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Pudge and Prejudice

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Pudge and Prejudice is an homage to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, transported to the fictitious Northfield Texas High School in the year 1984. After moving to Northfield with her family, Elyse Nebbit faces the challenge of finding her place in a new school, one dominated by social status and Friday night football. When Elyse's effortlessly beautiful older sister Jayne starts dating Charlie Bingley, the captain of the school football team, Elyse finds herself curious about Charlie's popular and brooding best friend, Billy Fitz. Elyse's body insecurities eventually complicate her relationship with Billy, leaving Jayne and Elyse's exceedingly blunt friend, Lottie, to step in and help Elyse accept herself for who she is, pant size and all.

352 pages, Paperback

First published January 12, 2021

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A.K. Pittman

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36 (5%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 224 reviews
Profile Image for Darla.
3,520 reviews621 followers
January 1, 2021
Jump into the A.K. Pittman time machine and zip back to 1984. While you are there in the midst of the Swatches, the Izod shirts, the Levi 501s, the big barrettes, and the Gloria Vanderbilt jeans enjoy a retelling of Pride & Prejudice. Talk about a total time capsule. Pittman manages to cram so much 80's pop culture into this one book -- including Care Bears, the music, Sally Jesse Raphael, and MTV! And the spirit of the original shines through. Thank you, A.K. Pittman, for keeping it clean and faithful to Austen's version without compromising the cultural commentary. I can just see Elyse and Billy sitting on that Joggling Board. So glad I started off my year with this new release. Please tell me there will be a sequel as the last sentence seems to suggest. . .

Thank you to Wander and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susie Finkbeiner.
Author 10 books775 followers
September 17, 2020
Does the world need yet another Austen adaptation? Yes. Yes it does. And the world needs this one. Pudge & Prejudice is a book with snort-laugh inducing turns of phrase, nostalgia for days, and all the heart you could ever want in a story. Add to that characters who feel like friends and the delightfully sincere narrative voice of Elyse Nebbit and the novel shines. An absolute joy!
Profile Image for Bethany Turner.
Author 9 books1,063 followers
July 12, 2022

quintessence: the most perfect example of a quality or class: epitome
Pudge and Prejudice is the quintessence of what a Jane Austen retelling should be.

Austenites, rejoice! This is the P & P adaptation we’ve been waiting for. With a fresh and sparkling YA voice that is certain to draw in readers of all ages, A. K. Pittman has refashioned the most ubiquitous of all Austen characters and storylines into a setting and style so innovative and yet organic—a Texas high school in the 1980s—you can’t help but wonder if this is somehow what Jane had in mind for Darcy and Elizabeth all along. Readers will wonder why there were no hair scrunchies, Swatches, and pegged jeans at the original Netherfield ball. I can’t remember the last time I loved a book as much as I love this one. It’s an instant classic I will return to time after time.
August 26, 2021
If you were in high school during the ‘80s, this book is an absolute must-read! I alternately giggled and cringed at all the memories that were brought to mind. The pop-culture references throughout made this a great nostalgia trip for me. And the fact that the setting was in a small Texas town, where football is a religion and Homecoming mums are a necessity of life (something I definitely related to, being a native-born Texan myself), just made reading this a pure joy!
Kudos to the author for writing a Y.A. book that has no sex scenes, no curse words, no underage drinking or drug abuse! Of course all those things were around in 1984, but the author choosing not to include them made this a sweet, fun read for me. Can’t say that about every Y.A. novel that I’ve read.
Profile Image for Toni Shiloh.
Author 49 books1,210 followers
January 19, 2021
I absolutely adored everything about this book. The genre I probably read the most outside of contemporary romance is ya. Add the fact that Ms. Pittman did a Jane Austen retelling and I was hooked!

Pride & Prejudice is my favorite Austen book and Pudge & Prejudice did it justice! I loved seeing the nods to Jane Austen, but more than that, I just plain loved this book. It’s a retelling but very much its own book.

Being in high school is difficult but add on top of it weight issues, a beautiful older sister, a hormonal younger sister, and a guy you can’t decide if you like or hate and you have a page turner. I had to know how this book would end and how Elyse would reconcile her feelings for Billy Fitz.

I hope Ms. Pittman will write more ya books and even better if she can tie in Jane Austen.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review was not required nor influenced.
Profile Image for Tamara.
705 reviews12 followers
May 19, 2021
I'm going to go ahead and give Pudge and Prejudice five sparkling stars even though I am stepping on my rule of giving a book five stars, only if there are tears shed. It might seem odd but I figure if a book makes me cry I am going to award it five stars. This was such a great nostalgic walk-down memory lane for me, I mean I grew up in the 80s, and all those references made were not lost on me, not a single one! Elyse's POV was excellent, and Jayne, well you couldn't but love her even though she seems a little perfect, but that's just Jayne! Then there was Lydia the annoying middle sister who seems to know more than she should for someone her age. This was such a fun to read and maybe if the ending indicates anything which seems open-ended, we might be in store for more of Pudge and Prejudice! I hope so.
Profile Image for Carissa (Regency Woman).
261 reviews50 followers
December 12, 2021
I loved it just as much the second time around. I never read books twice in the same year, but I felt compelled to re-read this one and I'm so glad that I did. I love Elyse and Jayne Nebbitt and Charlie Bingley and Billy Fitz and just everything about it. I'm still not keen on the overdone Lottie and Colin, with her being so ridiculously jaded at such a young age. I never really thought of Charlotte as jaded, just practical, and she was never really overly preachy. So it's weird that Lottie is so sanctimonious. But I can live with it. Because everyone else is amazing. And I am DESPERATE for more Austen retellings set in the 1980s. PLEASE!

