Thank you NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the ARC!
So, this book went from a 3 star read, to 3.5, then by the end I was definitely invested, so I bumped it up to a 4.
A modern-day take featuring the characters from Pride & Prejudice, with Georgiana Darcy as the lead. This one started a bit slow for me, and was overwhelmingly frustrating for a bit (as Wickham can be), but as Georgie found her way, I quite liked the story.
The side characters were super fun, especially Charles and Lizzie. I adore their college-selves. They were both quite amusing. Avery was a fun addition into the story as a drum major crush for Georgie, and he was very sweet.
Read this one if you miss the classic characters, but want some marching band, private school, teenage-drama thrown in as well.
Author: Amanda Quain
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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.
I completely enjoyed this story! Sure, Georgie’s lingering obsession with Wickham was more than a little annoying, but I loved seeing how she grew and changed as she learned to stand on her own two feet. In the end this was a fun read—and I think Austen would have enjoyed it, too.
Amanda Quain lives in Pennsylvania. Accomplished is her debut novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)
Accomplished is a fun modern-day spin-off of Pride and Prejudice. Georgianna Darcy is the main character, and our other beloved P&P characters make appearances as their modern, college-aged selves. The story focuses on redemption, self-worth, and sibling relationships.
Set at a prestigious boarding school in New York, Georgie is trying to redeem herself after an unfortunate incident the previous year almost got her expelled. She wants to prove to her peers, her school, and especially her brother that she can be the perfect Darcy. As she starts to get in over her head with her plan, friendships begin to reemerge and she learns how to ask for help and to count on other people.
I enjoyed the story, and thought the characters were all very well-written. The only complaint I have is that Georgie's self-deprecation gets to be a little much after a while. Most of what happened wasn't even really her fault, and little things tend to really set her off down a wormhole. But other than that I loved the story, her redemption arc, and seeing the other characters we love from Pride and Prejudice on the fringes of Georgie's story. I thought it was a fresh, fun modern take that was not a retelling of P&P, but still had the same character names and relationship dynamics. This book may appeal more to high school/college age readers, but as an adult I really enjoyed it as well. If you are a Jane Austen fan and you like (or don't mind) reading books with high-schoolers as the main characters, I would definitely recommend this book!
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the e-arc in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are entirely my own and given freely.
This YA novel is essentially Pride & Prejudice fan fiction, wherein the story of Mr. Darcy's younger sister Georgiana is both expanded upon and modernized. A huge fan of retellings, I read this in two sittings on connecting flights. While I enjoyed it, I wasn't totally on board with the way the author changed Jane Austen's characters' (Darcy and Georgiana's) natures in the interest of moving the plot into modern America. That said, I'll recommend it to my Austenite friends and to fans of contemporary YA romances.
I rarely DNF a book but I’m really struggling with this one. I’m a huge Pride and Prejudice fan and love retelling but I am not connecting to these characters at all. I find them really shallow and vapid. Normally I would push through to provide a complete review but it has taken me days to get to 25%. I am not going to complete the read but I also won’t post this review on any public platform. I hope the publisher understands and knows that I do not take the decision to not complete a review lightly. I appreciate the opportunity.
⭐️ rating: 4 STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
📖 genre: YA, austen retelling
read if you like: Pride & Prejudice, Emma Lord, Pride & Premeditation
Okay, so I might be a little biased here because Darcy & Lizzie are one of my OTPs, so I like Pride & Prejudice a little more than your average person - but this book was a true delight! I really loved being able to see growing up as a Darcy from a different perspective.
Other things I liked:
✨ Georgie & Avery's banter = 10/10
✨ I liked that I kind of had NO IDEA what was going to happen with Avery's character. Since he doesn't exist in the original tale, his storyline was full of mystery.
✨ Having been a band geek myself, I really liked seeing those cliques & dynamics play out on the page
✨ I liked how Quain both captured Georgie as a stuck-up teenager & as a lovable individual. You could really feel her age in her speech & overall demeanor.
✨ It was kind of awesome to see Darcy & Georgiana on the outs rather than the lovey-dovey siblings you see in the novel and the film. With him having taken over the father-figure role, you would have to guess that there would be a decent amount of friction there. And this novel showed that really well.
Things I didn't love:
✨ I know it's not about them, but I wanted more Darcy & Lizzie! I wish we could have seen more of their dynamics - even if it was just Georgie spying on them more. Because, come on now, she clearly was.
✨ Now, I did this as an audiobook & ebook combo, so maybe if I'd just read it it would have been more clear - but I wish there had been more indication of when Georgie was having a flashback and when she was in the present. Especially where Wickham is concerned.
I was really interested in the concept of this novel, and the modern retelling at a boarding school was a fun, interesting conceit. Ultimately, Georgie was one of those characters whose blind spots don't make much sense—she comes off as intelligent and self aware, except in some blindingly obvious areas, where she makes the same mistakes several times without seeming to learn much from them. I also thought reducing the age gap between Georgiana Darcy and her older brother, but still making him her guardian was a pretty weird move, because it didn't make much sense and it didn't do many favors for the background Darcy/Jane romance—Georgiana as a fifteen year old makes perfect sense as a YA heroine, but I thought the traditional Pride & Prejudice romance didn't work very well aged down. On the other hand, I did really, really like what they did with Lydia!
