Title: Prada & Prejudice
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Published: Razor Bill, June 11 2009
Genre: Historical fiction/Realistic fiction (time travel?)
Overall Grade: B+
15-year-old Callie is totally looking forward to her class trip to London: she has plans of befriending the cool, popular girls, shopping together, sightseeing...But when Callie arrives in England, all that happens is she gets ignored by them. So Callie decides to impress the cool crowd by purchasing a real pair of Prada pumps. But then klutzy Callie trips, falls, and hits her head, and when she wakes up, she's no longer in 21st-century London...Callie finds herself in 1815 Regency England, where she is mistaken for a long-lost American friend of Emily, a kind British girl, and is taken in to her beautiful mansion. Callie and Emily instantly get along in a world of tea, corsets, dukes, balls, and beautiful gowns, even though Emily still thinks that Callie is someone she's not. Callie also meets Emily's good-looking cousin, Alex, the Duke of Harksbury. Too bad that he seems to be an up-to-no-good jerk...Callie wants to go home. But before she knows it, she's falling for Alex...and she's got to save Emily from an unwanted engagement before it's too late!
My thoughts: Ever since I heard about Prada & Prejudice, I just loved the whole concept of the plot. While actually reading the book, I realized I was spot-on. The whole idea of the story was so unique, creative, and fun that I was instantly sucked into the story. My favorite part of the books was the characters, especially Callie. She was just so hilarious and clumsy and lovable! Emily was also a favorite, and, well, how couldn't you love Alex? He was your typical 16-year-old Mr. Darcy. I also really liked how well-researched the book seemed: obviously the author had studied Regency England before writing it. Ms. Hubbard wrote confidently and in vivid detail so I felt like I could picture everything: from all the characters and their way of dressing, to the beautiful Harksbury estate, to the actions themselves (like Callie falling head-first off of a piano bench). I also really loved the little twists that were put into the plot, especially the ending--it was so cute and made me smile, perfectly wrapping up the book.
I just wished some parts of the book could be improved. There was little leadup, so I felt like I hardly knew 21st century Callie at all. I even thought the ending could be expanded as well. It felt, sometimes, like there were missing pieces in the plot, and that the book seemed a little too short, like it lacked some details. I have to admit, I was actually a bit disappointed.
However, I do appreciate how fun and unique this book is, which made it such a cool read! A very well thought-out and humorous debut, Prada was a great start for Mandy Hubbard that I think will definitely appeal to teenage girls (I mean that cover! Just look at it! I can't stop!). I'm definitely looking forward to what comes next from Mandy Hubbard.