Where has this book been all my life?! Apparently plunking around inside the head of Allison Pittman who, just like me, thinks that pairing Jane Austen with teens straight out of a John Hughes film is pure BRILLIANCE!

Pudge and Prejudiceis HILARIOUS. And before anyone gasps in horror at the idea of mocking a girl who's overweight, know that I am actually somewhat overweight (although I dress far more fashionably than poor Elyse) and a lot of her emotions are ones I have gone through. I love that Ms. Pittman seems to get it where pudgy girls are concerned and she gives Elyse a chance to blossom into a profound understanding of wholeness in herself that does not include needing a boy or feeling called to lose weight to please her overbearing mother. Although, having a boy is nice too, as she discovers with Billy Fitz.

I KNEW this book was for me before I even got my hands on a copy. It's chock full of Eighties trivia, references to Eighties music, and movies like Nightmare on Elm Street, which I have also watched and just about died laughing because of the camp. If you ever want to see Johnny Depp in a crop top and don't mind campy Eighties horror, then watch it. Pudge and Prejudice is a clever, almost modern, peculiarly funny retelling of Pride and Prejudice and I clasp my hands and beseech Allison Pittman to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pen the rest of Austen's novels in the Eighties! The world needs this!

Ms. Pittman also doesn't shy away from tougher topics, like the fear that maybe their 13-year-old sister is sleeping with a boy (which is still NOT COOL and shouldn't be in anybody's book). She also totally acknowledges that there are Christians out there who listen to secular music and watch maybe a couple of R-rated scary movies. Shocker. And she does it all without being judgy. Thank you! It's also genius that she threw Elyse and Billy into a confrontation when he just got out of the swimming pool and is still bare-chested. Sound familiar? Love the nod to Colin Firth.

One thing I didn't quite like was her rendering of Lottie, or Charlotte as we know her from Austen's world. She's not likeable, as in, at all. But I like Charlotte, so I do feel that Ms. Pittman did her a disservice, along with poor, idiot Collin. I wish more had been done there, like maybe making him an actual cousin rather than attached at the hip to Lottie from the start. The littlest sisters have almost no role, and neither do the parents. Call me strange, but I always liked Mr. Bennet and there just isn't much to work with here.

Also, the misunderstanding between Billy and Elyse doesn't quite work. I'm still confused as to why she was so upset with him. There may also be an issue of audience. I doubt many teens today will understand 3/4 of the Eighties references, but it may feel too juvenile for adult readers. Not me of course since I have just enough juvenile still in me to love practically everything in Pudge and Prejudice.

Fingers and toes are definitely crossed in the hopes that Ms. Pittman writes more of these glorious retellings! After all, she did include a certain boy named Frank Churchill as a passing character! This book is clever, inventive, and just plain fun and I adore Elyse's love of novels, her uncertainty about herself, and watching her emotional maturity as she develops into a lovely, clever, and witty young woman with a pair of very fine eyes that sweep Billy Fitz off his feet. I haven't laughed out loud this much while reading a book since I picked up Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Tyndale House Publishers for a complimentary copy! I was not required to give a positive review, and all thoughts included are my own.
Profile Image for Taylor.
436 reviews137 followers
February 8, 2021
Book 14 of 2021: 4 out of 5 Stars


Thank you so much to LSBBT, the publisher, and the author for providing me with a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.

“𝐈𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚 𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐠𝐢𝐫𝐥 𝐢𝐧 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐝𝐨𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐞-𝐝𝐢𝐠𝐢𝐭 𝐣𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐬𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐛𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐭." ⁣

Confession: I am a huge 𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘥𝘦 & 𝘗𝘳𝘦𝘫𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘦 fan. My bridal shower had a 𝘗&𝘗 theme, I often end texts with “ILYMA” (read: I love you most ardently), and I’ve seen the various cinematic adaptations so many times “you can hardly expect me to own to it.” 😉 So you can imagine I was Lydia-attending-a-ball levels of excited when I got the opportunity to review a 𝘗&𝘗 retelling set at a Texas high school in the 1980s.

𝐏𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐞 & 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐣𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐞 tackles Elizabeth’s story via a 15-year-old, plus-sized bookworm that is as amusing as she is awkward. Forced to relocate from her home in Phoenix, Elyse (our MC) knows that fitting in at a new school won’t be an easy task. She’s not effortlessly beautiful & kind like her eldest sister, Jayne, and she lacks the confidence & charisma of her 13-going-on-25-year-old sister, Lydia. But thanks to an early run-in with two of the school’s most popular athletes (Charlie Bingley & Billy Fitz), Elyse is quickly thrown into the social scene at Northenfield high school.

