6, 2018
ARC received from the publisher via Netgalley for a fair review

When Merilee transfers from an all girls school to Reginald R. Hero High she thinks it just might be the place she might meet her personal hero. That is, if they can live up to all the bookish boyfriends she's forever dreaming about. Having herself surrounded by actual Romeo's it seems that Merilee might just be living out one of her favorite love stories of all time.

The Story
Okay, so I was really thrown by this book. Initially when I started this book I thought I would spend it rolling my eyes from cheesy cringe worthy moments. But I didn't! I must say, it did take me a quite a few chapters to find myself invested, but once I was, I was there for the long haul, which to be honest, I did think the book was a little long for a YA contemporary.

So, at first I was a little confused, because I thought to myself, "where's Mr. Darcy?" because, to be honest, I picked this because I am a sucker for anything P&P inspired. When the book started off spouting Romeo & Juliet bits I was a bit lost. I am so glad I stuck it out, because somehow Schmidt was able to bring it around to relate to P&P. Let's just say I was swoony and cringing in the good way by the end, sighing, laying my kindle against my chest and smiling really cheesily towards my husband. If you want your HEA, it's definitely can be found here.

I loved that this book referenced real books as well as I am assuming some fictional. A lot of the references were sneaked in so well, I just loved the extra seasoning it added to the book. I thought it really brought together the obsessive nature Merilee had towards books. The best part was how Merilee started to realize what a life would be like if the things that happened in the books happened in real life and ultimately how it made her feel.

Okay, so things I didn't like? Obviously the slow to start and the length. I don't think I really need to delve more into that. The thing that really irked me was mostly how perfect everyone in Merilee's life was. I think too much time was spent on how swoony these boys were, especially when her best friend was incredibly sensitive to be objectified for her looks. I didn't think it quite matched.

LGBTQ bonus, some of Merilee's new friends at Hero high were lesbian. The best part is, it's not pointed out as a struggle with their family or anything. It's accepted as a norm.

Anyway, if you like cutesy YA contemporaries, especially ones that involve book nerds and psuedo retellings of classics, then by all means, pick this up.

Oh and Tiffany Schmidt, please tell me that the next book is a Date with Theodore Laurence!

The Characters
Let's just talk about Merilee. She had a great arc as she learned from her selfish whims about dream boys to reality. Let me be incredibly frank about why I loved her from the beginning and please don't judge. I was exactly the same way when I was 15. I am not joking that I would rush into a "friendship" with a boy just to see if it would play out into a great swoon worthy romance. I'd like to admit that I was definitely boy crazy and incredibly flighty. I was Lydia Bennet. It's such a surprise that I got married at 18 and am still happily married 12 years later. Yay us.

The Soundtrack
Taylor Swift - Love Story

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Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,981 reviews363 followers
April 23, 2018
If ever I've related more to a character in a YA novel, that character would have to be Merrilee. Never have I laughed and smiled my way through a story so much, simply because I got it. I could feel it because in some ways, I've lived it, maybe not as an adult but definitely as a teenager.

Merrilee is my book character soul mate. She understands it, romance, books, boys, and all.

It's been a long time since I wanted to stay up into the wee hours of the morning reading a YA book but this book changed all that. It captivated me and lured me in like a roaring fire and a hot cup of cocoa on a dark and stormy night.

Truly a fun and entertaining read suited for all ages and one I highly recommend.

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Emily.
282 reviews8 followers
Want to read
October 15, 2017
A book about bookish boyfriends that is called Bookish Boyfriends which will probably include a bookish boyfriend to add to an ever-growing list of my bookish boyfriends and that enables me to use the phrase 'Bookish Boyfriends' as often in one sentence as I just did and also has a reference to one of the most classic bookish boyfriends (Mr. Darcy) on the cover?
Sign me up.
And yes, it took me an absurd amount of time to figure out the logistics of that sentence. You're welcome.
Profile Image for Mary-ellen.
319 reviews29 followers
August 17, 2018
Probably 3.5 stars.

Two chapters in I was ready to give up on this book. I honestly didn't believe I could read a whole book from this protagonist's point of view. The voice felt forced. The writing was self-conscious. And I wasn't engaged. As I progressed the writing became less obvious and I ended up enjoying it.

