Book Reviews · reading challenge

Book Review: Finding Mr. Darcy, High School Edition by Erin Butler


Title: Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition

Author: Erin Butler

Published: 2014

Pages: 198

Genre: Yong Adult

Format: iBook Book Blitz

My rating: 2/5

Reading Challenge: A book you can finish in a day

Review: Sixteen-year-old Liza Johnson takes fangirl to a whole new level of crazy when she decides to take dating advice from her literary hero: Jane Austen. With the help of her best friends, Liza sheds her ancient-speak and complete Austen wardrobe for something a bit more modern in an attempt at finding her very own Mr. Darcy.

Enter Will, the new kid and Liza’s Darcy incarnate. Add her BFF’s ex to mix and the sexy Brit who kisses with an accent, and Liza is in trouble. So, what’s a girl to do? Without her mom to go to relationship advice, Liza turns to the only person she can truly trust with matters of the heart via her mother’s copy of COMPLETED WORKS OF JANE AUSTEN.

It’s too bad Austen’s heroines have never played Spin the Bottle or Seven Minutes in Heaven. Liza’s determined to find her true Austen-esque happy ending, but if she can’t trust herself instead of books, she just might end up in her own tragic love story.

Of course, anything Jane Austen/Pride and Prejudice-related, I am down to read. A fairly quick young adult, chik lit work, we are thrusted into the realm of teenage drama in this generation with a Jane Austen twist. After finishing a complex book prior to Finding Mr. Darcy, it was relaxing to dive into a story of young love. However, I wished Butler had spent some more time on the supporting characters. Each of their stories was touched on briefly but not followed through and resolved. The story focuses on Liza and relationships, but I felt that the most important relationship in the book was with herself – making mistakes and having inner dialogues with what feels right and what is challenging. Her relationship with her widower father could have been such a beautiful exploration as well as with her best friend’s mom, Assistant Principal Loucas – a mother-like figure for Liza.

Reflecting on my high school days, my, how things have changed. Liza, while admirable to make mistakes, is taken up with herself for most of the story, completely missing significant signs from the boys she is interested in as well as her best friend, Janie. One of her love interests, Will, tells Liza simple yet thought-provoking statements in a potential relationship: “I want to get to know you, Liza. There’s something blocking me though. You won’t let me in… Will you let me in?” Personally, such beautiful advice to take, though Liza doesn’t let her guard down.

A fan of the Jane Austen references, Liza’s trip to England inspires me to visit the historic sites of my favorite classic authors. Although fast-paced and quick-witted, I felt the story jump around too quickly, not too immersed in one major theme but hitting the surface of multiple throughout. The changes in points of view (between Liza and Janie) was refreshing, but I was not satisfied with the limited face time for Janie, as she dealt with a mother who doesn’t understand her and an online dating situation gone dangerously wrong. I am hoping that the story post-novel and post-high school leads to more revelations and self-discovery for Liza, especially seeing how she comes about finding her Mr. Darcy.

Read Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition  if you like the themes of:

  • High School/Adolescence
  • Jane Austen
  • Friendship
  • Choices

One (1) winner will receive 2 eBooks of any previously published Swoon Romance books of their choice (INT)in a Rafflecopter giveaway.


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