Although it stays fairly loyal to the source material, this novel finds plenty of creative ways to make the beloved story its own. Chock-full of 80s classics & self-deprecating humor from our unconventional MC, this Austen adaptation takes you on a familiar — yet entirely new — ride. And whether you can sing along to the power ballads, or flashback to the innocence & uncertainties of falling in love for the first time, I believe this novel can provide a little bit of nostalgia for everyone. The completely accurate depictions of a football-fueled Texas high school personally took me back to the days of cheering on my team to State & falling for my very own football player. (Fun fact: we’re married now!)

In addition to the social hierarchy of NHS, this book also takes on family drama and body image. And while the author did a great job balancing the sisterly affections between Jayne & Elyse, I feel like Elyse didn’t get enough on-page body positivity. She has several confident speeches that made me want to cheer for her, but between her mother’s belittling comments, and Fitz’s first confession speech, her doubt and lack of acceptance seemed to linger until the very end. Perhaps this was an attempt to authenticate a young teen’s self-conscious voice, but I would have loved to see Elyse be genuinely less critical of herself before the novel’s conclusion.

Despite this minor issue, I very much enjoyed Pittman’s fun & fresh take on one of my all-time favorite stories. One aspect that truly left me smitten was the inclusion of several other Austen beaux roaming the hallways of Elyse’s high school. Coupled with the final line, I can only hope this means we’ll be returning to Northenfield for new stories and adaptations. If you’re a fan of classical retellings, clean romances, or just general feel-good reads, I highly recommend giving Pudge & Prejudice a chance!

TW: death of a parent, cancer, bully, body shaming, infidelity, and divorce.
Profile Image for Mid-Continent Public Library.
591 reviews195 followers
January 12, 2021
If you love Pride & Prejudice AND you love the 80's, I want to recommend this upcoming release to you. Jump into the A.K. Pittman time machine and zip back to 1984. While you are there in the midst of the Swatches, the Izod shirts, the Levi 501s, the big barrettes, and the Gloria Vanderbilt jeans enjoy a retelling of Pride & Prejudice. Talk about a total time capsule. Pittman manages to cram so much 80's pop culture into this one book -- including Care Bears, the music, Sally Jesse Raphael, and MTV! And the spirit of the original shines through. Thank you, A.K. Pittman, for keeping it clean and faithful to Austen's version without compromising the cultural commentary. I can just see Elyse and Billy sitting on that Joggling Board. So glad I started off my year with this new release. Please tell me there will be a sequel as the last sentence seems to suggest. . . *Review by Darla from Red Bridge*
Profile Image for Sarah Monzon.
Author 22 books456 followers
January 31, 2021
Really cute and clever. Loved reliving P&P set during the year I was born. It was fun and nostalgic all at the same time.
Profile Image for Dana Michael.
1,205 reviews108 followers
June 13, 2021
This was such a fun read. I enjoyed the Pride and Prejudice retelling set in the 1980's. I laughed and reminisced from my own teenage years in high school.
Profile Image for Staci.
1,790 reviews541 followers
February 20, 2021
Super cute 1985 version of Pride and Prejudice. Engaging and creative story line that features a number of 80s references...cassette tapes, 501 jeans, Swatch watches, etc. Reading this novel was a lot of fun!
Profile Image for Kara.
621 reviews67 followers
January 14, 2021
THAT was super fun! I laughed a great deal and loved all the callbacks to both the book and the adaptations. I commend Ms Pittman for renewing my joy of reading fiction which has been a struggle for several months. Yay for Jane Austen retellings! 😄
Profile Image for Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews.
2,434 reviews126 followers
February 9, 2021
I can't even begin to tell you how much I LOVED this book!  It isn't because it is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice (I don't think I have read the original by Jane Austen, don't shoot me!). I connected to this book on multiple levels. This book is set in a small Texas town in the mid-80s and I attended high school in a small town in Texas in the 80s. I wasn't part of the popular clique, much like Elyse, and wondered where I fit in with my classmates. I am the oldest of five (almost all girls) and Elyse is the second oldest of five, and I could relate to her and Jayne babysitting and watching the younger siblings. Then there are all of the 80s references, from clothes to music to movies and so much more. There are also the Texas football references that are so true. Texans seem to revere football and they go big and bold with anything related to the sport. And when they spoke about the rectangular pizza served in the school cafeteria? Yup, that was my favorite lunch day too. I don't know why that piece of pizza was so good. Talk about a giant flashback!

Elyse is like many fifteen year olds. She is self-conscious about her body, has a hard time knowing where she fits in and has fallen in love with someone that might be unattainable. But that doesn't seem to stop her from making the best of her life. I loved that her best friend is her sister, Jayne. They have many wonderful conversations during this novel, and I think both of them are able to give fitting advice when the need arises. They also support each other and never seem to let each other down. Elyse's mother, while loving, always seems to make comments about her weight. That is hard on a teenage girl no matter the decade.

Lydia...this slightly younger sister is in too much of a hurry to grow up and is boy crazy at a young age. She definitely puts an interesting spin on their family and somehow manages to stay one small step ahead of trouble. Lydia is a sister you love to hate, but love that much more especially when she is helping you with your fashion sense.