A Date with Darcy is essentially a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in an elite school setting. As such, it's pretty predictable. However, from the start I was hoping for a non-Darcy ending because the author gave us a likeable alternative who was established early in the book. Because of this I found myself a bit confused (not in a good way) about who the ultimate love interest was meant to be.

Not sure if I'll read the next book in the series.
Profile Image for A.C. Gaughen.
Author 6 books1,839 followers
May 10, 2018
Oh. My. GOODNESS!! This book is perfection. I've been a big fan of Schmidt's work since SEND ME A SIGN, and this is Peak Schmidt. The main character, Merrilee, is short, bubbly, and with her nose always in a book, Merri believes in love, romance, and true love's kiss. Which isn't entirely her fault--her parents and older sister all fell in love with the first person they ever kissed, and Merri is looking forward her novel-worthy romance.

But when she starts at a new school, Merri unexpectedly find her life mimicking the story of Romeo and Juliet--and she isn't entirely sure she likes where this is going.

UGH! It's just the best book. Merri is smart and sassy and the ultimate bookworm, and she has a witty wisdom as she looks at two literary classics--Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice--through the lens of her own life. It's a sweet summer read, but it's also the perfect compliment to reading both classics and thinking more about the relationships we envy in books. Bookish Boyfriends: A Date with Darcy is total perfection. LOVED this book!!
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 6 books1,205 followers
April 29, 2018
An absolutely adorable read, following a girl named Merrilee who believes boys are better in books. Until those boys start showing up at school and maybe...aren't as great as she believes them to be.

No need to know Austen to love this, though I suspect readers who are fans of Pride and Prejudice will pick up on some additional things.

Pitch perfect for younger YA readers, too. This reminded me a bit of Avalon High by Meg Cabot, and I think there's a nice pairing to be had there.
Profile Image for -`ˏ maci ˎ´˗.
54 reviews36 followers
January 7, 2018
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thank you, Abrams Books, for allowing me to read this extraordinary book!

“Boys are so much better in books.”

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you haven't read this book yet, you need to. When I say that this book blew me away, I am not lying. I adored Bookish Boyfriends. It plastered a stupid grin on my face for 99.9% of the story. I connected with this book and the characters on so many levels, and I seriously need a sequel—a follow-up on my two favorite characters. *cue winking and eyebrow wiggling*

Merrilee Campbell was such a fun and quirky character. She was annoying and rude often, but I still really enjoyed reading her story. I related to her character so much. For starters, she loves books, which, in case anyone hasn't noticed, so do I. But it's more than that—she was fiery and opinionated and smart and a hopeless romantic. (Books have ruined me!! I have such high expectations for romance!!)

Eliza, Merrilee's best friend, was extremely relatable, too. Her wit and knowledge and need to protect her friend was fun to read about. I'm really hoping that she ended up with... well, I won't spoil it, but let's just say someone sweet and kind, who may or may not have been trying to win her affection for the whole book.

Fieldings—gorgeous, perfect, amazing, generous, uptight, unbelievably awkward, swoon-worthy. I honestly think I might be in love with him. Bookish Boyfriends gave me another book boyfriend. (How could it not with a title like that?) Fieldings's charm and obnoxiously perfect posture won me over from the start. I knew I would love him, even after many chapters with him acting like a total idiot. He has my heart.

Besides these amazing characters listed above, I had many other favorites, too, such as: Rory, Lilly, Sera, Toby, Hannah, and Merri's other friends. They were precious.

Also, little spoiler, I HATE MONROE.

Why, you may ask? Here is a quote from the price of trash to make you loathe him as much as I do:

“No offense,” said Monroe. “But the last thing I want to do with you is talk.”

Let that sink in for a moment.

Okay, deep breaths. Let's move on.

“Your future will be shaped by the way your generation chooses to step up or step aside.”

This book not only allowed me the experience to feel understood, in a way that only bookish people can, but it gave me hope. Boys in books have almost always seemed impossible, out-of-reach. But I know that's not true. There is someone out there, waiting to be my Darcy.

Side-note: I really need to read Pride and Prejudice!!

“A story, a poem, an essay, a novel. Put your words on paper or a screen—see what you can create.”