Pride and Prejudice gets a modern-day spin, all from Georgina Darcy’s point of view.
✨ Book Review: ACCOMPLISHED by Amanda Quain ✨
📖 Synopsis: Georgie Darcy has had a rough summer. After nearly being expelled from her posh high school, Pemberly Academy, for being involved in Whickham’s drug scheme, Georgie is out to prove herself to her brother Fitz, to her school, and to herself.
Read ACCOMPLISHED for . . .
🎼 Sweet high school marching band romance
🎼 A fun, modern take on PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
🎼 Coming-of-age revelations, growth, and friendships
🎼 Georgie Darcy’s long overdue story
😍 This novel was such fun! Highly recommend for YA and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE fans!
What I liked:
-A Pride & Prejudice inspired contemporary ya that focused on a secondary character (Georgiana Darcy) instead of Darcy & Elizabeth.
-Marching band practices and performances were so fun.
-The Georgie/Avery friendship & relationship build up.
-Wickham being an absolute sleezy idiot.
What I didn't like:
-Georgie's decision making was...dramatic and impractical and reckless.
-The fact that literally no one besides Avery believed that Georgie was innocent in regards to Wickham's shenanigans.
-Darcy being a jerk to Georgie and never allowing her to explain anything.
Overall, a pretty fun read! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital review copy!
Content: language, teenage drinking & prescription drug abuse, emotional abuse/manipulation
this was an interesting new take on the p&p story! i liked following georgie and found it really interesting to explore the perspective of such a limited character from jane's work. definitely a fun contemporary read!
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.
Who knew frat boy Charles Bingley was everything I was missing from my life.
I'm a sucker for a Pride & Prejudice reimagining. Following the perspective of Georgie Darcy as she deals with the fall out from her Wickham-scandal. I loved the world Quain created and the way these characters seamlessly fit into this modern world. I loved seeing Lizzy and Darcy from the sidelines, and let me tell you Wickham is an asshole in every century.
Georgie was a frustrating main character at points, and though I understood her internal monologue it didn't stop me from wanting to shake her at times.
This was not for me, but I do think my students might relate more. If I ever do a unit that pairs classics and contemporary fiction, I might use this. However, it was a bit of a slog for me personally because Georgiana’s character did not feel believable/sympathetic. Something like that is hard to put a finger on, but something is missing.
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars
Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite Austen Novels. I've always wanted more Georgie. This book delivers. It's set in the 21st century and Georgie is in highschool and Fitz aka Mr. Darcy is in college.
I liked the premise of the book and learning about modern Georgie and the antics with Wickham.
A modern day Pride and Prejudice retelling about Georgie Darcy? Sign me up. I thought that was a cool twist! That being said, Accomplished is it's own unique story. My advice to Jane Austen fans: don't go into this book expecting it to be exactly like Pride and Prejudice.
One of my favorite things about this book is how strong Georgie’s voice is. She draws you in from the very first page! She’s fun and sweet, but she’s also flawed–like any good character. The book starts with Georgie describing what happened to her last school year--you won't be able to put the book down. Trust me, you'll fly through this book Amanda Quain’s writing is incredibly binge-able.
My biggest complaint about this book is how Georgie’s relationship with her brother Fitz is written. Their relationship feels very different compared to Georgie and Darcy’s in Pride and Prejudice. It really felt like Fitz hated her at times which broke my heart. I wish that had been addressed more in the book. I understand he was stressed and overwhelmed with being her sole guardian, but he was downright cruel at times.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I’m interested in seeing what the author writes next! This book is perfect for fans of YA contemporary, second chances, and angsty stories.
Rarely do I enjoy retellings of Austen’s work as much as I did with Accomplished by Amanda Quain. This modern retelling with Georgie Darcy as the main character was a read and listen, I could not put down. I felt it was well balanced between having enough Pride and Prejudice nods with a very fun, fresh, and modern take on changing plots, adding characters, and updating themes. (Seriously I have not read an Austen retelling like it to date.) While we do not know much about Georgianna Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, I find sometimes retellings with her almost try to take her and put her in a retelling with Georgianna in Elizabeth’s place. This was not the case. It was more a present-day story, with some background Pride and Prejudice plots as a backdrop. I think the other important part of this story is that the reader does not have to have a knowledge of Pride and Prejudice to enjoy, understand, or connect with this book.
The characters were likeable in the fact that they had flaws and felt like real people. I thought the relationship, tension, and reconciliation between Georgie and Avery was well done. I also loved that they were marching band members. Something very near and dear to my heart. I found the pacing of this book was spot on for what it needed to be. I never felt like the story dragged.
The narration by Deva Marie Gregory was exceptional. Her voices were distinct, and I always knew who was talking without having to hear Wickham said… She was well paced, clear, and easy to understand.