Do you remember your teenage crushes? Elyse has it in spades for Billy Fitz, the star quarterback. Billy is rather aloof to Elyse and really a lot of people. As the story progresses, we learn more about Billy and his life and the pieces fall into place. I loved how he realizes that perhaps the way he has been going through life isn't the best and despite all of his initial thoughts about Elyse, she is the one that speaks to his soul and forces him to take another look at reality. There is a lot of miscommunication between the two and you wonder if they will work things out or not.

My least favorite character was Lottie. Lottie is rather blunt about many things and doesn't mince words when speaking her mind. While she may be correct with some of her thoughts, she hasn't learned how to temper her words so perhaps they don't stab you through the heart. Every story needs that one character that forces you to see reality and that was definitely Lottie.

I did question some of the locations which forced me to do an internet search. Many times I was surprised at the results of my searches and learned some new things. I still wonder where the state football game was played because there weren't many large stadiums in Arlington in the mid 80s that I remember. The only stadium that might have been large enough is the UTA Maverick Stadium since that might have been the largest football field compared to the local high schools, but there isn't seating in the end zones, and this is supposedly where the band sat during the game. This is a curse when you live in the town that is mentioned as hosting the state playoff game, you try and see it through what you know of the area.

There were so many lines that spoke to me throughout the book. Many of Elyse's thoughts and feelings were those that I had growing up and sometimes even today. I really think Elyse is a kindred soul. Here are some of my favorite lines:

"I've always found something I needed more than a smaller waist. Like to read more books..."

"I would rather stand my ground in all my wrongness than step one foot into someone else's idea of right, even if it means I'm sometimes left standing alone."

"She had perfected the vernacular of the Valley Girl, even though we'd never spent more than a week in California."

We have to give this book 5 paws up for the memories and the angst of being a teen in the 1980s. I think this book will resonate the most with anyone that grew up in the 80s or anyone that is fascinated with that time period. Or anyone that likes clean romance, YA, or a retelling of P&P set in Texas.
Profile Image for Andrea.
91 reviews22 followers
February 8, 2023
I loved this book! Set in the 80’s, it brought back memories of all the angst, the joy, the embarrassment, and the heartache of high school. Such a fun read!!
Profile Image for Raegan.
124 reviews3 followers
April 3, 2021
A high school retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in the 80’s from the perspectives a chubby protagonist who actually likes herself, yes please.
Profile Image for Emma.
403 reviews2 followers
October 16, 2020
This was hilarious, fun, and cute all at the same time. Imagine the characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice growing up in the 80s as a bunch of teenagers... If that doesn’t spark your interest to read this book, I’m not sure what will!

First off, I began this book by laughing and I didn’t stop.

All of these characters were so similar to the Pride and Prejudice characters, it was ironic!! How do you take classic 1800s characters and turn them into teens from the 1980s? I don’t know but the author did just that.
The Nebbit family was soo much like the Bennett’s, it was perfect.
Our main character, Elyse Nebbit, is really funny. She’s extremely sarcastic and has a sense of humor for sure. She’s practical, matter-of-fact, and smart. Shes also pretty fun. She’s a lot like Elizabeth Bennett yet she has her own uniqueness as a character too. Like her insecurities, especially about her body. Which, I understood because people just wouldn’t let her forget. She was a very interesting, relatable character unlike any I’ve read before besides her Elizabeth qualities.
There’s Jayne who was so sweet! I loved her character a lot. Her and Elyse sister relationship was wonderful! I loved seeing their closeness.
Lydia was everything you would expect for Lydia. Lol. Her similarities to Lydia Bennet was perfect.
And then the two others, Kitty and Mary... they’re just kinda... there. Just like Elyse said. (I laughed really hard at that, by the way. That’s exactly how I felt about them in P&P.)
The Nebbit parents were pretty funny. Again, a lot like the Bennett’s. It was amusing to say the least.

And then the other characters.
Charlie Bingley was like the Mr.Bingley we know. Sweet but sometimes dumb or clueless? Or lovesick. Lol. I don’t know how you explain it but...
And Caroline Bingley!! Oh my goodness. She’s was ten year old nightmare. *shudders*
Gage Wickam was what I expected exactly. *glares*
So now we come to the one I was very curious to meet... Billy Fitz. And he was pretty much Darcy as a 80s teenager who also happens to be a football star. Can you imagine that?? Before I read this book, I couldn’t. But yep. He was Darcy from the first moment we meet him. It cracked me up soo crazy much.
He’s insulting, speaks his mind, stays to himself, and is completely unpredictable. But he is also surprising, wonderful, admirable, and extremely sweet in his own way. By the end, he totally has your heart in just the Darcy way.

Moving on from the characters, we have the plot. It’s very much like the plot in Pride and Prejudice in a strange way. I found it extremely cool how the author worked the events from that classic into this book. There were times I was grinning, anticipating the event and knowing what was going to happen but now. It was really unique so don’t think you’ll know everything that’s gonna happen. It’s full of surprises and fun.

The time period was fun. The 1980s is 20 years before my time so more my parents time so it was really fun to read about.

