Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements by Mary Pagones

pride prejudice and personal statements4.5 stars

I’ve had Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements in my TBR for a couple of years, and I feel ashamed to admit I’ve only read it this month, because even if this is not exactly a modernization of a Jane Austen novel, it is a very interesting Austen inspired book that I should have read sooner.

Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements is told in the first person, and it is through the eyes of the main character, Liss Tennant, that the reader learns how hard senior year can be for American students. The book will reveal Liss’s many struggles, but the main focus of the story is the difficulty of choosing not only a major, but also which college to attend. While being presented with many well-placed Austen references, the reader will learn Liss’s academic problems, but also the ones of her friends, enemies and frenemies.

Even if it was hard to understand some of the characteristics of the American educational system, and especially impossible to relate to the characters main struggles because I come from a reality that is not even slightly similar, I found it very interesting to learn more about the educational system in America. This book was not only entertaining but also informative and learning something new is one of the best things we can have in a book.  

I liked the main character and the fact that she has strong beliefs and is willing to go all the way for them. I loved to see her grow through the entire year and mature by the end of the book. I’ve also loved Mr. Clarke, Liss’s English teacher. Not only did I love his strength of character, was touched by his sadness, and impressed with his willingness to help others, but I also loved his view about education. I couldn’t agree more with him, when he says that there is a decrease in the quality of student’s papers because that is visible in many different aspects of society, and I also agree with him that patronizing and over grading everything isn’t the solution. Sure, it will make people feel better about themselves, but will it truly help them? Is it helpful to allow people to be mediocre while making them believe they are good simply because no one ever tells them what and how they need to improve? I appreciated the reality the author brought to this tale by showing us different perspectives, both in the student’s manner of handling the pressure they were having, their dedication to school and their learning process, or lack thereof, but also by demonstrating Mr. Clarke’s opposing view to the one of some helicopter parents present in the narrative. In a way this book is extremely modern and a reflex of our society. It was almost as if Liss and her dad were from a different generation then some of her colleagues and their parents, and that generational difference was also interesting to witness.

In the beginning I was afraid the Austen details would become a little cheesy, but they did not. In fact, it was exciting to see how the author added to this novel some of Austen’s sentences or character traits. We could not only see the characters love for Austen’s work, but also see them learn from it, and that was another aspect I enjoyed in this book.

I can’t exactly say this is a young adult novel, but it is a novel about young adults with a huge Austen influence. It is a very modern book that will reveal many different approaches to life with which most readers will relate. I think that in a discreet manner this book tackles many different issues that are relevant for our society, and I do recommend reading it. If you like modern tales that find a way to connect with Jane Austen, Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements may be an appealing book for you.


You can find Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements at:

and Kindle Unlimited



Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

4 responses to “Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements by Mary Pagones

  1. Sophia Rose

    Neat to see what you thought of it as a reader from a different perspective. I still have it to read, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It made me think that the American educational system is way too complicated Sophia 🙂 I’m glad I didn’t have to go through that process. But I think the book is really good, even if it is very different from the most common austen inspired novels 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glynis

    Thank you for your thoughts on this book Rita. I’m not entirely sure that it’s my type of thing but I will definitely check it out at some point. My problem is that my brain is unwilling to process too much new stuff nowadays and as I don’t live in the USA I would probably struggle!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.