Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in Amanda Quain’s 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’m a sucker for Pride and Prejudice variants and boarding school stories, so needless to say, I was thrilled at the opportunity to read this book.
We don’t know much about canon Georgiana Darcy, other than she is a kindhearted lady who was almost—but not quite—taken advantage of by the devious Wickham. Accomplished reimagines her as a boarding school junior trying to pick up the pieces of her social life after she is seen by her peers as the reason behind Wickham’s expulsion for dealing drugs the previous spring.
Georgie’s goals are admirable, and she’s a nice enough kid, but there were some small details that threw me off. For example, she tries to make amends to her bandmates by treating them to a catered Mexican buffet… right before they’re scheduled to get on a bus to go to the big game. I love seeing fallible characters, but that incident just highlighted how out of touch she is with reality. Why on earth would she not wait to surprise everyone with a buffet when they got home?
Her brother Darcy has relocated from his elite university to SUNY Meryton, located close to Pemberley. He shows up periodically to glower disapprovingly, and his own romance with Lizzie Bennet is a secondary plot in this book.
I would recommend Accomplished. I think this book is going to primarily appeal to its target demographic, and that’s exactly what’s expected of a YA book. It’s cute and sweet and perfect for a summer read.
I received a digital ARC of this book from St. Martin’s/NetGalley