Friday, November 21, 2014

Review - My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.
When I saw the opportunity to read My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White I couldn't pass it up.

I was gifted the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice by my brother (probably the best gift he's ever given me) for a birthday back in... 2006 I believe. I'd just been dumped by a guy I thought was all that and a bag of potato chips, though, so it took me months to decide I was ok enough to watch a romantic movie.

When I watched it, the guy who dumped me didn't even matter anymore. What I needed in my life was Mr. Darcy. More importantly, Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy. No one else would do. It became my favorite movie (the book became a favorite of mine as well (yes I read the book AFTER I watched the movie)). Forget that he was arrogant and rude at the beginning, he was wonderful by the end. And I was hooked.

So I could totally identify with everything that Lizzie was feeling in this story. To a point. Luckily, I never became as obsessed as she did. Lizzie was so intent on finding Mr. Darcy and only Mr. Darcy that NO ONE ELSE WOULD DO. No one. Not even Mr. Wonderful, Chad. Chad was sweet and attentive and kind and REALLY liked Lizzie. And she was so stubborn that she had to be forced in to even giving him a second shot.

I had high hopes for her until Matt Dawson walked in to the bank. Then it was "Chad who?" I mean, Matt fit the mold. He was aloof, uppity, stand-offish... but then warmed to Lizzie the same way that Mr. Darcy had warmed to his own Lizzie. Forget that he was also often rude and completely ignorant of Lizzie's feelings. Or dismissed them altogether as childish and unimportant. He wasn't supportive of her and he was genuinely embarrassed to even mention Lizzie to his parents. Which, as it turns out, probably had worked out in Lizzie's favor. As they were the HUGEST snobs I've ever seen.

Despite her walking away from a relationship with Chad, he still kept coming back. He helped her when she needed help. He was kind to her when he didn't have to be. He even helped her get a foot in the door as an interior designer. Matt belittled the clothing she wore, got irritated and grumpy every time she mentioned Chad even though HE was constantly around MEG, an ex-almost-fiance who had followed him to Portland and now worked in the bookstore that he owned, and totally discounted her talent as a designer despite the fact that it was what she'd trained and gone to school for.

I mean seriously... at that point, who cares if he is her perfect Mr. Darcy. GET RID OF HIM.

I can only support the fantasy to a point.

I understand it. Completely. But seriously... move on.

That being said, it was a great book. Because really... who has watched the movie (in any form) or read the book and not wished, even if just for a second, that they could be Lizzie Bennett. Or that they could find someone like Mr. Darcy. Who has seen Mr. Darcy dance with Lizzie at the Netherfield Ball and watched him profess his love to her and not wanted to be in her place?

My Own Mr. Darcy captured that fantasy perfectly. And then took it to the next level. It was kind of a wake up call to the ones who are so focused on a certain type of guy that they refuse to look at anyone else. They are so set in their dating requirements that they refuse to see that there may be someone else who is perfect for them. Even if they don't match all of the qualifications.

I wanted to yell at Lizzie throughout almost this entire book. Her friends and family were much too patient with her. Although I suppose if they hadn't been it would have been a much shorter story. If you like Pride and Prejudice, the book or the movie, I think you should give this book a read. If you've ever wished that Mr. Darcy would walk across the meadow in the early hours of the morning and re-affirm his affection for you then you should definitely read this book.

Personally, I'm glad I didn't stick too strictly to the Mr. Darcy fantasy. The man I married is admittedly nothing like him. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Sometimes men like Mr. Darcy should only be in books and movies.

But still, read the book.

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