Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in Accomplished, a sparkling contemporary YA featuring a healthy dose of marching band romance, endless banter, and Charles Bingley as a ripped frat boy.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year – at least if you ask any of her Pemberley Academy classmates. She may have escaped expulsion because of her family name, but she didn’t escape the disappointment of her big brother Fitz, the scorn of the entire school, or, it turns out, Wickham’s influence.
But she’s back for her junior year, and she needs to prove to everyone—Fitz, Wickham, her former friends, and maybe even herself—that she’s more than just an embarrassment to the family name. How hard can it be to become the Perfect Darcy? All she has to do is:
– Rebuild her reputation with the marching band (even if it kills her)
– Forget about Wickham and his lies (no matter how tempting they still are), and
– Distract Fitz Darcy—helicopter-sibling extraordinaire—by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzie Bennet (this one might be difficult…)
Sure, it’s a complicated plan, but so is being a Darcy. With the help of her fellow bandmate, Avery, matchmaking ideas lifted straight from her favorite fanfics, and a whole lot of pancakes, Georgie is going to see every one of her plans through. But when the weight of being the Perfect Darcy comes crashing down, Georgie will have to find her own way before she loses everything permanently—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own, and I am writing a voluntary review.
Georgianna Darcy is arguably one of the most under appreciated characters in Pride and Prejudice (I mean, she had to deal with an angsty Darcy pining over Elizabeth for who knows how long). I have always loved the glimpses of Big Brother Darcy, and I feel like this relationship with his sister really explains his prideful image. Let me just tell you that Accomplished did not disappoint on this front. To quote Georgie, she has, “A fairly excellent big brother.”
Let’s just start with the modern setting. I have not laughed this hard over a book in basically forever. Reading about Wickham ‘sliding into DMs,’ Fitz Darcy loving to send Google Calendar invites, and Georgie ranting about the patriarchy that prevented her dress from having pockets was something I didn’t know I wanted until now. The way she modernized each character was remarkably on point, and it was fun to see what they would look like today. On top of this, Amanda’s writing style is a beautiful blend of deeply introspective commentary and snarky, sarcastic wit, and I loved it.
Another aspect of this book that I deeply appreciated was how Amanda’s fangirl status came out. Little things like Dad!Fitz and Georgie referencing AO3 and Tumblr, all the way up to Camp Sanditon and the Sage Hall tv show, which was notably similar to Downton Abbey. She did a great job pulling in the original story and fangirling alongside her readers, while creating something entirely her own.
There were really only two things that I didn’t love about this book. The first was the frequent use of expletives, along with the underaged use of drugs and alcohol. While it was an accurate portrayal of most American high schools, I just wish that it hadn’t been made out to be quite so normal, especially since this book is being marketed to teens. The second thing that I questioned was Fitz’s and Georgie’s relationship. While the tension between them fits this plot, it didn’t seem that consistent with their relationship in Pride and Prejudice. Obviously this was a retelling, and not everything has to be spot on, but it did seem a bit odd since Darcy was originally such a doting brother.
Overall I thought this was one of the best Pride and Prejudice spin offs that I’ve read!