I have a headcanon that Fieldings will buy Merrilee mismatched socks for Christmas or her birthday—or literally any random day, because he is totally generous like that. *grins like an idiot, once again*

Wow. I need to stop. I'm already writing fanfiction in my head for these two.
Profile Image for Stephanie Wilcox.
263 reviews22 followers
November 14, 2018
I have incredibly mixed feelings about this book. A Date With Darcy can be fairly easily divided into two acts, the first referencing Romeo and Juliet, and the second Pride and Prejudice, though it can easily be argued that the latter is present throughout the entire novel. The plot follows Merrilee (Merri) Campbell as she begins high school at a Reginald R. Hero Prep (known as Hero High amongst students), alongside her cranky younger sister Aurora (Rory) and "brainy" best friend Eliza. Coincidentally, Merri's best friend/boy next door Toby also attends the school.

In her first week, Merri meets two potential love interests: Monroe Stratford--the "romantic," theater-obsessed politician's son-- and Fielding Williams--the broody, angsty, cranky, headmaster's son. Right off the bat, we have three total love interests (considering Toby's been in love with Merri for years, and these narratives typically like to throw the childhood best friend in for drama), though naturally Monroe is favored at first. Because he's hot. Or something.

I loathe Monroe with all my being: he kisses Merri about 5 minutes after meeting her (I'm not even exaggerating), then afterwards stalks her back home, climbs her balcony, and makes proclamations of love. For the duration of their one-week relationship, he blows up her phone constantly, becomes controlling and isolating, humiliates her in public, and nearly gets her expelled because he was texting in one of his exams. Guys. This happens all in one week. Post-breakup,he threatens Merri, trying to make her take the blame for his actions. What a great guy. The book implies that his politician family is the equivalent of Republicans, so that's swell too.

Toby, as mentioned, is the boy next door who's always loved Merri. I have completely mixed feelings about him, though he's mostly a good guy. He and Merri have had "the talk" before where she makes it clear they're not going to be a thing--great! Though it's clear throughout the whole book that he's still pining (which wore on me a little), I was really impressed that he tried wholeheartedly to put in a good word for Merry with Fielding early on, rather than try to control or sabotage her attempts at romance. I wish he would have not made any romantic comments, but I'll let his being a teenager account for that, especially considering he tried his best to be a good wingman. Good Guy Toby. I get the impression the narrative is heading him towards a relationship with Rory in the next book, though I could be wrong.

Finally, Fielding Williams (I get the impression a white girl named him), mr angsty boy. Right off the bat he's a little rude to Merri, though Merri's response is admittedly confusing. He makes a comment about her not being able to read because she threw trash in the recycling can or something. Rather than seeing it as an obviously hyperbolic comment, she thinks he means it literally, and finds it hilarious that someone would insinuate she couldn't read. (I'm getting the impression she's not as smart as the narrative wants us to think she is). Fielding only appears here and there throughout the first act, but becomes more prominent in the second, in which he basically just copies Mr. Darcy's actions from P&P, because Merri, according to her secretly magic English teacher, is destined to live out the actions of the famous romance. After first impressions, he actually seems to be an okay dude, just broody.

Rory--Merri's sister--seems to be pretty unfairly treated by the narrative too. She's just brushed off as cranky, though I would be cranky too if I had one overachieving sister, and another one too busy making bad life choices to really care about my own struggles. Rory seems to align with Little Women, so I imagine the next book will be about Rory as Amy, and so on and so forth. I would've loved some more depth to her character other than bratty youngest child, but perhaps we'll see that later.

Taking a step back, there's Eliza. She loathes Toby (for reasons not entirely clear, though there seems to be some jealousy over Merri's friendship with him), and has two absentee super-famous scientist parents who leave her in the hands of an ever-changing cast of graduate students. (Note: as a graduate student I'd like to point out just how irresponsible this is. I and my colleagues would not be capable of giving a teenager the time and attention necessary for healthy development). All this aside, Eliza is kind of a badass. She's hardworking, dedicated, well-read, and stands up for herself. Even more, she's a feminist with no time for the bullshit teenage boys throw at her. I would probably die for Eliza.

