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.
When "accidental roommate and apparent birthday expert" Adhira Fitz refuses to let Marnie Barnes, "academic extraordinaire and solitude expert," spend her 18th birthday at their school library, it ends in a spat. Marnie, who's white, knew she was an introvert and a bit of a know-it-all, but it hurts when Indian Canadian Adhira says that she's not Lizzy Bennet, heroine instead, she's Mary Bennet, "the dowdy, lecture-prone sister from Pride and Prejudice" who pales in comparison to her clever, socially adept older sisters. Marnie, whose senior year of high school is also her first at boarding school, resolves to change, but feelings of insecurity keep getting the best of her both with her family and around a boy she meets while developing the project she hopes will win the school prize for a socially conscious undertaking. Though the Pride and Prejudice parallels don't add much, and the inclusion of Silicon Valley grudges and the bad behavior of Marnie's tech bro crush feel heavy-handed, debut author Peterson shows the difficulties of overcoming habitual behavior through relationships rather than a to-do list. Fortunately, unlike Mary, Marnie has a good friend whom she increasingly values and a sister she comes to see as a real person, not an overweening presence that she'll never live up to. Ages 13 up.