Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Snark and Circumstance by Stephanie Wardrop
Blurb on Goodreads: One superior smirk from Michael Endicott convinces sixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett that the Devil wears Polo. His family may have founded the postcard-perfect New England town they live in, but Georgia’s not impressed. Even if he is smart, good looking, and can return Georgia’s barbs as deftly as he returns serves on his family’s tennis courts. After all, if Michael actually thinks she refuses to participate in lab dissections just to mess with his grade, he’s a little too sure that he’s the center of the universe. Could there be more to Michael Endicott than smirks and sarcasm? If Georgia can cut the snark long enough, she just might find out.
Example: He shakes his head and his mouth is quirked at one corner. I can't tell if he thinks I am sort of amusing or truly pathetic. It's especially hard to tell because we are both looking resolutely at the teacher so she can't accuse us of not paying attention. We talk out of the sides of our mouths, like gangsters in those old movies my dad likes to watch.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Stephanie's Snark and Circumstance (enovella) but let me tell you, I enjoyed myself. I also laughed. A lot. Georgia, the main character in S & C, rocks. She's a smart girl who knows how she feels about things and what she wants and isn't embarrassed to say it at all. I had seen a few comments on reviews about people not liking Georgia (George, Georgiana... all of the above)'s personality and get that her snarky nature might tug on a few people's nerves, but here's the thing: Georgia is a black t-shirt kinda girl at a school full of girls wearing only sparkly designer camis. (Okay maybe that's not the best description, but she herself says she's the "black sheep" and this is what came to me to describe how she stands out.) She's got attitude and is adamant about the things that matter to her because well, she... cares. Her personality IS snark, hence the title of the novella. It fits her perfectly.
Regarding the similarities of S & C to Jane Austen's work, I'm going to be honest here: I haven't read much of it, so for me, the connections weren't there. This isn't to say it changed the experience; the set-up was perfect and I didn't need to know anything about that to enjoy myself. (I think knowing the history behind everything Stephanie based this series on would only enhance it so for those of you who "get that", you'll appreciate what she did.)
I loved how Stephanie's writing swept me up. I'm talking, as I read it I was thinking about her tie-ins and the way paragraphs melted into paragraphs and how her descriptions were so great and visual and still so "Georgia" and at times I was like, man I'm so jealous about how well she does this! I am not a quick-witted person so the way Georgia spouts off all the time makes me think I would have really enjoyed being her friend in high school. (Again, every time she spouts off, it's because she's got a serious emotionally charged reason for doing so.) I also thought about how likely it is that my 13 year-old daughter will really enjoy this series.
When I read Stephanie's bio and saw that she teaches writing and literature I thought, WELL THERE YOU GO. She knows her stuff and, she does it well. (This is the writer in me speaking now, of course.)
Another example: "Your powers of observation are formidable," Michael says and Darien giggles behind one perfectly manicured hand, like some sort of preppie geisha. (This is the kind of description that had me a) in stitches and b) seeing the scene perfectly.)
So that's my review. Snarky, funny, enjoyable, a light read and, like others have commented, way too short. I can't wait to see what happens to Georgia and Michael in Charm and Consequence (the next novella in the series, coming out this May).
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