One of my greatest issues is how the narrative itself treats Eliza as if she's some joke, as if feminists cannot be romantics, and our ~man-hating ways~ forbid us from developing healthy relationships with men. At multiple points, Merrri's inner narration uses a derisive and almost condescending tone to describe Eliza, and when a male classmate makes a blonde joke about Eliza (resulting in a frustrated rebuke from her, naturally), Merri actually sympathizes with him and smiles to let him know his joke was "okay."

After spending about 80% of the novel telling us just how silly Eliza's "girl power" mentality is, it flips a switch and suddenly Merri becomes an expert on feminism, toxic masculinity, consent, etc. It irks me. She doesn't deserve a sudden character change--I wanted to see her harmful comments called out. But whatever.

Honestly, I think I just hate Merri as a character. She's stuck-up, self-righteous, completely idiotic, and focuses way too much on keeping her ego inflated. Perhaps some 15 year olds could find some commonality with her, but most of the ones I know behave with greater maturity and wisdom. I meet far more Elizas than I do Merris.

As a retelling of P&P? It did an okay job. I felt like it copied too much from the source material to really be considered a true retelling. It was a modern day P&P, but with far more hormones.

I say two stars, but really it's more like 1.5.
Profile Image for Amber.
622 reviews26 followers
July 26, 2019
Reading Rush 2019
This is the second book I finished that meets the challenge of read a book with 5 or more words in the title.

I thought I would have enjoyed this way more, but it ended up being kind of boring. Also, the audiobook narrator was not great. I hated her voice for the main love interest, which made all the scenes between our MC and LI cringey.

I will not be picking up the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
610 reviews481 followers
August 17, 2018
Who wouldn’t want a date with Darcy?
I don’t know… I was never Darcy’s kind of girl (I think Adrian Ivashkov would suit me better) but I’d still want to go on a date with Darcy, just like probably every bookish girl in this world would. Yet, our main protagonist Marrilee had a chance to really live that dream (and thank God she’s just a fictional character, because so many of us would be jealous of her!).

From what I understood, A Date with Darcy came to life in the most amazing way.
Tiffany Schmidt decided to write it when she realized there was no book about everyday girls dating real fictional characters. She wanted to read that kind of book, so she wrote it.

I bet she had some fun on the way, because I surely had some fun reading the story she created.

A Date with Darcy follows Merrilee Campel, 15 years old girl, who starts new school along with her sister and best friend. She immediately notices how polite guys in this school are and suddenly she gets a feeling they could be real book characters in disguise, with all the Shakespeare quotes and elegant attitude.
Soon she finds herself in a relationship with a guy who says he could be her Romeo, but love is really complicated sometimes…

Reading this novel was really fun, as it was pretty funny at times.
I think younger audience would appreciate it more, but I think everyone who wants some amusement in the book would value it as well.

The first half of the book was not the greatest. It was pretty childish at times and even silly, but the second half made up for all of it.

Novel is written in first person, from Merrilee’s POV, and it reads on an average pace.
It took me a week to finish this book, but let me stress out, it was a busy week.

Overall, A Date with Darcy was an enjoyable read that I would recommend to younger readers.

Find this and more reviews on my blog: https://bookdustmagic.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,041 reviews117 followers
April 21, 2018
"Too bad book boyfriends gave paper cuts when you tried to snuggle.

We have all been in this position where we fall in love and swoon over the dreamy man/woman in a book. You just imagine their arms wrapped around you on the toughest of days and they will make it all better. Sigh!

This book is for all of us who ever had a crush on a book character and wasn't ashamed of it. I'm totally not ashamed to admit that I have may a few bookish men in my life that I wish was real. *cough* Prince Cardan *cough* *cough*

I don't think I have ever had this much fun while reading a book. It took all the things we love about books and put it into another book. I'm still swooning!

At first, I thought that the title was very misleading. I was reading and then I had to read some more just to make sure that my eyes weren't deceiving me. But we eventually get there and it's a huge sigh of relief. I'm not and never will be a fan of Shakespeare. There is nothing about his books that interest me. They are dull but Monroe has a way of changing your mind.... well just for this part of the story.

The characters, the plot, the setting, everything about this had my heart screaming for more. It was adorkable. The twist, the turns, the ups, and the downs had me fascinated. The romance was a tad bit rocky but it never overpowered the story as a whole.

