Believe it or not, I'm actually on my way to the library to return Scones and Sensibility and figured I'd hurry and write my review BEFORE the book left my hands! We're on day two of Spring Break, and I'll say there's very little "spring" involved. As I'm trying to find the positive in things, I'll hold off saying how much I want to scream every time I wake to the snow, but will say (ha, ha) that it has pushed me to do things indoors. You know, it's pushing me to do things like cleaning, filing bills, watching movies, and reading! I suppose those are each good things, right? Well, in the midst of this "break," I finally finished Scones and Sensibility, which is a book I'd waited to read for quite some time.
Synopsis: Told from 12-year old Polly's romantic voice, we see echoes of each of Jane Austen's novels reflected or invoked in the Emma-like matchmaking Polly works on for friends and neighbors. Polly's family own a local bakery, filled with chocolate-chip muffins, croissants, and pastries of different mouth-watering delights that Polly then has to go out each day and deliver. Being a delivery girl is too unromantic for words, but this Jane Austen soaked character soon finds that her deliveries put her in the unique position of figuring out who would be best matched among her acquaintances. She soon begins searching for a new love interest for her sister (mainly because she hates her sister's boyfriend, Clint), for her best friend's father, and for a widowed man who owns another shop on the boardwalk. In typical 12-year old drama, however, this matchmaking doesn't quite work out the way Polly would wish.
Review: I really wanted to like this book, with its cute premise of a young girl infatuated with all things Jane Austen, the pastry shop, and multiple courtships, but I just didn't. While it might be because the 12 year old character Polly grated on my nerves with her endless talking as if she somehow was a Romantic period character, I simply couldn't shake my annoyance over her behavior. Yes, Polly was cute, the way a 12-year old is supposed to be cute, but I didn't really believe her either. I couldn't see a girl of her age getting Jane Austen the way she claimed, and if she did, I couldn't help but feel that this little girl needed more experiences to add to her fantasies.
On the cuteness factor, this story is definitely that...cute. I really would like to hand the book over to a younger reader to see how they respond. Although not realistic in a lot of ways, I suppose that really is what reading is about, a fantasy story that asks "what if" for us. So, maybe Polly is this Austen fan at 12, and maybe she does speak in an antiquated British speech...nonstop. I, however, think that for the story and the maturity of the characters, that it seemed too juvenile. Cute story, but a bit too formulaic for me. Sorry.
For more information, see: Scones and Sensibility.
*This review based off of the library copy of the book.
This book counts as my 4th in the 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge.
***Also, don't forget to check out my giveaway of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig. This giveaway closed on 4/18, so join in today!