Title: Prada and Prejudice
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Published Date: June 2009
Publisher: Razor Bill
Price: Amazon ($8.99)
To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!
There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.
But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?
More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.
There are two sides of the book that countered each other when I started reading the book. The plot and the characters.
Before I start butchering the characters (ok, they weren’t really that bad), I absolutely loved the plot. I have never read Pride and Prejudice (I know, shoot me), but from reading garbled summers of it, the plot was a light and chic form of it. The subtle romantic journey between Callie and Alex makes you turn the pages, as you’re wondering when they are going to express their feelings for each other. I also loved Hubbard’s integration of the old style London with the modern feeling Callie brings in. (I really want to go to Callie’s school. A school trip to London!). The thematic element beneath all the craze and fun Callie has, as she learns to become more of an outgoing person and stand up to the mean girls of her school, creates a meaningful read. I thought the disguise as Rebbecca also helps with the plot. Also, the ending made me smile as I imagined Callie’s happy future, rather than fretting what will happen and if there will be a sequel. Callie’s romantic life with Alex, rather than being cut short through the time change, continues to the present time.
Callie is portrayed as outspoken and generous character but Hubbard’s leap towards the abrupt change in the beginning creates an annoying and whining character. I thought the break through the quiet and shy shell in the beginning when she rebels against Victoria undermines the importance of the theme of changing into a girl who can stand up to herself. I think Hubbard stretched the theme to the extreme point and created a really pushy and annoying character, who just always to show off and prove her point. For example, if I was stranded in 18th century London (I wish I was), I would be polite when I first meet someone, even if that person insulted me on my clothes to my face. When Callie leaps back two hundred years and all of a sudden her personality changes from a quiet, lonely one to a frank and rebellious character, it creates this huge gap where the reader goes “What?” I also wanted Emily’s character to be developed a bit from this shallow character who still dreams of true love, even though it fits into a fairy tale setting. One character I was satisfied was Alex with his development, but sometimes I felt it hard to decipher Alex’s actions as signs of love or friendship (maybe it’s because I have no sense of dating and flirting).
Overall, I thought the book was a cute and fun read. After you get used to Callie’s frank and sometimes rude personality, the book is a fun read with the London and romantic twist.
The cover is very pretty with the swirls and the Prada heels, with the cute little teacup, but I felt as if the background could be decorated more wisely, instead of having swirls in the background.