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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,815 ratings  ·  650 reviews
Julie’s best friend, Ashleigh, is an enthusiast. Julie never knows what new obsession will catch Ashleigh’s fancy, but she does know she’s likely to be drawn into the madness.

Ashleigh’s latest craze is Julie’s own passion, Pride and Prejudice. But Ashleigh can’t just appreciate it as a great read; she insists on emulating the novel’s heroines, in speech, dress, and the mo

Hardcover, 212 pages
Published February 16th 2006 by Putnam Juvenile
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Shelli Here's the blurb from Amazon:

Julie’s best friend, Ashleigh, is an enthusiast. Julie never knows what new obsession will catch Ashleigh’s fancy, but sh…more
Here's the blurb from Amazon:

Julie’s best friend, Ashleigh, is an enthusiast. Julie never knows what new obsession will catch Ashleigh’s fancy, but she does know she’s likely to be drawn into the madness.

Ashleigh’s latest craze is Julie’s own passion, Pride and Prejudice. But Ashleigh can’t just appreciate it as a great read; she insists on emulating the novel’s heroines, in speech, dress, and the most important element of all—finding True Love. And so Julie finds herself with Ashleigh, dressed in vintage frocks, sneaking into a dance at the local all-boys prep school, where they discover some likely candidates.

The problem with Ashleigh’s craze this time, however, is that there is only one Mr. Darcy. So when the girls get a part in the boys’ school musical, what follows is naturally equal parts comedy and romance, as a series of misinterpreted—and missed—signals, dating mishaps, and awkward incidents make Julie wonder if she has the heart for True Love.

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  3,815 ratings  ·  650 reviews

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Sherwood Smith
This is a sweet YA romance, an homage to Jane Austen. The characters are delightful, and the salutes to Austen a great deal of fun.

Julie, the first person narrator, has been best friends with Ashleigh since early childhood. Ashleigh gets Enthusiasms, and when she does, she goes whole hog. Her latest is Austen, and of course she is determined to meet a Darcy. She sweeps shy Julie along in crashing a dance at a snazzy prep school, where they meet a couple of cute guys, one of whom is Julie's secre
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ha! This proves I like light, fluffy books. Although rather predictable this book was thoroughly enjoyable. Right on the cover was a recommendation of praise from Stephanie Myers which made me roll my eyes, and consider not reading the book. I'm glad I did though, I loved the two friends, Ashleigh's loyalty was refreshing. Though her "Enthusiasm" didn't seem so very Enthusiastic after the first 50 pages or so. Not when compared to the crazy things she's done in the past. The love interest of bot ...more
Sep 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is so sugary sweet you could say maybe it almost too sweet. But as it is it's just what I needed. I was in the greatest mood while I was reading it and after I finished. This is probably the reason why I don't read as much deep sad books. You know how you sometimes keep the feel of the book while you're reading it for a while? If I'm having a hard time then there is no way I'm going to read a sad book. I have to be in the right state of mind.

Julie has a friend name Ashleigh, who is an
I love Jane Austen. I have read all of her completed novels at least twice. I've read quite a few JA para-lit novels, and this is by far the best of the bunch. It includes allusions to not only P&P, but Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and even a little Mansfield Park, too. Although she borrows from Austen's characters, Shulman does a great job of making them (and the story) fresh and unique. There was never a doubt in my mind as to the ending (it is, after all, a romance, and a YA one a ...more
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hannah by: Hanneybean!!
Shelves: ya, 2010-reads
Enthusiasm is a fluffy, comfy book filled with references to Jane Austen and some of her works, most notably Pride & Prejudice.

A YA book, it was recommended to me by my teen daughter, so of course I had to read it. A quick, fun read, with a cast of cute and quirky (though unrealistic at times) characters, Enthusiasm is definitely marketed to capitalize on the teen fascination with boys, crushes, first kisses and clueless parents.

