Format Read: Kindle Book
Source: From the author in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: June 2, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Kobo | Barnes & Noble |
* link goes to my associate link and sales will provide me with a commission.
Blurb from the author:
Lizzy Bennet’s fundraising mission is to keep her homeless centre’s clients well-fed through a cold prairie winter. She meets the snobby and pompous William Darcy of Fitz & William Enterprises. While she'd never dare ask him for help, she can't stop bumping into him -- sometimes, quite literally.
But when Lizzy's campaign is cut short by the disappearance of her sixteen year old sister, William and his younger sister step in to help the woman they want to make part of their family.
Inspired by Jane Austen's classic, Pride and Prejudice, First (Wrong) Impressions is Lizzy's quest for happiness, security, and love in the 21st century.
Lizzy whispered to Darcy, "Did you think I spoke well?"
"I was moved to tears," he said, again with a flat tone but with the same sparkle in his eyes.
"I didn't know machines could cry," she shot back.
"I had the tear ducts installed just for this event." He took a sip of his coffee, then turned away to listen to the next person.
Lizzy couldn't quite decide if she should slap him or laugh.
So, here is where I confess I have never read "Pride and Prejudice". I've never read anything by Jane Austen. How I made it through high school and college without reading something by her, I don't know. After reading this, I want to read the original. Part of the fun for me while reading was trying to figure what was taken from or inspired by "Pride and Prejudice" and what was all Ball. The humor was definitely her; of that I have no doubt.
I can't compare the book to its inspiration. For that info, see this review on goodreads. Does it work as a romance? as a social commentary? Yep and yep. It is NOT love at first sight; in fact, Lizzy hates Darcy and is convinced that he hates her. Lizzy is funny, snarky, judgmental, proud, loyal, passionate, and has a temper. Darcy is shy, proud, loyal, compassionate, and an excellent businessman. Their paths keep crossing as do the paths of Lizzy's sister Jane and Darcy's friend Charles. A side note here re Charles. I read a lot of urban fantasy and one of my favorite authors is Patricia Briggs. She has a character, Charles, who has certain similarities to Ball's (Austen's?) Charles and I kept picturing Briggs' Charles as I read. Both are Native American, tall, handsome, and rich. The similarities end there but it was enough to mess with my mind. :D
We follow Darcy and Lizzy's relationship and many misunderstandings along with Charles and Jane's romance and to a lesser extent the romance of Luke, Lizzy's friend, and Pastor Liam. Occasionally I wanted to smack Lizzy for being so obnoxious. As Darcy and Lizzy spend more time together, Lizzy begins to see Darcy in a new light and realizes that she may have unfairly judged him. I loved that she became aware of her tendency to judge others harshly and that she made herself reevaluate her opinion of him. The relationship between Lizzy and her sisters was delightful; real, loving, but not saccharine sweet. Lizzy is intensely loyal to her family as Darcy is to his and that loyalty and their respective families help move their relationship along.
In updating the book, Ball has made it very modern with topics such as the treatment of Native Americans, homelessness and access to food. and the presence and influence of Twitter in people's lives. In fact, I loved how Ball incorporated Twitter and used it to help move the story along at times."First (Wrong) Impressions" is funny, intelligent, thoughtful, and a pleasure to read. You can enjoy it just as a romance, as a treatise on current social issues in Canada, as an update on "Pride and Prejudice" or some combination of the three.