When fifteen year old heroine Callie Montgomery purchases a pair of red Prada pumps with sky-high heels she thinks her life will change from high school geek to A-list fashionista in one smooth step. She's out to impress her savvy classmates while traveling on a school trip in London. Not only is Callie socially awkward, she is an admitted klutz. It only takes her three steps out of the Prada shop in her new shoes to trip and hit her head waking up in 1815 Regency England. Her twenty-first century manners rub up against early nineteenth century propriety, especially with the arrogant but dishy Duke of Harksbury. He thinks she is outspoken and ill-mannered; she thinks if he wasn't such a complete jerk, he'd be a great catch. Sound familiar? Classics readers will no doubt see the similarities to Jane Austen's famous romantic couple Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice and smile.
Light, bright, and sparkly, Prada and Prejudice is this high-concept time travel fantasy that has made a grand entrance into the emerging Young Adult fiction genre. In her debut novel, Mandy Hubbard has given us an endearingly angst ridden heroine struggling to find herself in a teenage world flooded with designer clothes and confusing priorities. Her adventure in the past not only influences others sensibilities, but like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she comes to realize that her red shoes are not her ticket to happiness. It was there all along, waiting to be discovered in herself. I recommend it highly for young adult readers (and those young at heart) who are in need of a quick escape, and a hearty laugh.
Laurel Ann, Austenprose
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