Very sweet and light fare, although as a mom I do take issue with t
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: q1-2008, favorites
Text to Self

This book is definately for the light of heart, teenage girl. Which is exactly what I happen to be. I found a lot of connections between this book and my self. I am a lot like the main character Julia. We both have an extreme love of the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice, we both love, even though we might not show it all the time, our very best friend more than anything, and would do almost anything for them, and we both hold on dearly to the dream that we will one day find our
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: good-uns, ya
It's been around five years since I first ran across ENTHUSIASM by Polly Shulman. And, honestly, when I think about it, I'm fairly certain I got this recommendation from Stephenie Meyer's website way back in the day. I believe she had it on her list of recommended reads and I picked it up based on that and the fact that it had a Jane Austen angle. It seems like there are so many of those these days, but at the time I hadn't read many. I'm very glad I did pick it up, as this is a perfectly deligh ...more
Nov 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you adore Jane Austin? Are you searching for your very own Mr. Darcy? Do you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about? Ok, well Julia Lefkowitz and her next-door neighbor/life long best friend Ashleigh Rossi do: Julia is a huge fan of Austin, especially Pride & Prejudice, and Ashleigh, well she is what you might call an Enthusiast. At least, that is what Julie calls her. You see Ashleigh has a tendency to become deeply, passionately obsessed with something, committing her whole life to ...more
Kylara Jensen
This is NOT a modern day retelling of Jane Austen. It's more of an homage to Austen (and also Shakespeare.)

The MC's BFF becomes obsessed with P&P and Jane Austen, and there's a tiny bit of Pride and Prejudice references: A Bingley, a Collins, but the male lead is no Darcy. There's also a play within the book and a play within the play within the book. Which is kind of fun.

I enjoyed reading this book. There were shenanigans.

The MC needs to grow a backbone and become a little more aware of the wo
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"You love her
But she loves him
And he loves somebody else...

I don't care for any casanova thing
All I can say is
Love stinks! Love stinks!"
-Boston's own J. Geils Band

I think our heroine has elements of Elinor Dashwood and Catherine Morland.
I had a blast reading Polly Shulman’s novel Enthusiasm, her homage to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice! It had been released in 2006 and was on my ‘to read’ list for quite some time until I felt the need for something summerish and light to read. Since it is classified as a young adult novel for grades 7-10, I was prepared to be underwhelmed by a less than sparkling plot and characterizations. My assumptions were so wrong! Totally!

It is quite amazing to think that this is Shulman’s first novel
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Julie has grown up her whole life with a best friend who is an Enthusiast. Whenever Ashleigh, Julie's best friend, finds a new craze she jumps head first, and rarely comes up for air. Her latest craze is non other than Jane Austen which she found when Julie lent her a copy of Pride and Prejudice. This craze has Ashleigh speaking in 18th century English, and only wearing long skirts or dresses because it is immodest to reveal the shape of one's legs. Her craze also involves a hairbrained scheme t ...more
Anne Osterlund
Aug 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Julie and Ashley have been best friends forever. Through Ashley’s King Arthur phase, her Wet Blankets phase, and now . . . Jane Austen. Which involves “no showing of the lower limbs,” learning the quadrille, and crashing the fall dance at the local all-boys school, in search of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley.

Julie is an excellent best friend. She’s prepared to suffer the social criticism, the missteps, and even the total embarrassment of getting turned away from the dance.

But just how well will that
Margaret Harrigan
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was my second time around reading this book. I just finished my other one and wanted something to read, so I went to my shelf and picked this one up.
Honestly, I forgot how much I loved this book. Its quick read, light, funny and just perfect for a few hour long distraction on a rainy day. As a sucker for rom coms and romance stories in general, I don't care how predictable it is, I love it all the same. Its one of those books that requires me to stop for a minute to relax my face because i
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Super cheesy but super cute. I was in the mood for something just like it and i laughed out loud so much throughout the whole book. Julia's friend Ashleigh is so comfortable in her own skin you wish you were just like her but some of her ideas are so embarrassing. Some of the problem in the book seem so unrealistic and cheesy but the sad part is that they are totally true and are a huge deal in a teenaged girl's life . All in all theres no way after you have finished the book that you can help b ...more
Sep 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Light, fun and a nice tie in to Jane Austen. This book walks on that thin line of sweet and clever, without becoming insipid and silly. I enjoyed the female characters willingness to be true to themselves and loyal to one another.
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was so FUN to read this book. As dumb as it may sound I felt like a teenager with a "crush". My heart fluttered at the "first kiss" and I laughed out loud in parts of this book (which hardly never happens when reading). I look forward to reading this book again in the near future.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give it a 4.5 only because it was a bit too predictable...of course that's because I've read Austen's works. So, it was a bit comforting reading the familiar plots and storylines speckled throughout the book. Overall an enjoyable and quick read.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Cute! It is funny for me to read about teenage angst now that I'm way past that age...I just want to say "Girls - communicate! Fight for what you want...".
I went from "This is so stupid" to stupidly grinning.

