Forced to Read, and I Fell in Love

Pride and Prejudice is one of those books that almost everyone's forced to read in high school. That's what happened to me too, but I was surprised by how much I liked the story.

In my English class last month we had our Victorian literature unit, in which we had to choose one of 15 different Victorian books and annotate it. I chose Pride and Prejudice, and I did not expect it to be as funny as it was. Jane Austen's classic novel is not just a love story, it's also a subtle criticism of many aspects of Victorian society, such as the unjust expectations placed on women and the unnecessary divisions between the rich and the poor. The language used in the book can be hard to understand at times, but I highly recommend this book to almost anyone.

Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a 20-year-old living on the fringes of high society, and who must find a husband since she and her sisters will be thrown out of their house when their father dies. This book is also about Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, a rich stuck up snob who gradually realizes that those less privileged than him are not inferior. When Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy first meet, it's a disaster: she's too prejudiced, he's too prideful, and they hate each other before having exchanged five words. Every time they meet after that it's a battle of wits, and all they do is banter. What makes Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy so endearing is that they are always the smartest people in the room, and they resist the unwritten laws of class divisions and society's unfair expectations. It takes a long time for them to realize it, but Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are basically made for each other, even if all they do for most of the book is fight.

-Mariam, River Teen Advisory Board

Want to try reading a modern reboot of P&P? This blog post by Susannah reviews the brand-new, buzzy Eligible, along with a few other options!