It occurred to me that this was my first big adult decision. And I have to say if this was what it meant to be an adult–to worry that any big decision you made was the wrong one–maybe growing up was seriously overrated.
Before I even get into my review of Cara Lockwood’s fourth Bard Academy novel A Tale of Two Proms, I have to point out that this novel represents two firsts for me: (1) the first book I read on the Nook I got for Christmas and (2) the first book I am reviewing via NetGalley. Exciting stuff!
Okay, and now since I have never reviewed any of these books here before, allow me to nerd out like the big literary nerd I am. So, basically, I love this series because the books provide a big old lit nerd fest. Aside from the fact that school is called Bard Academy (after Shakespeare, of course) and that the teachers are ghosts of authors stuck in purgatory (Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Ernest Hemingway, etc.), Lockwood manages to seamlessly blend plots and characters from many classic novels. In this book alone, she uses characters/plots/settings from:
- A Tale of Two Cities
- Wuthering Heights
- Jane Eyre
- The Great Gatsby
- The Odyssey
- Pride and Prejudice
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Like I said, that’s just in this book. The previous three include references to other classics.
Anyway, the basic premise for the series is that Miranda gets sent to Bard Academy, which is for problem teens. Once there, she falls for Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights who has somehow escaped from his book. Each book deals with the fallout from characters leaving their narratives and also some wackiness that Miranda manages to enmesh herself in.
In A Tale of Two Proms, the focus is on literary doubles–particularly Catherine from WH (who Miranda favors)–and, of course, the prom. Oh, and Heathcliff asks Miranda to marry him and she finds out that she got into one of her dream schools. Which will she choose????
The only thing I don’t care about in the books is the romance between Heathcliff and Miranda. However, that’s pretty easy for me to get past. Which..considering that’s pretty much the foundation/driving conflict for all four books is saying a lot about how fun they are.
I love the setting and the characters. (I really get a kick out of Parker taunting Miranda for being “Fictional-American or whatever.” Because why not? Hahaha. I am easily amused sometimes.) There’s lots of humor and the characters are definitely teenagers with teenage concerns even as they are trying to save their school. So I enjoy that.
Lockwood said on her blog that this is probably the last book in the series, and I think everything is wrapped up pretty nicely. I did have one plausibility issue with the end, but then I reminded myself that this is a book with a Fictional-American character, book characters that come to life, moving settings, and ghost teachers, so I let the whole plausibility thing go.
In conclusion: If you’re a fan of gothic, gothic romance, mystery, paranormal, teen lit, classic lit, or adventure stories, this book/series might be something you’d want to check out.
YA Reading Challenge: 39