07 June 2010

Just finished reading...

Northanger Alibi by Jenni James.*

Sixteen-year-old Claire Hart is a huge fan of the Twilight books, and as a result has always wanted to go to Washington State. She's so thrilled when friends of her parents invite her to spend the summer with them in Seattle that she doesn't even mind when her mother insists that her older sister Cassidy is included.

Claire is so obsessed with Twilight that she's certain there are actually vampires and werewolves in abundance in Washington. When they meet the Halloways' Seattle friends the Russos, whose twins are about the same age as Claire, she's unimpressed at first. Then she bumps into Tony and feels as though she's hit a wall. When Tony seems to know what she's thinking, she's certain that he's a vampire, even though Cassidy attempts to make her see reason.

As the title suggests, this book is based on Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. The plot of Ms. James' book is quite similar to that of Miss Austen's, with the main exception, of course being the chronological setting. Claire's fascination with the Twilight novels and inability to separate fiction from reality parallels Catherine Morland's character nicely.

The changes in the plot suit the sensibility of the modern teen admirably; Claire's summer experience could possibly be the dream of every sixteen-year-old on the planet, Twilight aficionado or not.

This is a charming, amusing tale that captures today's teens accurately. I don't know if the author intended Alibi to lead young readers to the original Northanger; probably not, but who knows?

*Electronic ARC received from publisher.

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