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Author: Polly Shulman
“There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding herself tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast.” Julie knows from bitter experience: her best friend, Ashleigh, is an Enthusiast. Ashleigh's current fancy is also Julie's own passion, Pride and Prejudice, and the heroine's quest for True Love....  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780142409350
ISBN-10: 0142409359
Publication Date: 9/6/2007
Pages: 208
Edition: Reprint
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 18 ratings
Publisher: Puffin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

GeniusJen avatar reviewed Enthusiasm on + 5322 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for

There are plenty of reasons for readers to be enthusiastic about Polly Shulman's new novel, ENTHUSIASM! It is full of fascinating characters, funny situations, and even romance. The book is told from the point of view of Julie, who is best friends with always-enthusiastic Ashleigh. Ashleigh doesn't just have interests; for her, they're always full-blown obsessions. She's been through phases where she has loved a band called the Wet Blankets, Harriet the Spy, ballet, King Arthur, and a lot more. When Julie lent her friend PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, by Jane Austen, the newest fad began.

For Ashleigh, the Enthusiast, it could never be just a great book. She's got to speak like someone from hundreds of years ago, learn ballroom dancing, wear long skirts, and find True Love. As usual, Julie's got to try and talk some sense into her friend. Sure, they'll still end up publicly humiliated (as usual), but maybe it can be to a lesser degree. Perhaps she can convince Ashleigh to at least put on some jeans!

No matter what Julie does, however, she still can't convince Ashleigh to give up the idea of finding True Love--dressing and acting like the heroine from a Jane Austen novel. Ashleigh is convinced they'll be able to find True Love while crashing a dance at the local boys' prep school, Forefield Academy. The rest of the story has confusion, romance, comedy, humiliation, and a lot more that will have readers hooked up until the very last page!

It's a story that teens will be able to relate to, even if their best friends aren't nearly so enthusiastic as Ashleigh. Everyone's been embarrassed by a friend, but you've still got to stick by them, right? And then of course there's the fact that Ashleigh has set her sights on the guy Julie's crushing on. A sticky situation that lots of girls can relate to! Told in Julie's engaging, witty voice, this entertaining story has every element of a great young adult novel that is sure to be popular for a long time to come. I know I'm not alone in hoping for another novel by Polly Shulman that's as unique and interesting as this one!
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skywriter319 avatar reviewed Enthusiasm on + 784 more book reviews
From the book jacket description, I had expected that ENTHUSIASM would follow the general plot of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. However, Pride and Prejudice is merely the starting point for this charming book.

At the start of their sophomore year, best friends Ashleigh and Julie are obsessed with Jane Austen's world. That is, Julie had always loved Austen, and Ashleigh, who was famous for her constantly changing wild obsessions, decided that it would be her latest craze. However, Ashleigh takes Austen to another level, wearing Victorian clothing, speaking like the characters in the books, and setting off on a quest to find the ever enigmatic True Love.

Like all of Ashleigh's crazy plans, this latest quest involves the friends crashing a formal dance at the all-boys' boarding school, Forefield Academy. There, they are rescued from the clutches of a rule-loving teacher by C. Grandison Parr and Ned. Ashleigh believes that the two young men are, in fact, their True Loves--the Darcy-like Parr for Ashleigh, and Ned, the Bingley of the story, for Julie.

Julie feels the same way...just not exactly as Ashleigh had imagined. Julie finds herself falling in love with Parr, but she keeps her feelings to herself, not wanting to be disloyal to Ashleigh. Keeping silent turns out to be harder than she thought as the four friends participate in a school musical together and Julie must see Parr every day. Will Julie ever find her True Love without losing her best friend?

In the style of most teen romances, Julie and Parr's circling may have readers frustrated at the characters' obliviousness and awkward situations. ENTHUSIASM is a nice read, but Parr doesn't have anything on the real Mr. Darcy, of course.
reviewed Enthusiasm on + 9 more book reviews
Cute teen romance, but not anything exceptional. The author did have an interesting way of using chapter headings and some nice scenes. The plot was fairly predictable.