I cannot wait to read more by Amanda Quain and listen to more books narrated by Deva Marie Gregory. Both did exceptional with their respective roles. If you like enjoyable, good, and well-done fresh retellings of Austen’s stories, this book is for you. If you love marching band romances with a well-paced, interesting story (and could care less that this has anything to do with Jane Austen) this book is also for you. I think this story has the ability to draw in Austen fans and maybe get some new readers interested in reading Austen, as well as catering to those teens who just want a good weekend read. If I were in high school reading this, I would want to try reading Austen for the first time. I need to add a copy of this book to my Austen bookcase. (Yes, I said bookcase. I told you I have read a lot of Austen retellings.)
I received an eARC and audiobook review copy from St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio through NetGalley. All opinions are 100% my own.
Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for this free digital copy in exchange for an honest review. This book is out today, 7/26!
This is a book that I kept putting down not because it wasn't good or I didn't like it, but because I was regularly stressed for main character Georgie. I'm so happy that I pushed through and finished it though, because I really liked it and the ending made me swoon with all the cute, gooey, happy feels.
This is somewhat of a take on Pride and Prejudice, but with Georgiana Darcy in the lead role instead of Darcy and Elizabeth...but don't worry, they are there too! This has coming-of-age feels and the YA joy of starting to figure out your place in the world. Be aware--Georgie is dealing with a lot of emotional trauma in this story that can be hard to read at times. Other students are mean to her, her brother is intense, and not many seem to actually want to listen to her tell her story, which she accepts as what she thinks she deserves thanks to all of the emotional trauma. Oh, and there's Wickham.
It was lovely to read along while Georgie grows and finds herself. If you are someone who needs to read anything remotely related to Jane Austen's works, this is for you. If you are a fan of contemporary YA, you might enjoy this! Honestly, it's kind of worth it to get a frat boy Bingley with a heart of gold.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley.
Georgie Darcy should have been expelled from Pemberley Academy last year after The Incident that involved Wickham Foster. The only thing that kept her from that fate is her family name. Being a Darcy comes with expectations and a brother, Fitz, who is always disappointed in something Georgie has done. This time, it's bad. Now that her Junior year has started, Georgie is trying to prove to everyone that she is the Perfect Darcy. She'll do that by accomplishing three things. Rebuilding her relationship with the marching band (her passion), forget about Wickham and his lies, and distract Fitz by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzy Bennet. Her bandmate and only friend, Avery will help her even while it all has the big possibility of falling down around her just like last year.
I went into this book knowing just about nothing of the source material. Pride and Prejudice is not a book I've read or a movie adaptation that I've seen. But I know just enough that I could tell where the characters or story was going. That being said, this book was a pleasant surprise! I thought it would be a little bit more lighthearted and fun, but quickly realized that this was a book centered on Georgie figuring out herself. We all know that being a teenager can be messy no matter what time period we're in, so that's what the book is about. Georgie is not a character you love immediately. You feel for her, but there are parts of the book that I didn't enjoy her point of view. But that's what made me love her growth even more. I think it's important to be able to see change and growth at the end. Fitz and Lizzie felt rushed into everything, but I could tell that was important for the pacing of the book. The side characters were really my favorite. They offered a perspective to Georgie that needed to be seen. The only thing I could have done without was the romance. It didn't seem needed. However, that's just my opinion. I would recommend this book to those who love the source material, like a good coming of age story, or just want to read something that feels a little bit heavier.
This Pride and Prejudice remix moves side character Georgiana (Georgie) Darcy to center stage. It’s a fresh, modern spin on the classic. After a drug scandal at her boarding school makes her a social outcast and damages her relationship with her brother, Georgie embarks on a self improvement plan.
Georgie is full of good intentions but terrible execution. Instead of finding her endearing and someone I wanted to root for, I never really warmed to her. She's a little bit oblivious to what's going on around her and definitely sheltered. Hands down, my favorite character is Avery, Georgie's love interest. He's continually there for her even though Georgie isn't always to best friend to him. With the help of Avery, her brother Fitz, and his girlfriend Lizzy, Georgia accomplishes her goal of being a better person, sister, and friend.
Those who enjoy a redemption arc and boarding school hijinks should give this one a try.
Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for an early copy of this book.
3 stars. This is probably one of the fullest explorations of Georgiana Darcy I’ve ever seen or read, and how emotional abuse can deeply hurt and break down a person. Set in the competitive world of prep school, this retelling sees Georgie Darcy dealing with the aftermath of her relationship and break down after Wickham uses her to deal drugs at school, and the events of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the background.
The concept was well executed, and a unique take on a retelling. I liked Fitz as a character a ton, and I really enjoyed the Avery character as a love interest and the very true to life band geekiness. The fandom stuff was a bit jarring for me, but if you liked those parts I’d say, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, you’ll probably like this. And the ending with the discussion about race, privilege and how to move forward was superb. But where this fell down for me was in the sheer slog of the beginning and middle parts. Honestly, this was a 2.5 star read until right at the end because there was a lot of repetition, way too many flashbacks, and WOW, the angst. And yet…I can’t say that it didn’t work. It’s long, it reads a bit like fanfic itself, but it does hold together. Read if you like Austen retellings, broken characters looking to fight back, and band geekery. A library read for sure.
Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Books/Wednesday Books for the eARC/audio ARC.