Kelsey Edmundson is a geek and proud of it. She makes no secret of her love for TV, movies, and, most especially, books. After a bad breakup, she retreats into her favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice, wishing she had some of the wit and spirit of Elizabeth Bennett.
One night at a party Kelsey meets handsome Australian bartender Mark Barnes. From then on, she always seems to run into him when she least expects it. No matter how Kelsey tries, she always seems to say the wrong thing.
After a particularly gaffe-filled evening around Mark, Kelsey is in desperate need of inspiration from Jane Austen. She falls asleep reading Darcy’s letter to Lizzy and awakens to find herself in an unfamiliar place that looks and sounds suspiciously like her favorite book. Has she somehow been transported into Pride and Prejudice, or is it just a dream?
As Kelsey tries to discover what’s happening to her, she must also discover her own heart. Is Mark Barnes destined to be her Mr. Darcy? In the end, she must decide whether attempting to become Elizabeth is worth the risk or if being Kelsey Edmundson is enough.
The hero of this novel, Mark Barnes, is just as swoon-worthy as Darcy, only instead of an English accent he has an Australian one (which is just as hot!) Unfortunately for Mark, Kelsey has just gotten out of a bad relationship, so he's treated rather unfairly by her at first. Still, I enjoyed reading about their slowly developing romance, which felt more real than the insta-love I've seen in a lot of YA/NA novels lately. Kelsey's misconceptions of Mark were very similar to the misconceptions that Elizabeth Bennett forms of Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice, Kelsey's favorite novel, and it was a great idea for the author to juxtaposition their relationships the way that she had.
Things got even more interesting when Kelsey found herself transported into Jane Austen's fictional world after a date gone wrong, and I loved how we got to see things from not just Elizabeth's POV, but from the eyes of supporting characters like Georgiana, Lydia, & Caroline (as Kelsey had body-hopped into all of them!) I felt like I got to understand their actions in P&P a lot better thanks to reading about them through Kelsey's eyes.
Through her adventures in Regency England, Kelsey had to decide whether she would continue to live her life vicariously through fictitious characters, or if being herself was enough. The character development that occurred in this novel was amazing, and I felt it was very realistic. I also loved Jessica Grey's writing style, and felt that everything connected well and transitioned smoothly - the whole story sucked me right in!
The quotes from various fictional characters that Kelsey looked up to (such as Han Solo or Dr. Sam Beckett) which were featured at the beginning of each chapter were also a nice touch. The author even included a handy little guide at the end of the book to show where each quote came from! I like it when authors do special things like that for their readers.
The only fault I found in this book was that there were a few typos in the form of words missing here and there, but that was most likely a result of file conversion rather than actual author error, and it didn't detract from the story at all. I will definitely be reading more of Jessica Grey's work in the near future - 5 out of 5 stars!
Jessica Grey is an author, fairytale believer, baseball lover, and recovering Star Wars fangirl. A life-long Californian, she now lives in Montana with her husband and two children where she spends her time writing, perfecting the fine art of preschooler-wrangling, and drinking way too much caffeine.
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