Monday, 13 June 2016

Review: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible (The Austen Project #4) by Curtis Sittenfeld
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: April 19th 2016
My rating: 1 star/DNF
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her
A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving. 


My Thoughts:
Eligible is supposed to be a re-telling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but I found it more of a mocking shell of that beloved classic than any re-telling.  There’s no way I’m going to imagine that the original version would’ve ever devolved into this story. I didn’t care for or respect any of the characters, maybe with the exception of Jane.  Just the fact that Bingley was in a Bachelor type reality dating show gave me pause. Didn’t care for the situation they were in when I stopped reading.

I was utterly frustrated that Liz would waste so many years (twelve? I don’t care enough to check) on a man that was (highlight for spoiler) taken either by a girlfriend or later by his wife! Oh, and they had a toddler when Liz and Jasper finally got together! I’m sorry, Liz, but you brushing your hair away before Jasper could do it all those years ago didn’t foil your meant-to-be relationship! He was/is an ass and you were/are an idiot! ( (end of spoiler) I was very underwhelmed by her relationship with Darcy. Had Liz been a likable character or one that I could relate to in any way I might have enjoyed this story even with the abundance of hateful people. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

When I got to the 52% mark (a little over 250 pages) I just couldn’t read any further.


16 comments:

  1. Oh, man. that made me mad, too! I expected more from Liz. But despite all that, I still had a better time with this one than you did. So sorry it wasn't all it's cracked up to be, rachel.

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    1. I'm happy to hear you had better luck with it, Joy. This was just too far out there for me.

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  2. Sorry this one was a bust. I actually want to try the whole collection, so I'm waiting on my library to get them all in. This may be like the Hogarth Series, where not all the books will be great retellings? Maybe?

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    1. I hope you like it much more than I did, Lekeisha! I look forward to your thoughts! :)

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  3. Yep, this was so disappointing to me too especially since I really like this author otherwise. I like how you put this -- I couldn't imagine P&P devolving into this. I would like to hope and think you are right because this is not my beloved P&P -- too nasty, too sarcastic and Lizzie, WTF!

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    1. I can't imagine Lizzy that horrible in present day. Just no.

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  4. The only thing that comes to mind is: what.
    This really just sound like a big NO to me...

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    1. Yeah, I can't recommend it at all. :(

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  5. My mom checked this out from the library and didn't have the time to read it but we both planned to check it out again once the wait list had shortened and give it a try. I'm so glad we didn't, though! I definitely could not sympathize with Liz or Bingley and I hate when a beloved story is re-structured but not in a faithful manner. I'm sorry this was such a disappointment, Rachel, but thanks for taking one for the team. I'm definitely going to be skipping out on this one but I hope your next read is far, FAR better than this!

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    1. Oh, this was so far from faithful, Keertana! The modernizations were so much that it felt contrived and over-the-top. :/ Thanks! I'm loving all my reads right now, and I just finished a 5 star! :)

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  6. I have to admit I don't even like the original (definitely NOT a JA fan), so I doubt I'd have much luck with a retelling, even if it was worth my time. I'm sorry this turned out to be so far from what you expected.

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    1. Oh yeah, then this would definitely not be for you, Maja! I was hoping I'd like this even though I'd already seen some mixed reviews. Oh well, onto the next book! :)

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  7. After her snarky article about how she was so much better than all those romance writers/readers out there (or something like that...I kind of tuned it out), I just couldn't even bother picking this up.

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    1. You made the right choice, Mary. I couldn't recommend it. Had no idea about her snarky article, but that makes this even worse somehow.

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  8. Gosh, this book sounds awful, lol :D I don't blame you for DNFing it at all. <3 I would never read it. Sigh. But aw, I'm sorry for you that it was so crappy :\ Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts, though, Rachel. <3

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