Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson
Expected publication: May 16th 2017 by Flux
Goodreads Summary: Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend, the Bertram’s son Oliver. If she could just take Oliver’s constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she’d finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater.
When teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move next door to the Bertram’s, they immediately set their sights on Oliver and his cunning sister, Juliette, shaking up Finley and Oliver’s stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Harlan finds his attention shifting from Juliette to the quiet, enigmatic, and thoroughly unimpressed Finley. Out of boredom, Harlan decides to make her fall in love with him. Problem is, the harder he seeks to win her, the harder he falls for her.
But Finley doesn’t want to be won, and she doesn’t want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver’s heart—and keep her own—she’ll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.
Review: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I saw this modern YA retelling of my favorite Jane Austen novel I knew I had to read it. I’m in the minority of Austenites with Mansfield Park as my favorite Jane Austen novel so I knew this one wouldn’t quite live up to my hopes for a YA retelling but I kept an open mind. I actually really enjoyed this one. There were a few times when the main characters – Finley Price and Oliver Bertram – got on my nerves a little but that can be explained by my love for the original Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram. Juliette Bertram is just as maddening as the character she is based on (Maria Bertram) and I still find myself drawn towards Harlan (Henry) Crawford. Although I often found myself comparing the original characters of Austen’s Mansfield Park with their modern counterparts, it does make for it’s own interesting story. So even if you have never read Jane Austen, I still think you would enjoy this book. I would definitely recommend this YA Jane Austen retelling to my fellow Austenites who also enjoy YA novels.