“That means,” he said, “if you’re an environmentalist, then I’m your worst nightmare.” We stared across the table at each other, an invisible wall bricking between us. “But it also means that if you want to learn about the economics of land development” – he steepled the tips of his fingers under his chin – “then I’m the man of your dreams.”
I love retellings of old stories, but I’ll admit, going into Ophelia London’s Definitely, Maybe in Love, I was a little nervous. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice roughly a million times. I wondered if London could breathe new life into the story, if the characters would just be carbon copies, if I’d feel as intense a need for Spring and Henry to get together as I do for Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.
Well, I’m here to tell you that Definitely, Maybe in Love does not disappoint. The characters remain loyal to the heart of the originals while being entirely new people to meet. I can totally see a modern-day Elizabeth Bennet being a nature-loving feminist college student fighting for conservation and sustainability, Jane being a sweet girl on Prozac, and Mr. Darcy being glued to his iPhone.
Don’t expect the exact same plot, either. London removed some characters and shifted some plot points around. That could be tricky to pull off, especially with such a well-loved story, but it was done well and it worked for this book and these characters. By the last fourth of the book, I was well and thoroughly hooked and just wanted Spring and Henry to live happily ever after already, dammit, but London brought up a twist I totally didn’t see coming. And then I shook my Kindle because seriously, I was going to go insane if Spring didn’t just tell Henry she loved him.
The hormones are also out in full force. While there are no explicit sex scenes, there’s quite a bit of steamy making out that I maybe shouldn’t have read on the bus because I’m sure my face turned bright red.
There are a few small bits that I’m not in love with – girls casually shaming each other and themselves about what they’re choosing to eat, about their weight, referring to Lilah (Caroline) as “skeletal”, implications that casual sex isn’t something good people do – but they are small and aren’t themes of the book. They bothered me enough to bring it up here, but they didn’t stop me from enjoying the rest of the story.
Overall, this is a good retelling and definitely a fun, edge-of-your-seat love story. Well worth the read.