As far as content, there isn’t a whole lot to complain about. It’s a book for teens though.
The romance is clean. There are a few not-detailed kisses. The characters themselves don’t do anything bad. But there are insinuations of what other people might be doing at a party and mentions of people “making out.” ( it isn’t detailed. Just mentioned)
Also, some things from Wickam’s parents past were brought up that made me a bit uncomfortable. But it also made the main character uncomfortable. It wasn’t given in full details but again, insinuations.
Also *MINOR SPOILER*, the girls are worried what their sister might have done with a boy when she didn’t show up to school (if you get what I mean). That’s talked about briefly. I was kind of expecting it though.
Nothing actually did happen but it’s still talked about.
I was expecting more faith content. I guess because it was published by Tyndale but there wasn’t very much. A mention of going to church and she says a prayer but there’s not much of her faith in the book. Personally, I would’ve enjoyed it even more had that element been added.

So overall, this was a really fun, interesting, lighthearted read!! Pride and Prejudice set in a 1980s High school which was really cool.
I do wonder if there will be a sequel because of the ending... (which was so sweet by the way!) If there is, I’d totally read it!
I got some good laughs from it and it enjoyed it a lot!
I recommend for if you’re looking for a fun, teen romance. And if you’re a Pride and Prejudice fan, even better.😊

*I received an e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Meghann Whistler.
Author 8 books905 followers
March 12, 2021
An adorable read! I loved the main character/narrator's voice, and all that 1980s nostalgia? Priceless!

Profile Image for Elizabeth.
430 reviews37 followers
February 10, 2022
Surprisingly enjoyed this, though not as much as the original P&P. All the Austen references were awesome, and I thought the glimpse into the seventies and eighties was ready cool, complete with obscure culture things.
Some random things, like jogging boards, I even had to look up. (I am not a seventies child - obviously - and I do not live in the Deep South - loyal Midwesterner here.)
All in all, a delightful read on its own. And not a terrible Austen retelling either. ;)
Profile Image for Rissi.
447 reviews9 followers
September 14, 2023
‘Pudge and Prejudice’ is the 80s Young Adult Romance You Didn’t Know About

STORY | Elyse Nebbitt is not an ordinary 15-year-old. Together with her large family – mom and dad, plus four sisters, Elyse moves to a new town where their new house isn’t exactly “cool.” But things quickly look up when Elyse’s beautiful and poised elder sister, Jayne, catches the eye of the equally cute and charming boy, Charlie Bingley. Though Charlie is of a different class than the Nebbitt sisters, he doesn’t seem to care, and instead seems perfectly content to spend all of his time with Jayne. The problem is Charlie’s best friend Billy Fitz.

Arrogant and not really the kind of boy Elyse would spend time with, she understands he doesn’t like her and he knows she isn’t a fan of his either. But when need be, Elyse tolerates him for her sister Jayne’s sake. But things go from tolerable to worse when things go south, and Elyse must face the possibility that Billy isn’t as bad as she assumes.

REVIEW | Penned by a seasoned historical fiction author, this marks her debut in the young adult market. Picking a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice to be the book she releases is a good one especially as it’s a fun little homage to Austen. I’m surprised that Pittman keeps most of the turning point moments and key characters intact as its more work, but then the “littles” of this family (which are Kitty and Mary) have very little to do with the plot which helps to streamline. Find review in full on the website.
Profile Image for Maida.
Author 14 books446 followers
February 5, 2021
A.K. Pittman gave a unique spin to the beloved classic while staying true to its timeless themes. She managed to make Pudge & Prejudice relatable to this Gen-Xer who grew up over 8,000 miles away from where the book is located.

My full review is on my blog Carpe Diem Chronicles.
Profile Image for Alex Nonymous.
Author 23 books426 followers
September 27, 2020
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Pudge and Prejudice in exchange for an honest review.

Here's the thing: I liked a lot here. A lot of little details adaptation wise were really really interesting takes but as a whole, I didn't really enjoy Pudge and Prejudice.

I read a lot of YA P&P adaptations and my absolute favourite part of that is watching authors try to cover up our dashing Mr. Darcy's less-than-dashing first name so when Pittman owned it and rolled up with BILLY FITZ I may or may not have squealed. Creative genius. Honestly, Billy's P&P to retelling story segments were probably my favourite. He was the only character who felt like a legitimate 80s version of his P&P counterpart. For example, this book has a love interest do the whole 'you're not like other girls' thing when trying to woo the girl but since its done in this book's equivalent of Darcy's first proposal but I am so, so sure that if we transported Mr. Fitzwillidumb Darcy into a more modern era, he'd 100% have pulled that crap.

The problem comes with the fact that our Elizabeth stand in, Elyse, also thinks she isn't like other girls. Everyone beyond her and Jayne (we added a y so it's different now) was given this really ditzy vapid vibe that really really bothered me, especially when it came to the characterization of Lydia. I get Lydia's annoying, but Pudge and Prejudice wins most annoying Lydia by far. I honestly don't really think Pittman wanted to write Lydia and any of her subplots and just felt obligated to so this could be called a retelling because I was really curious about how the Lydia/Wickham plot thread would work since Lydia was given such a cartoonishly awful personality, but Pittman kind of brushes it aside. A lot of P&P characters are shoved into this then tossed aside (this book would be exactly the same without Lotti and Collin. They wasted page time and did next to nothing and neither of them were believable.) I get if Lydia, Charlotte, or Mr. Collins was cut from this retelling readers might be upset, but they really really ruined the whole suspension of disbelief thing for me.

