{Book Review} Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter

“Dreams come true in this hilarious, feel-good fairy tale about life, love, and dating literature’s most eligible bachelor!

After a string of disastrous dates, Emily Albright decides she’s had it with modern-day love and would much rather curl up with Pride and Prejudice and spend her time with Mr. Darcy, the dashing, honorable, and passionate hero of Jane Austen’s classic. So when her best friend suggests a wild week of margaritas and men in Mexico with the girls, Emily abruptly flees to England on a guided tour of Jane Austen country instead. Far from inspiring romance, the company aboard the bus consists of a gaggle of little old ladies and one single man, Spike Hargreaves, a foul-tempered journalist writing an article on why the fictional Mr. Darcy has earned the title of Man Most Women Would Love to Date.

The last thing Emily expects to find on her excursion is a broodingly handsome man striding across a field, his damp shirt clinging to his chest. But that’s exactly what happens when she comes face-to-face with none other than Mr. Darcy himself. Suddenly, every woman’s fantasy becomes one woman’s reality. . . .” *

 

Being a total Pride and Prejudice fan (I am a sucker for love/hate stories. There. I said it.), watching all the film and TV versions, and reading/rewatching everything repeatedly with poor, unsuspecting companions is really not enough, which is why this book immediately drew me near. Me and Mr. Darcy tackle every woman’s fantasy of meeting the dark, brooding hero of Pemberley, which piqued my interest, if not for the ‘Mr. Darcy’ in the title. 

Me and Mr. Darcy is one of those books that are laugh-out-loud funny. I can’t help but laugh at Emily’s antics and her encounters with Spike Hargreaves, the only annoying person in the whole literary tour, and Mr. Darcy himself, who is either real or the result of continuous banging of your head against a rock. There are passages of Pride and Prejudice inserted in the paragraphs that put the parallels between Emily Albright’s and Elizabeth Bennet‘s stories in full relief. It’s everything you’d expect a romantic comedy to be – fun, playful, the works. However, I give it 2 stars for a simple but major reason:  I really didn’t like Emily all that much. I admit I did find some of her thoughts funny as she scrambles to understand everything that’s going on, but that’s just it – for a P&P fan, it took her too long to realize the parallels between her life and the book, and she found it rather hard to understand Mr. Darcy’s personality. Maybe I shouldn’t have read anything that says Mr. Darcy isn’t all he’s cracked up to be, but I can’t grasp her indignation at his seriousness and stiff manners – I mean, isn’t that part of the charm? And customs and etiquette of centuries ago is obviously so different from now that she shouldn’t have been so surprised when Mr. Darcy brings uses silverware in a picnic or try to cover her with his coat when he sees her wearing a revealing dress, or something. For somebody supposedly intelligent she took long enough to understand that. I found it really annoying. And I couldn’t understand how the time travel thing worked. 

On the other hand, the real love story made it up for me (I’m not spoiling anything, right? It’s obvious she ends up with Spike anyway, from the blurb). It was enough to make me finish the book. It stuck too closely to the original text to offer much variation, but it’s okay. It’s not Bridget Jones, but it’s fun in its own way. It’s really hard to find decent Pride and Prejudice-based books (I’m much pickier here than on any other kind of book), and I can see that Alexandra Potter‘s a really big Darcy fan, so I won’t hold it against the book. Still curious about Alexandra Potter’s other books, though (this is my first), albeit a bit more cautious now. 

In a nutshell…

Rating: 2/5
Paperback, 336 pages
Author: Alexandra Potter
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: November 12, 2008
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit


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