Pride and Prejudice meets spies? HELL YEAH. When I first heard about Talia Vance’s Spies and Prejudice my first thought was, “How is this the first time someone’s thought of this?!” With the ever-growing popularity of James Bond and other spy thrillers, it makes sense that we introduce the world of young adult readers to Jane Austen’s most popular work with exploding tennis bracelets and walkie-talkie watches. Teens imagining a world of corporate espionage that they can take part in!? I’d say you’ve caught them as readers – hook, line, and sinker.
As a private investigator, Berry Fields has seen it all. She specializes in cheaters, men who have affairs and think that they can get away with it. Within her own personal life she has little use for men. This is partially because of her profession and partially because of a spin the bottle incident in eighth grade that left her as somewhat of an outcast after pepper spraying a boy in the face. So, when the handsome Tanner Halston catches her eye, she immediately dismisses him, as is her usual standard procedure. This is fine for Tanner, who calls Berry “nothing amazing.” However, despite this seemingly nonchalant attitude that they share, both Berry and Tanner seem to be running into each other more and more often as Berry attempts to investigate her mother’s mysterious death. Will she be able to stay focused or will Tanner’s insistence on barging into her activities drive her crazy?
First and foremost I have to give Vance major kudos for not beginning Spies and Prejudice with a variation of the opening line of Pride and Prejudice. As much as I love P&P, I feel like the continued use of its opening line is no longer creative or unique. Therefore, when I tell you that I enjoyed this book from page one you’ll know I’m not lying. Berry (the Elizabeth of the story) is a lot of fun. She’s quirky, smart, and an awesome PI. Her investigating methods are not always the most morally correct actions, but she does what she has to for her cases. Tanner (the Darcy) is definitely adorable and completely socially awkward.
I have to say - Spies and Prejudice is an extremely enjoyable read. It’s a cleaned up version of P&P. What I mean by this is that it’s been modernized and anything deemed too extraneous has been cut out. What’s left is a fast paced spy thriller complete with spies, gadgets, explosives, mystery, and danger! One slight detraction was that there were times that I felt the characters’ spying/hacking abilities were slightly unrealistic, but this didn’t derail the adventurous spirit of the novel. The story flows quite well from page to page, making it difficult to put down. It’s the perfect book for your teen to bring to the beach this summer!
4 out of 5 Stars
This is my eighth completed review for the Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge.
Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
Hardcover: 304 pages
Special thanks to EgmontUSA for my review copy!
Two lucky winners will have the opportunity to win a paperback ARC copy of Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance! For your chance to win simply leave a comment in the thread below. Comments will be accepted through midnight of Sunday, June 16, 2013. Winners will be picked at random and announced on Monday, June 17, 2013. Open to US residents only. Good luck!