Thursday, July 11, 2013

Book Review: Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance

Pages: 304
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: June 11, 2013
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.  So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.  But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?  With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide."
Berry's father owns a private investigation company and she often does undercover work for him, especially if it involves catching people cheating on their spouses. I mean who would suspect that a high school student is actually a spy? It's just Berry and her father at home as her mother died many years ago and the police say it was a suicide.  While spying on someone else one night, she sees her best friend's dad with a file.  Upon closer examination, she sees the file says her mother's name.  What would Mary Chris' father be doing with this file? The question consuming Berry's mind is the fact that maybe the police were wrong about her mother's untimely death. This question, naturally, becomes her obsession.  To top it off, Berry finds herself dealing quite often with two new boys to her school, Drew and Tanner. Berry can't initially stand Tanner, especially when he refers to her as "nothing amazing," but he keeps showing up in her latest investigation. It doesn't help that he is gorgeous either!  Talia Vance's debut, Spies and Prejudice, is a charming twist on the Jane Austen classic, especially if you are a fan of mysteries.

Berry is my kind of heroine in Spies and Prejudice. She's smart, snarky, and pretty much a kick-butt spy even though she's a teenager.  This may seem far-fectched, but think of it as being similar to Veronica Mars.  My only issue is that Berry and her friends seemed to know more than the adults in the book; but hey, I guess that makes for an interesting read and I know my middle school students would really enjoy this novel.


The twist on Pride and Prejudice was a fun one, although not a strong of a connection as I'd like.  However, there is a lot of slow burn romance and build-up between Tanner and Berry as well as witty dialogue which is very similar to the Darcy and Elizabeth relationship.

The mystery is what drives Spies and Prejudice and although it was an entertaining read, it didn't excite me as much as I had hoped.  Teenagers that are fans of Veronica Mars, Jane Austen, and mysteries would appreciate this novel. It was a middle-of-the-road type of read for me, which sometimes is a breath of fresh air in a world full of epic fantasy novels and taxing series.  



14 comments:

  1. I so, so wanted to love this book. But it fell a bit flat for me. It started strong and then, by the end it was just meh. Berry actually ended up really frustrating me. And I agree about the mystery. I'm glad that you found this enjoyable enough, though.

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    1. I felt the same way. It was definitely a meh type of read, but the mystery was fun. I think younger readers will like it. Thanks for visiting, Quinn!

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  2. I'm on the fence about this book. I like that it is a mystery and that it is inspired by Pride and Prejudice a little but I'm still not sure I'd like it so I may try borrowing it from the library.

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    1. I would recommend getting it from the library first. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it. Thanks for dropping by, Christina!

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  3. I have this in transit for me at my library now. I love P&P (although I have to admit to being a bit weary of re-tellings for it since I've read SO many) and I love a good YA mystery. I hope to enjoy it, although I may lower my expectations a little bit now. Great review!

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    1. I will keep my eye out for your review. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for visiting, Natalie.

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  4. Reading the synopsis, the first thing that popped into my mind was a kind of Veronica Mars thing happening. And I absolutely love that show. It sounds interesting enough, maybe something I would get from the library though, it still sounds like it's missing something to it. Great review!

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    1. It is definitely similar to Veronica Mars, so you may want to get it from the library if that is your thing! Thanks for dropping by, Andrea!

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  5. Sounds like maybe this one is better suited for younger readers Christina? Maybe readers who are just looking for fun, entertaining books and aren't necessarily craving the "wow" factor and the depth we older readers and bloggers are looking for. Still, sounds like a cute story and I do love that is has a slow burn romance rather than insta-love. WIN!

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    1. Yes! Definitely, Jenny. I know my students would probably love it. I am all about the slow burn as well. Thanks for visiting.

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  6. I've been seeing this one around. It sounds like a cute idea and I'm a big VM van, so maybe I'll give this one a shot! Thanks for the great review!

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    1. It's definitely cute and if you like VM, then check it out! Thanks for visiting, Christianna!

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  7. Bummer. I had high hopes. I'm a huge VM fan too. Sadly, it doesn't sound riveting.

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    1. It was just an okay read for me. I had high hopes too. Thanks for visiting, Juju.

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