Book Review

Save Your Pride and Poor Judgement for Someone Else

“Pride and Poor Judgement,” by J. Anne Campanile

I don’t love Jane Austen books.

Yes, I’m a woman who secretly loves romance books and I have my bachelors in English, so I’ve read and studied multiple Jane Austen books. I’ve even visited London and Bath to see some of her original works and settings.
I respect Jane Austen a lot. She was a pioneering woman who helped define the “novel,” who wrote her way to independency, and who crafted stories with rounded main characters and pointed remarks on her society.

But did I cry at the sight of her writing desk, like the girl right next to me?
Call it a personal “prejudice” against books of the Romantic Era, I just can’t handle the syntax and over-flowery language. Give me the poems of the Lake District or Cockney School where they kept their stories short, because–seriously–how can they say so many words that mean so little!

Also, there are few characters that are actually likable in Austen’s stories. Everyone else just makes me want to scream.

That brings us to “Pride and Poor Judgement,” by J. Anne Campanile.

Story and Characters

In short: it’s a gender-bent contemporary retelling of “Pride and Prejudice,” from Darcy’s (the girl’s) perspective.
Darcy’s a high school girl with a best girl friend named Charlie, and Elizabeth becomes Elliot–a high school boy with an older brother named John.

“Pride and Poor Judgement” keeps all the brilliance of “Pride and Prejudice,”–such as the insane plot and character twists and well-developed main characters–but leaves out all the annoying flowery language and unnecessary characters that just make you want to strangle society. Oh, don’t worry, you still have Collins, Lydia, and Wickham.

And it’s not EXACTLY the same plot as the original. There are a couple twists to help the story fit into today’s society and to fully flush out Darcy’s side of the story. I think the change of perspectives was the most creative part about “Pride and Poor Judgement.” We see a new side to the story from Darcy’s perspective as the author explores exactly why she acts the way she does around Elliot.


PG. There’s some passionate kissing, minimal swearing, and a few sexual references (but no more than a few, and no more than references). Nothing a middle or high schooler wouldn’t already be too familiar with.

Final Rating

Well-written for a debut novel, I’m more likely to pick up this one over the classic. ****4.7 stars*****

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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