I must admit Monroe was someone I should have despised, but he wound up being the rule breaker with those dangerous eyes that make us all swoon. He needs his own book!

Book lovers will rejoice at the story that unfolds through these pages. Just try not to fall in too deep!

Thank you, Amulet Books!
Profile Image for Delores.
157 reviews
July 7, 2018
AHHHHH!!!!!!!!! This was so funny and cute. I definitely need more books like this. It was so sweet and I just wanted to die from cuteness overload through most of it.
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,468 reviews259 followers
April 30, 2018
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As far as sixteen year-old Merrilee is concerned, boys in books are much better than boys in real life. What she wouldn't give to have a real boy sweep her off of her feet into a whirlwind romance like her favorite book boyfriends. She's about to get the chance of a lifetime when she, her best friend, and her sister start at a prestigious new high school, but things don't always turn out the same way for her as they do for her favorite heroines.

Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt sounded like it could be a fun YA contemporary. I have a hard time saying no to a character who loves books. Unfortunately, the first half or so of this story was incredibly grating, and a lot of that is due to Merrilee herself. As a book lover, I really hope I'm not half as annoying as Merrilee to my peers who don't love reading quite so much as I do. I probably gave my eyes quite a work out with all of the rolling they were doing in the sockets, especially as her English class starts studying Romeo & Juliet and Merrilee begins to think she's found her own personal Romeo - not what I'd call a good thing, by the way. The second half of this story is where things really begin to take off. I'd give the second half maybe four stars actually. I loved Merrilee's wake up call. She begins to grow as a character which was great, and a relief to see actually. By the way, I have to say I think I identified the most with Merrilee's English teacher - and that makes me feel pretty dang old. Finally, I liked the element of the events of the books Merrilee's reading seemingly manifesting into her life, but this totally wasn't that kind at all even though I wish it could have been.

Overall, Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt was a serviceable YA Contemporary that begins to pick up way too late to really overcome an annoying opening. Once it does pick up the pace though I found myself actually beginning to enjoy it. I was pleased to see that our main character actually begins to improve and change for the better as the story progressed. If you like bookish characters that prefer their reading material to the real world, you may also want to meet the heroine of Bookish Boyfriend.
Profile Image for Sydney.
111 reviews13 followers
March 9, 2018
I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for a review.

I actually really enjoyed this book! I picked it up at first because, come on, how many times had I thought boys are better in books? I just owed it to myself.

Merrilee is such a fun main character. She’s daydreamy and wacky and awkward and to be honest, a complete mess. But I loved her. She was me, in a weird way, and I loved watching her be headstrong.

Her best friend, Eliza, was equally great, although basically her completely opposite. While Merrilee was imagination and dreams, Eliza was strictly science. But she is fiercely protective of Merri and loyal to her so you can’t help but like her.

Toby is Merri’s other best friend, and the classic boy next store. Sweet, silly, understanding. I’ll talk more about him later on.

Merri also has two great sisters, and older one Lilly and a younger one Rory. She and Lilly have always been close, but she and Rory have more of a rocky sibling relationship. In a way, it reminded me of my relationship with my sister. They have the sweet sister moments, though, because you can see how the two of them care for each other even though they fight.

Romance wise was where this went a little rocky. It’s basically modeled on Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice. We get two males in this, and one is the Romeo and one is the Darcy. Romeo (Monroe) is showy and flashy but as Merri recognizes doesn’t let her be herself. I was NOT a fan of their relationship, even in the beginning. Darcy (Fielding) start off basically hating each other, but then they don’t. The only thing I disliked here was it seemed very insta love. One second they’re fighting and the next Fielding is standing at Merri’s locker and proclaiming his like to her??? And I’m sorry, but I’m so rooting for Toby still. I love the Boy Next Door trope. As great as Fielding is. But I have an inkling that Toby and Rory will be a thing, since while Merri’s book was Pride and Prejudice, Rory’s is Little Women. And we all know what happened with that.

