Monday, April 01, 2013

Adult Review: Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (Adventures with Jane Austen and her Legacy) by Beth Pattillo
Release Date: February 1, 2010
Publisher: GuidepostsBooks 
Source: Owned 
Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone. She's been dating Neil -- a nice if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy -- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead.

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn't logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.
Right after the amazingness that is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries ended, the feeling of no more Pride and Prejudice re-telling hit me hard. I was about to begin re-reaidng Pride and Prejudice for about the 1,000,000 time when I came across this book on my shelf. I immediately grabbed it and began reading, immersing myself into the world of Jane Austen once again. Sadly, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart was not the fun, light book I was expecting. While I knew that this was not a re-telling true to Pride and Prejudice, I knew there were going to be many similarities yet even this information didn't make it better. 

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is a short book at only 263 pages but I felt like this needed to be much longer, possibly 100 or even 200 more pages to fully explain everything that was going on. For starters, the plot begins promising but quickly changes gears to where various things are happening all at once with no explanation what so ever. One minute, Claire would be walking down the road somewhere and the next, she's fantasizing about some guy she met a few seconds ago. The secret society dealing with Jane Austen's writings was fascinating but the idea was not developed at all. There is another book that is part of this "series" but this book is a standalone in itself so I didn't think it was necessary. 

Claire Prescott, what to do with you. I had hoped that Claire would be a witty, snarky 26 (or 27) year old but instead, she honestly sounded much younger. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is supposed to be about Claire figuring out who she is but I didn't see that happening. Again, with only 263 pages, the amount of character development that can happen is slim and sadly, Claire's change from the whining woman to a more stronger woman wasn't really clear. She finds herself stuck between two men, one she just met a week before and the other, her long time boyfriend. I found this love triangle utterly annoying because it's not possible. I cared for none of the characters honesty because I didn't know them. Character backgrounds would have been a great help in understanding anything about the characters or the plot but really, I was unimpressed. 

The writing was...interesting. If everyone doesn't know by now, Pride and Prejudice was initially titled First Impressions and much of Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart deals with Claire finding the original copy of this book. The writing of First Impressions didn't even come close to sounding like Jane Austen and while no one will ever write like her, I had hoped that the author would have tried a little more. I also wished that Claire sounded like a 26 year old woman who didn't know what she wanted from life rather than a 16 year old pining over some hot guy she just met. 

Overall, I wasn't as impressed with Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart as I had hoped to be. It has a promising plot and main character but I felt that the execution was poor. While it was a quick read, I was unsatisfied with almost every aspect of this book. 
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: I'm intrigued by the fact that she's in a dress and the title says Mr. Darcy. 
Comments: So. What does this have anything to do with the book? I honestly hoped that the cover was alluding to a scene in the book but I guess not.