Being Mary Bennet
by J. C. Peterson
Publication Date March 15, 2022
Published by HarperCollins
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Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Books & Libraries, Young Adult Fiction / Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction / Family / General, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every bookworm secretly wishes to be Lizzy Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.
A less acknowledged truth is that Mary Bennet might be a better fit.
For Marnie Barnes, realizing she’s a Mary Bennet is devastating. But she’s determined to reinvent herself, so she enlists the help of her bubbly roommate and opens up to the world.
And between new friends, a very cute boy, and a rescue pup named Sir Pat, Marnie finds herself on a path to becoming a new person entirely. But she’s no Lizzy, or even Mary—instead, she’s someone even better: just plain Marnie.
With a hilariously sharp voice, a sweet and fulfilling romance that features a meet-cute in an animal shelter, and a big family that revels in causing big problems, this charming comedy of errors about a girl who resolves to become the main character of her own story (at any and all costs), is perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Becky Albertalli…and Jane Austen, of course.
Being Mary Bennet by J. C. Peterson is a young adult novel that is angsty, and uplifting at the same time. Life in a private high school and a loud boisterous family make this a fun read.
Marnie Barnes is the middle child in a family of five girls. She believes that she is the Mary Bennett of her family because she’s in the middle, a bookworm, and not social, similar to the Mary Bennett character in Pride and Prejudice. She doesn’t want to be the surly, quiet Mary and decides she wants to be the Lizzy Bennett character instead and be the protagonist in her life instead of a side character.
Marnie also is trying to win an academic prize by working on a project with the local animal shelter and library. Her bubbly roommate Adhira helps Marnie to come out of her shelf and to stop being such a Mary Benett.
At first, I didn’t like the main character of Marnie. I thought she was a bit self-absorbed and stubborn. I did however love her roommate Adhira, and once they started to work together, I warmed to Marnie and finally really liked her and was rooting for her to follow her dreams. Marnie’s transformation from a socially awkward, bookish, acerbic teenager to a happier, slightly more socially acceptable person is the journey I wanted for her.
The author did a good job of including elements of Pride and Prejudice but ensuring it’s updated and modern. The setting of San Fransisco is a large part of the story and I enjoyed exploring the city along with Marnie and her friends.
This is a Young Adult book, and is perfect for a teenager, young adult, or anyone who is young at heart, like me! I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.