The characters also suffer from 'adult author thinks all teenagers have the same maturity level' syndrome. I genuinely thought Elyse was an 18 year old senior because of the diction used in her inner monologue, the course material in her english course (Elyse really, really likes classic lit by the way), and her general actions and priorities and when I realized that she was 15, I audibly gasped. I get sometimes young teens are written older to make younger readers feel cool and edgy, but Elyse didn't feel like that. She just felt like a 18 year old trapped in a 15 year old's body. I know if you're an adult that age gap may not seem significant, but if you're a teenager I'm sure you know how big of a difference there is between those 2 ages.

So yeah. Pudge and Prejudice has some fun, cool ideas, but its weighed down by a disconnect between the readers age and the narration maturity and an attempt to stick to the source material where it shouldn't. If you're really into P&P retellings (BILLY FITZ), check it out. Otherwise, I'd give it a skip.
Profile Image for Julie Graves.
906 reviews27 followers
January 12, 2021
I love retellings of Pride and Prejudice! This one was pretty cute. Set in the 80's with high school students it was very entertaining and I totally enjoyed all of the nods to the original! If you enjoy a good clean retelling of a timeless classic then I highly recommend you check this one out. It is definitely a blast from the past while staying true to the original story Pride and Prejudice which happens to be one of my favorite books of all times.

Profile Image for Beth.
762 reviews39 followers
January 5, 2021
This was fine. It lacked the romantic tension that makes the original so great. The 80s setting is really reaching for an adult audience. I feel a true teen would blast through it without understand any of the fun 80s gems hidden about.

For a die hard P&P fan, but just okay otherwise.

Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy
Profile Image for Kimmie.
507 reviews15 followers
February 8, 2021
Do you like Pride and Prejudice? Well, I have a love/hate relationship with the story as I love Darcy but want to clobber him at the same time! However, this retelling of the story… is extraordinary. From the first chapter, I was fascinated by Elyse and the way Allison Pittman immersed me in her story. Elyse and Billy Fitz (how cool are their names?!) played off each other so well, I loved their conversations, the letter passing in class, and how both cared so much about the people around them. Allison Pittman also did a great job telling interweaving themes that are so prevalent and realistic into the characters’ thoughts and actions, such as body positivity and being careful who your friends are. Elyse’s older sister Jayne, and Billy’s best friend Charlie, plus the other beloved characters’ help make this story truly unique and engaging.

I loved the setting (Northenfield, TX), the 1980s drama, and the emphasis on music. Plus, all the 1980s references throughout the story helped to shape thing into a funny, realistic, and heart touching retelling of the original. Yet, it stands out as one of the most memorable renditions of Jane Austen’s works, that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It was also interesting to see how Allison Pittman took the 1800s classic and evolved it into a new classic.

Overall, I think any age group would enjoy this book especially if you enjoyed the original. I know it will be going down as one of my favorite stories this year. 5 out of 5 stars.

*I volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.

Profile Image for H. Ringer.
33 reviews4 followers
February 20, 2021
Sweet and complicated high school. I don’t miss it.

Pudge and Prejudice is a spunky tribute to Pride and Prejudice. As the many many maaany people who have seen the movies and less many that have read the book, I can say this book does an excellent job of reviving its classic tale in eighties gear. Elyse is a quirky lead character, whose narrative will keep you entertained, chuckling, and really wishing for her self confidence to grow. It’s a main theme in the book that Elyse is somehow ‘less than’ when it comes to her weight. Her mother’s comments, the school population, even a little ‘monster’ named Caroline continue to mention it. She’s compared to her sisters and what her weight will even mean for her future. Elyse mentions it nearly in every chapter and despite all of her many good qualities, it holds her back from enjoying things completely. Honestly, it was difficult to read at times because I went through a similar experience. I was happy to see Elyse starting to feel more comfortable with her body, with wanting to be seen and not feeling like she shouldn’t explore who she is beyond reader, sister, and smart girl with a weight issue.

“My size, my face, my hair-we were all well on our way to becoming friends with each other. That misdirected pride I’d carried for so long, the one that led me to hide behind an almost aggressively plain appearance, was being chipped away with every bit of color I allowed in my wardrobe, my accessories, my tinted lip gloss. I was finally comfortable enough with myself to highlight myself. Like in the books I love.”

It irks me to think of any young girl growing up and thinking their weight is an issue at all. Skinny, not skinny, or absolutely and completely good the way they are. I’ll stop ranting at this point and say that the topic itself and clever way Pittman integrates the classic with her own story was well done. The characters are well written and comical in their own eighties flair. Pittman has lots of great references to the era and the music choices were great. I found myself listening to music while reading for most of the book. Eighty percent at least.

I also definitely pictured everyone in the most colorful outfits I could imagine.

While I’m not sure it was intentional, I enjoyed the way Elyse would goodheartedly make fun of herself. Mainly in the way she drew out her phrases or used words that no one else seemed to use in high school.

“A note. Upon close inspection-like, by picking it up-I realized there was more than one sheet of paper here, Two or three, at least.”

