Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in Accomplished, a sparkling contemporary YA featuring a healthy dose of marching band romance, endless banter, and Charles Bingley as a ripped frat boy.
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.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
Accomplished by Amanda Quain is a YA Contemporary story inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Georgiana Darcy is a junior at an upstate New York boarding school. Her father has died, and her mother has taken off for parts unknown. All Georgie has is her brother, a sophomore in college, at a time when she really needs adult guidance and love. He tries to give her everything she needs, but can he keep her out of the trouble she seems determined to get into?
Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
I immediately saw that this book is called a Pride & Prejudice retelling, so I was instantly sold on it. The cover looks light and fun with a cartoonish mix of graphics that remind me of the 1800s and components that reflect today. I love that it’s a story told from Georgie Darcy’s perspective. I think this book will be a fun modern-day take on my all-time favorite book, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Actual Reading Experience:
My actual reading experience was just as I expected. It was a fun, sometimes poignant, story about a contemporary Georgie Darcy. I don’t know that I would call it a retelling, though. Instead, I would say that it was inspired by the original characters, and I could thoroughly buy into it as such.
I love that Georgie Darcy is brought to the forefront and is the star in this book. She is a delightful support character in the original novel, so seeing her and exploring the new contemporary version of her story from her own perspective is excellent. I think the story really sticks to the main themes found in the original: the theme of the impact of nurture vs. nature in developing character and the theme that social standing and wealth are not necessarily an advantage in getting along with others. Those themes also run strong in Accomplished.
I also loved that I found the story to be incredibly relatable. I have worked with many teens like Georgie who have lost their way and are unsure where they fit in. That feeling of being socially awkward is something that burdens more teens than you’d ever expect. It’s a natural state of being when you’re a teenager. I just wanted to take her under my wing and help her find her way throughout the book. I absolutely adored her for all her flaws.
Ultimately, I loved this book simply because it made me smile. I laughed at many points in the book and was incredibly moved by others. Eventually, I closed the book with a massive grin, and there were not enough stars for that feeling.
Georgie – the main character – shows so much complexity and layers. She is delightfully developed and easily drives this character-driven tale. Her pain, guilt, awkwardness, and desire to belong are all reflected in everything she does, good or bad.
The side characters are great. I felt that they worked as a possible contemporary version of their original selves and are developed enough that I could see that.
To Read or Not to Read:
If you enjoy stories inspired by Victorian classics with relatable characters, you will enjoy Accomplished. It’s sure to put a smile on your face as well.