(Although to be fair, I also was rooting for Jo and Laurie in that).
Profile Image for Sam Chase.
676 reviews117 followers
January 19, 2020
Rating: 4 stars

All I can say is that Jane Austen is a queen, Tiffany Schmidt is a princess, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series! This was such a fun story, taking a twist on not only Pride and Prejudice, but also Romeo and Juliet. The characters were unique and, even though it was set in high school, they weren't immature to the point that I couldn't relate to them. Merri was so adorable and relatable, and Eliza was the best best friend she could ask for. I appreciated how every time I looked at a situation and thought, "hmm...this doesn't seem right," or "this guy is going too far," those exact sentiments were echoed by Merri. The author acknowledges consent, feminism, and other important messages in a really natural way here, which I loved. I wish we got more Fielding, because I love him, too! Am I addicted to classic retellings? Maybe, but I love it!
Profile Image for Kay.
299 reviews57 followers
April 11, 2020
I expected this to be cute and fluffy but in actuality it was just weird and annoying rip

I remember being really excited for this when it came out a couple years ago, and then I never got around to reading it! And now I have and when I picked it up I got all excited again and... then I was massively let down sad disappointment. I mean, when it's literally called "Bookish Boyfriends: A Date With Darcy" how can that not be super awesome? How can that not be amazing and adorable and make my bookworm heart super happy? Well, let me tell you how.

Merri is super annoying. Right off the bat from, like, chapter two, she started irritating me. She's boy crazy and lives constantly with her head in the clouds off in dreamland. We're told eventually that she's really smart and has like a genius IQ or something, but I find that very hard to believe considering the only thing she ever seems to think about is romance and fiction and boys. Anyways, she's so obsessed with fictional romances that she makes out with a boy without knowing who he is and declares it super swoony romantic love?

This brings me to my next point: 100% instalove. There are... three love interests in this book which I was not expecting and I really didn't like. There's the boy next door, who apparently has an unrequited crush on her, and they both know it, but she doesn't like him back at all, and the book feels the urge to keep pointing out over and over and over how much he likes her even though it also makes clear that there is 0 chance of them getting together and I was just like... why? If anything it just made Merri unlikable.

Both of the other two love interests Merri actually does like... but I can't really say why. I feel like neither of them really have a personality beyond "Romeo" and "Darcy." To be fair, I don't think the original Romeo had a personality either lmao so maybe that worked? Anyways, all the relationships felt like instalove and I couldn't care less about any of them, really.

This book was also way too long. It was like the first half of the book was Romeo and Juliet, and the second half of the book was Pride and Prejudice, and it almost felt like two separate books and I was like okay enough with this Romeo nonsense just get to the Darcy already. Also Merri was like super obsessed with Romeo and Juliet, she was super determined to have this grand Romeo and Juliet-esque romance, and I'm like... girl why?

Apparently she's super well read and she literally wants to be Juliet. This girl is an idiot. She's like 13, she only knew Romeo for like 3 days, and she dies at the end. Also the fact that apparently all the students read Romeo and Juliet in 6th grade and now they're reading it again in 10th grade because the over the top English teacher is like yeeeeessss welllll liiiive ittttt was dumb doesn't Shakespeare have like 1209320394 other better plays?

This brings me to my next point about the book being a retelling of Pride and Prejudice (and also Romeo and Juliet at the beginning)... a really, really, really weird retelling of it that I did not like. The thing is, Merri is reading P&P simultaneously while her live is mirroring the story... and she's aware of it too, which was a bit too... meta? for me. Like it was straight up creepy. She was like... oh no I'm Lizzy when she's run into Darcy at Pemberly! Next Wickham is going to run away with my Lydia I must get home to Lydia! And then, lo and behold, the Lydia character actually does go off with the Wickham character.

I love retellings. But I feel like retellings usually exist in a world where the original fairytale isn't a fairytale, or at least they're not so on the nose with it that the character literally knows that they're living in it? Like 3/4 of the way through the book I started thinking this would have an unexpected magic element like in Again But Better, especially with the way one character was going like YES this Pride and Prejudice is your story you are LIVING it! So I was like, okay, she's going to be revealed to be a fairy godmother or something weird at the end. But that never happened, this was just presented as a completely normal 100% non magical contemporary?

It was just too weird for me. It didn't make sense, and felt underdeveloped, and mostly just weird.