I thought it was a smart way of keeping the humor in the story and making it more down to earth for the reader. I enjoyed the additional depth Pittman added to each character and the struggles they are facing in life as well.

Since I could go on for a while, here are some parts I enjoyed that may appeal to you as a reader: redeemable characters, breaking stereotypes, the love interest based off Darcy is named Billy Fitz (which is funny), eighties throwback, football mentioned seriously but not taken seriously, Lottie reminding me more and more of Regina George, and puns.

I hoped you enjoyed this review as I enjoyed the book. I hope it’s piqued your interest and you take a look for yourself. I also hope you’re staying healthy and happy!
Profile Image for Deborah Zeman.
772 reviews19 followers
May 11, 2021
1980’s? Check. Retelling of one of my all time FAVORITE books. Check. Did I not want it to end? Double Check. I absolutely loved this retelling of P&P, with a dash of Emma thrown into the mix (Hello Frank Churchill). I laughed, I empathized, I teared up as I whipped through this story. Elyse is a touchy nugget who has met her match in Billy Fitz. The play on the names, including Pember Road (Pemberly!) was terrific. Jayne and Charlie were just like their original counterparts in P&P. And Lydia, poor, sweet, truly naive Lydia...just like the original Lydia...This is a definite keeper for library shelves everywhere!
Profile Image for Amy Kett.
196 reviews6 followers
March 22, 2021
I can't resist a P&P revamp, it seems. And with this cover and body positivity vibe? Yeah, I had to. This was a super fun, super cute, well written retell that managed to be 80s high school and still stay way more true to the original story than some. If you like the original and need a little Gen X nostalgia bomb of a brain break, go for it.
Profile Image for Samantha Barnes.
121 reviews
August 31, 2022
This was such a fun, sweet, creative take on Pride and Prejudice! It surprised me how much I enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Becky.
5,422 reviews122 followers
August 17, 2021
Pudge and Prejudice is one of those books I could gush about incoherently for hours. Emphasis on incoherent. I've tried to write a review...but my review doesn't do the book justice. I couldn't find the right balance of teasing readers to make them want to read it for themselves AND gushing about every little detail that I loved.

First sentence: IT IS A TRUTH UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED that a teenage girl in possession of a double-digit jeans size must be in want of a diet. I’m just not a part of that universe. All my life—my chunky, pudgy, soft-bellied life—I’ve always found something I needed more than a smaller waist. Like to read more books, to learn more words, to know the personal satisfaction of guessing the grocery total before the cashier beeps through all the produce. You know, things that matter.

Pudge and Prejudice is a young adult adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It is set in Northernfield, Texas, in 1984/1985.

For some that little teaser would be enough persuasion. But you probably still have questions. After all, it's not as if all adaptations of Pride and Prejudice are well done and/or successful and/or clean.

Is it worth reading? Yes. A thousand times yes.

Is it clean? A few kissing scenes. Some handholding. But yes, it is clean.

Does the adaptation work? YES. It works not because she keeps every single detail the exact same as the original but because she makes it her own.

The basics: Elyse Nebbitt (aka 'Pudge) is our heroine. She has an older sister, Jayne, who is a junior in high school. Lydia (13) is in eighth grade. She has two Littles: Mary and Kitty aged 6 and 8. They don't enter into the story often so I'm not sure which is six and which is eight. On moving day, Jayne and Elyse meet Charlie Bingley and Billy Fitz two high schoolers that have volunteered to help them move in. It is love at first sight for Jayne and Charlie--these two seemed to be a destined match. But Billy Fitz and Elyse don't necessarily form a good first impression of the other...

There were a million little details that make this one oh-so-magical. I loved, loved, loved it.


To the universe, being thin means being right. In my case, it would mean my mother was right, and boys were right. If I’ve learned nothing else in my fifteen years, it’s this: I would rather stand my ground in all my wrongness than step one foot into someone else’s idea of right, even if it means I’m sometimes left standing alone.
Then September of my Sophomore year, 1984, my entire universe changed.

Somehow, after six hours in the car, Jayne managed to look beautiful, her blonde hair in symmetrical, fluffy feathers, her skin miraculously sweat free, her clothes unrumpled to catalog perfection. Some would think this would conjure up some sort of jealous spark in me, but it’s really more of a sense of wonder. Being jealous of Jayne would be like being jealous of a butterfly, who has no more control over its beauty than Jayne does. Everything about Jayne is effortless. Not just her beauty, but her kindness, her goodness. In a way, we are everything each other is not, so we stick together in our weak spots. And that’s important, because in this family, you need a hand to hold in our spinning vortex of chaos.
The moment the big truck turned onto what Mom called “our” street, Jayne and I each rolled down our windows, trying to guess which would be “our” house. There was no sign out front, and since it was the middle of the day, plenty of driveways were empty. But then, the huge truck with all of our worldly possessions drifted to a stop, and Dad hopped out with all the fanfare a middle-aged man could muster. Mom pulled precariously into the narrow drive, and we were home.

