Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Review: Spies and Prejudice

Spies and Prejudice
Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
June 11, 2013
Egmont (Publisher)
304 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley for honest review
Book Blurb:
Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.
My Review:

Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite novels, so I love to read a unique retelling. Spies and Prejudice was certainly unique and enjoyable. Talia Vance was able to combine private investigating, corporate spies, high school antics, a nod to Austen, intriguing mystery, and interesting characters. This is an exciting, mysterious, and action-filled adventure that entertained me, kept my attention, and kept my pages flipping until the end. I really wanted to know how Vance was going to pull it all together, solve this mysterious circumstance I'd been drawn into, and most importantly (for me) fix the romantic couples. I also loved the names used - Strawberry Fields and Mary Chris Moss - hilarious. When tackling the retelling of a classic that numerous others have already retold, it is hard to do something truly unique, and I appreciated Vance's attempt. This was a quick, fun, and engaging read.

There were a few things that didn't work for me. Berry's immediate dislike of Tanner felt forced and unjustified. Honestly, I didn't really like her much to start with, whereas I loved Elizabeth in P&P. Berry eventually grew on me, but it was a slow relationship between the two of us. Tanner I liked more, though his actions toward the end were not as chivalrous as I would have liked. Oddly enough, I liked the secondary characters more than the main characters. The story up until around the halfway mark felt more realistic, but around the halfway point it started getting a bit far-fetched. Now, that did make it interesting, but it made buying into everything more difficult. The end also had a few loose ends for me that were not tied up well enough. I had unanswered questions, making the ending feel incomplete. I don't know if there is a sequel planned or not.

3-1/2 STARS

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