I guess I did enjoy a lot of the bookish references throughout most of the book though, like how it's too bad snuggling with book boyfriends give you paper cuts, and how one of Merri's friends runs a book blog!! There were some pretty cute moments too it was fluffy at times. I complained a lot in this review, but it wasn't the worst thing; I've definitely read way more awful and also problematic books--at least this book isn't really problematic, it's just bad haha.

2 stars
Profile Image for The Real Girl.
64 reviews17 followers
January 22, 2019
I'd say the focus of A Date with Darcy was the never-ending avalanche of love-interests, so that's what I'm going to focus on.

Monroe Stratford is our initial love-interest. Dark-haired, blue-eyed, mysterious, etc. A stereotypical recipe for the perfect tortured-soul type guy. Now don't get me wrong, brooding bad-boys are in high-demand in the YA Romance world, but I myself could do without all the fuss. This particular trope tends to lean toward overstepped boundaries and uncomfortable situations. Monroe takes it to a whole different level. I mean, meeting a girl and immediately being spellbound by her isn't an uncommon thing in YA fiction, or any fiction, for that matter, but showing up in her yard, in the middle of the night, no less, is just preposterous. This in itself isn't what initially set me against Monroe. No, balcony scaling and premature declarations of love are over-the-top and creepy enough as it is, but they're child's play compared to what Monroe follows them up with.

Roses on the balcony?


Never-ending text-messages and empty compliments?

Kinda worrisome.

Thirty-million candles in her bedroom after she dumps his crazy ass?

Time for a restraining order.

I could not believe how unaffected Merri was by Monroe's craziness. She just kept letting it slide, ignoring the fact that her boyfriend had come completely unhinged. Although honestly, you'd have to be crazy to let a random boy in a country-club pro shop kiss you while your sister's engagement party was going on in the other room, much less initiate the kiss.

Moving on.

I actually don't have much to say about Fielding Williams. He was a pretty one-dimensional character, as far as snobbish Not-English-but-Totally-English prep-school boys go. He's hot. Okay, well, pretty much every guy in this book, with the exception of Curtis, is hot in Merri's eyes. Which is a shame, I was quite fond of Curtis, but more on that later.

Fielding is typical Darcy material. There's not much else to say. I've never been a fan of Mr. Darcy or Darcy-like love-interests. They're asses. I guess a lot of girls find that hot? I guess Colin Firth can make anything desirable.

His name is Fielding. Fielding.


Toby! Oh sweet, charming, funny, respectful, honest, helpful, lovely, amazing Tobias May. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Unfortunately, that's basically all we get. Parting. Being apart. General parted-ness.

Merri and Toby are totally BFF's. They spend sooooooooooo much time together. Like that time they hung out on Merri's roof, and...when they sat at the same table at lunch...and...

Yeah, no, that's pretty much all.

Toby loves Merri, he adores her and sometimes he oversteps the boundaries of their relationship, but he always apologizes and makes amends.

WHY? Why was I given this beautiful, precious boy to adore, only to have him fade into the background of the story? Why did we touch on so many Toby-related subjects, without actually including the boy himself? Toby was arguably the least important character in the book, but I adored him. As you probably already guessed. If it weren't for I would have thought Toby, as a character, was essentially filler.

I'm leaning towards that theory anyway, mainly because

So I might tell someone that I didn't particularly enjoy this book, but, as you can see, I have a lot of thoughts and opinions to share about it, so clearly it wasn't awful, just not entirely my cup of tea.

Oh but you thought the review was over, did you?!?!?!??!?!


I have a few side-notes.

Hannah and Sera are honestly the dream-team.

Lance could have easily been left out of the final draft with absolutely no plot holes or missed opportunities. I mean, why did he even exist?

I wanted more Lilly and Trent, they were adorable.

CURTIS. I'm sorry, but Curtis was the real star of the show, to be honest with y'all. Where can I buy a Curtis?
Profile Image for kaylaaaaaaaaaa kaylaaaaaaaaaa.
Author 1 book112 followers
May 5, 2018
This was just such a relatable cute fluffy contemporary that was so amazing to read. I was highly anticipating this book and now I've read it, I'm so happy it didn't fall flat.
Profile Image for Becky.
394 reviews167 followers
March 30, 2018
This book was good! It had really good writing, a decently developed plot and some fascinating notions towards the importance of books and what they can give an individual, and how sometimes life can be just like a book (or not)!

