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.
I’m a Pride and Prejudice fan and a prior member of marching band, so I was excited to come across this retelling on NetGalley.
Georgie is not in a good place. During her sophomore year at Pemberley, she fell into a toxic relationship with long time crush Wickham Foster only to discover by the end of the year that he’d been dealing drugs out of her dorm room. To say brother Fitz was enraged and disappointed is an understatement. She’s lost all her friends since she ignored them and her studies while basking in the glow of Wickham’s attention. Junior year is a fresh start, and she’s determined to set things right.
After the death of their father and abandonment by their mother, Fitz and Georgie are learning how to be a family without them. As her legal guardian, Fitz assumes more of a paternal role, but Georgie misses her brother/best friend even as she continues to disappoint him. She believes Fitz is unhappy because of her, so she schemes with his best friend (and frat boy) Charles Bingley to get Fitz to fall in love with Lizzie Bennet. I loved how this retelling takes characters and places from the novel and reworks them into a modern day setting. In every scene with Fitz and Lizzie I pictured younger versions of actors Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightly from the 2005 movie. I couldn’t help it, and their banter was perfect.
Even with the best intentions, Georgie is met with one closed door after another while trying to set things right – her list of friends remains a short one, the honor roll is a distant dream, and the trombone section has all but frozen her out. Band was her happy place and her community, but now she doesn’t fit in there or anywhere it seems.
This is a fun modernization of Pride and Prejudice, and watching Fitz and Georgie redefine their sibling relationship was a high point for me. Georgie may stumble and make mistakes, but she realizes the importance of family and friends by the end. No one should have to go it alone.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.