Then, from out of nowhere, a sound I never expected to hear in Northenfield, Texas. The rumbling car motor, yes, that was common enough, but singing out over it was the sound of an electric guitar. As it came closer, I realized it wasn’t just any guitar, but Neal Schon’s. As in, Journey, and we were hearing the unmistakable guitar solo of “Don’t Stop Believin’.” In only a matter of seconds, we could put the music together with a car—Camaro, late seventies model, midnight blue. Sweeter than sweet. And, shock of all shocks, it came to a screeching, rumbling, rocking stop right behind our U-Haul.
There are those moments when you get the opportunity to stop and have a short talk with yourself and say, “Hey, self! Remember this. Make a note. Get rid of the brain space you’re using to remember your lines from the fourth grade play and make room.”
This was one of those moments. The music played on to the end of the song, then disappeared when the engine cut. The doors opened, and two boys got out. One looked like sunshine—blond, curly-all-over hair, tall, thin, green IZOD shirt with the collar popped. The boy with him, everything opposite. Dark, straight hair, parted in the middle and feathered to the sides. Jeans, Ramones T-shirt, Converse high tops. Jayne and I set our soda cans on the Joggling Board and stood up, because it was pretty obvious they were headed to the front porch. The dark one hung back a little, but Preppy Boy took one look at my sister and smiled like a kid who’d found a Transformer under the Christmas tree. A new boyfriend for Jayne? Well, that would be a matter of 5, 4, 3, 2....1.

ONE OF THE GREAT IRONIES of being the chubby girl on the scene: you literally take up more space than any other person around, and yet you are somehow invisible. To be fair, the minute Charlie Bingley (Green IZOD Shirt Boy) met Jayne Nebbitt, the entire neighborhood could have been swallowed up by muddy underground aliens and neither of them would have noticed a thing.

And so we worked. Keeping priorities straight, we unearthed my boom box and found a Top 40 station to keep the music going. REO Speedwagon, The Cars, Billy Idol—aka everything our father would forbid us to listen to if he were home. The boys were the souls of efficiency, with Charlie motivated to impress Jayne, and Billy motivated to get away. My sister and I helped, too, of course. Jayne knew exactly where every box and chair and lamp should go, so she kept to the front door and foot of the stairs, pointing and directing and encouraging. I was more of a workhorse, running back and forth with whatever I could easily carry.

TWO WEEKS AND SIX DAYS LATER—Thursday night, right during the first fifteen minutes of Family Ties—the phone rang, and Mom answered it. Nothing extraordinary there—Mom almost always answers the phone. It’s easier that way, for all of us. Otherwise, we’d spend the first five minutes of every conversation letting her know exactly who was on the other side of the line and what they wanted. Plus, Family Ties was one of the few shows that met with parental approval and had a cute actor. No ringing telephone could compete with Michael J. Fox, not even in Lydia’s anticipating ears.
Still, when we heard Mom’s long, lyrical Hellooooo, Mrs. Bingley, Jayne and I tore our eyes away from the Keatons on the screen. Mom walked out of the kitchen, stretching the yellow phone cord all the way into the living room, and mouthed MRS. BINGLEY, as if the neighbors three doors down didn’t hear just who had dialed our number a few minutes before.
I muted the TV, grateful for the first time in my life that I had no such option for my mother. Still, her side of the conversation was too cryptic for true comprehension, even if its volume made me wonder if she somehow thought Mrs. Bingley was deaf. Or ninety. Or both. All Jayne and I heard was, Yes, Yes, Of course, Indeed, and a finale about something being our pleasure before Mom scuttled into the kitchen, hung up the phone, and returned with an expression that could only be described as triumphant.
Jayne, it seemed, through the powers of Mom’s compliant negotiations, had a babysitting job.
Now, I must explain that for girls like us, meaning girls without access to a family’s unlimited credit card, babysitting jobs are the absolute key to functioning normally within our society. Movie tickets, new jeans, cassette tapes, magazines, lip gloss—all those things cost money, and until you’re old enough to snag a paper hat and make shakes at Dairy Queen, that money comes from sacrificing the occasional weekend to take care of somebody’s kid.
It’s a delicate thing, being new in town. Establishing clients, building trust. It’s one of the best reasons to go to church, so you can hang around the nursery looking trustworthy. Or a girl can take a stroll around the neighborhood, chase a ball that some kid kicks into the street, return it with a smile, and hope a parent pokes a head out the door for an introduction.
But there are rules. One being that you don’t babysit the younger siblings of your friends, because that just reinforces the fact that you need money more than your friend does, because otherwise, well, why isn’t she babysitting? And Two, you really, really don’t babysit the younger sibling of a cute boy. One that you like. And one who might possibly like you back. Now, I—of course—have never had the opportunity to put this rule to the test, and it was too late to bring Mom up to speed on the delicacies of booking.
As if all of this wasn’t enough to justify the look of horror on Jayne’s face, Mom’s further explanation had us clutching each other’s hands for support. To spare anyone the inconvenience of shuttling back and forth to deliver the girl, Jayne would ride the bus—the BUS—to the Bingleys’ house after school the next day. And stay there for the entire afternoon and evening.
We might not have been the richest kids in school, but we were lucky enough to live within walking distance, sparing us the daily humiliation of climbing those steep steps of shame to be hauled back and forth on some dilapidated yellow monster vehicle. The bus was for kids who had neither the car nor connection to get a ride.
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