Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ARC Review: Definitely, Maybe in Love by Ophelia London

Format: eBook344 pages
Expected publication: October 28, 2013
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace 

Spring Honeycutt wants two things: to ace her sustainable living thesis and to save the environment. Both seem hopelessly unobtainable until her college professor suggests that with a new angle, her paper could be published. Spring swears she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

“Whatever it takes,” however, means forming a partnership with the very hot, very privileged, very conceited Henry Knightly.

Henry is Spring's only hope at publication, but he's also the über-rich son of a land developer and cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite. Too bad she can't help being attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and physically. As they work on her thesis, Spring finds there's more to Henry than his old money and argyle sweaters…but can she drop the loud-and-proud act long enough to let him in? Suddenly, choosing between what she wants and what she needs puts Spring at odds with everything she believes in.

Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice that proves true love is worth risking a little pride.

One thing you should know about me is that I love Pride and Prejudice.  I love it so much that I am always on the prowl for a new adaptation of it. As much as I love the original, I am so intrigued at the way authors modernize classics such as P&P. As soon as I heard of Ophelia London's Definitely, Maybe in Love, I had to jump on the chance to read it and review it. It took me a little bit over a day to read because I was physically incapable of putting it down. Why? Well, let me tell you:

At first sight, this novel is nothing more than a retelling of our favorite love story but it only took me a few pages to notice that Definitely, Maybe in Love was so much more than that. While the characters and their personalities were familiar to me, the novel felt fresh and new. Spring Honeycutt is Elizabeth Bennet in every possible way. She's passionate, judgmental, and focused. Henry Knightly (his name is pure perfection and made my inner Jane Austen fangirl squeal) is determined, a lot more confident and less awkward than Mr. Darcy, and ridiculously dreamy. Instead of sisters, Spring has roommates and they are a handful. I felt like this change was really clever and worked so well with the story. Plot wise, I really liked the development of Spring and Henry's relationship and the way everything unfolded in a relatively long period of time. The Lydia/Wickham part of the story wasn't my favorite but I didn't hate it. Other than that, the story moved along in a very steady pace and kept my attention. Now, the love story. Oh, god. Just read it. And enjoy it. The scenes between Spring and Henry are simply beautiful. I had the biggest swoonfest while reading them so if you like romance, you'll love them too. I promise.

As far a retellings go, this one might be the best one I've read so far. The story does not rely on the classic to carry it and it doesn't follow the structure of the original to the point where it becomes unoriginal and repetitive. Like all retellings, you are well aware of all of the twists and turns and, most importantly, its conclusion. However, Definitely, Maybe in Love felt fresh and kept me interested until the end. The fact that Spring is an environmentalist tied in this adaptation to the original in a perfect little package. It showcases her passionate personality while also enhancing her judgmental tendencies. It created tension between her and Henry, which is the core of Elizabeth's relationship with Mr. Darcy in P&P. I felt like this story, unlike others I've read, paid homage to the great Jane Austen instead of changing a couple of aspects of her story and calling it a day. This is why this story works while others do not.

If you're looking for a classic love story with a contemporary twist--which also happens to be charming and gripping--this novel is for you. Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice fans, do not despair. You won't be disappointed.

Note: An eARC was sent to me for an honest opinion. 

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