The only issue I had with this book was that it just didn’t gel with me for some reason. I can’t explain why - it just didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t really feel like I knew the characters or could relate to them in any way, and I didn’t find the story gripping enough to compel me to thoroughly devour it like the synopsis made me think I would. I truthfully think this is a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”, with this book. I loved the writing, I loved the plot, the characters were decent... there was just something that didn’t click with me, and I think that’s okay. Books are supposed to click with us.

I did like this book however and would love to give it a shot again when I fancy a gooey contemporary; when I truly want to escape. I wholeheartedly recommend you check this out if the premise sounds like something you’d be interested in!
July 9, 2018
Man, I was so excited for this novel! I mean who can go wrong with a title like that. Well it did go wrong in a few ways unfortunately. I thought it was cute and fun even though it was a bit slow and it just ended all messy and I can't even describe my feels for this book besides being torn!
Profile Image for Kailey.
117 reviews8 followers
April 30, 2018
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I was really excited for this book. The premise sounded cute and fun, plus pretty light as well. I thought I would be getting a nice, casual read about a book-loving girl whose life just got touched by a little bit of magic. And I did get that story. I just didn't expect not to want to read it.

After months of trying to get through this story, I had to DNF it. I constantly felt that the reader was getting talked down to. This was not written for a reader above age fourteen. I felt that the author wrote in such an obvious way that an older teen reading this would not be interested. There were places I wanted to skip ahead just to see if the writing got any better. Unfortunately, it did not.

When I say the writing was obvious I mean it was OBVIOUS. The plot was incredibly predictable up to the point I finally gave up and the characters for the most part bordered on stereotypical. The only high point was Eliza, a smart, badass character who actually had potential. She's the only reason I rated this book above one star. But even she couldn't keep me interested long enough to actually finish this.

I really tried to like this book. I can't even say how many times I picked it up and tried to keep going. I just couldn't get past the writing. If you're looking for a light, superficial read then maybe you might like this. But for anything else? I wouldn't recommend it.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,071 reviews92 followers
January 17, 2018
That was adorable and loads of fun! Merrilee’s enthusiasm for all things books, boys, and swoon-worthy romance was palpable. (And completely relatable.) Do your-bookish-self a favor and read it.

*Thank you to Abrams for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Mariana Quesada.
342 reviews28 followers
January 4, 2019
I think every reader has had a crush with a literary character, and our MC from this one is no exception. Now imagine those crushes and stories came to life and made you the protagonist, dream come true right?

I loved: the entertainment level, the funny bits, the book references and bookworm identification, the characters and the pace.

This was so cute, I feel I would have loved it when I was 16 years-old. As much as it entertained me and made me swoon at times, some bits felt too forced. The parallels between stories are too similar, so much, nothing feels unexpected (unless you haven't read the books referenced in here). The author manages to creatively adapt classics into our current time. However, in some parts, the dialogue is too similar to the orginial work so it tends to feel a bit unoriginal in that aspect.

Some of my favorite characters are left behind by the last part of the book, when at first they were a big part of our MC's life. This book also made me change teams a lot throughout the development, but I think I was rooting more for someone who didn't keep the girl in the end.
Profile Image for Eeva.
794 reviews40 followers
June 27, 2018
I wanted to like this book so BADLY! Unfortunately most things about it annoyed me and made me roll my eyes so hard that I almost saw my brain.

1. Names. Merilee, Monroe, FIELDING. Bc YA apparently.
2. The main character is so slappable it's not funny anymore. She's supposed to be super smart with IQ so high it would kill her if she jumped off it and yet she makes the stupidest decissions, misinterpretes what people do/say and then fixated on it, she's boy-obsessed ans she falls in looooooove on her first day of school.. because YA.
3. Monroe is such a villanous villain that the only thing he lacks is a mustache that he would curl while creeping through the night laughing maniacally.
4. People becoming friends in like 5 seconds.
5. Merrilee is new at her school and after like a week of it every teacher there is gushing about how good and smart student she is. Let's be honest, nothing happens during the forst and he last week of school, so unless Merrilee exceeded in reading syllabi then I don't believe that for a second.
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