There are some readers who devour every book even remotely connected to Pride and Prejudice that, alas, is not me. In fact, I frequently approach movies and books that want to take on the Jane Austen world with more than a bit of trepidation because you just never know what may be the result. With Amanda Quain’s Georgie Darcy novel, Accomplished? I was very happily surprised. Read on.
Blurb: 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.
Throughout her childhood, Georgie had had a crush on the boy next-door, Wickham Foster. When he began attending the same school as her after her brother, Fitz, went to the West Coast for college, Georgie gravitated toward him because the Darcy’s weren’t known for their socializing. Wickham, however, was not who Darcy thought he was and her world imploded. Now, George is back for the following semester after the incident, facing the backlash from fellow students who call her a narc and from her bandmates who resent her for their loss of their best trumpet player. And thus begins Accomplished by Amanda Quain.
Accomplished is a fun little novel with a poor little rich girl who is socially navigating a high school world without her big brother, Fitz. Although, as written, Fitz probably wasn’t that good at high school socializing either. Georgie’s first thought, which she realizes is a completely Darcy thought, is to throw money at the situation and hope that it begins to become better. She soon learns that people seldom appreciate that.
Despite initial skepticism, Georgie finds that one of her friends from the previous year, another trombonist, Avery, is still friendly toward her. Throughout the novel, their friendship grows until it becomes more. With Avery’s help, she begins to understand herself and find herself. But it’s only when another implosion seems imminent that Georgie begins to really find out who she is, what she wants, and what is truly important.
I enjoyed Accomplished. I thought Amanda Quain did a great job of portraying Georgie as the poor little rich girl when circumstances might have made her unlikeable. But Georgie’s naivete and social obliviousness work in her favor and show her vulnerability.
The romance between Georgie and Avery was very sweet. Avery is not slick, not a bad boy, nor out just for himself. He’s kind, cute, and caring. And, frankly, it’s always nice to see a nice guy romance in a world of bully romances.
A fun, escapist novel with just the right amount of angst that left me wishing someone I knew would offer up Mexican catering at the drop of a hat . . . or baton.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.