Full review to come.
Kiri Dawn
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me first of all say that this cover is ridiculous. Now that we've gotten that out of the way...

This is a fun little YA romance about two girls who love Jane Austen. Sweet in places, hokey at times, and happy in the end, this was a fun mashup of several of Austen's plot lines and it worked for me. Very glad Selah put this book on my radar!
Bibek Thapa
Feb 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2018
I waited for more than a decade to read this book. A freaking decade! And instead of getting a sweet romance inspired by Pride and Prejudice, I get this garbage.
Ugh! I am so mad right now!
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary-ya
More like 3.5 stars. I rounded up this time because something about this book captured me with its charm.

Yes, it's an ode to Jane Austen. But it's also an ode to Shakespeare, poetry, literature, music . . . and high school. But one thing I loved was that the trappings of real life never change the main character's spirit and voice. Her Enthusiasm (ha ha get it?) never dies.

I also loved that this ISN'T a book about two female friends torn apart over a guy. The plot is much more subtle and compl
Sara Grochowski
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read ENTHUSIASM shortly after its release in 2006 and, when I went searching for audiobooks for a recent roadtrip, I felt compelled to bring it along. Before I'd even finished the first disc, I remembered just how much I adore Polly Shulman's debut. I was so engrossed that I compeletely missed one of my exits and continued onward for about half an hour before I noticed. In fact, when I realized my error, I didn't even mind... it meant my trip was extended and I would have an entire extra hour ...more
Julie's best friend Ashleigh is an enthusiast. She throws herself into her unusual hobbies so completely, she loses sight of all reason. In her fifteen years she has wanted to be a knight, a candy maker, and now a Jane Austen heroine. Poor Julie, always a loyal friend, gets dragged along into Ashleigh's schemes for better or for worse. Ashleigh decides that in order to find True Love, she and Julie are going to crash a school dance at a local boys' prep school. On the verge of being tossed out o ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This was an adorable book! I don’t normally go for the “chick-lit” kind of books, but this was really just fun and cute. Also, it was $1 at Books-A-Million…so it was hard to pass up. However, in my opinion the Stephenie Meyer recommendation doesn’t do much to sell the book.

So, Julie and Ashleigh have this amazing friendship. Not only have they lived next-door to each other for their whole lives, but there is a tree that connects both of their bedroom windows. They can constantly go back and fort
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: old-reads
Ok, I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for well-written YA romance. This book falls into that category; characters that seem relatively real, a romance that doesn't feel too far-fetched, and a plot that doesn't want to do much more than allow the characters to find each other (in other words, no causes and no massive misunderstandings/traumas to overcome).

The plot is a mixture of Pride & Prejudice and Midsummer Night's Dream, with people falling for the wrong person or assuming the wrong person is inte
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read Polly Shulman's Grimm Legacy series of books, which were very sweet, and got around to reading her first young adult novel, Enthusiasm. This is exactly the type of book I would have loved as a young teen - romantically predictable and clever!

The first sentence in the book starts it off well: "There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding hereof tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast." Ashleigh is the enthusiast - someone who latches on to "brilliant" ideas
This book had potential to be one of the cutest novels I’d ever read, despite the slightly serious-looking cover (I know there’s hot pink, but still). The story caught my eye because well, who doesn’t have a flighty, overly-enthusiastic friend who loves picking up new hobbies? Throw in a hot guy, a rule-breaking plan with lots of mischief, a kick-ass title, and you should have the formula for a nice fluffy story.

Unfortunately, the story was not as captivating as I’d hoped. Maybe its just me, but
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Polly Shulman has edited and written articles about books, infinity, edible jellyfish, planets, circuses, and many other subjects for the New York Times, Science, Salon, and many other publications. She is an alumna of Yale, where she majored in math. She puts cayenne pepper in her chocolate cookies and reads forgotten books with frontispieces. In high school she worked as a page at the New York P ...more

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