Enthusiasm by Polly ShulmanEnthusiasm by Polly Shulman


byPolly Shulman

Paperback | September 6, 2007

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"When someone asks for a reading suggestion, Enthusiasm is the first word off my tongue." --Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight

"There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding herself tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast."
Julie knows from bitter experience: her best friend, Ashleigh, is an Enthusiast. Ashleigh's current fancy is also Julie's own passion, Pride and Prejudice, and the heroine's quest for True Love. And so Julie finds herself swept along with Ashleigh, dressed in vintage frocks and sneaking into a dance at the local all-boys' prep school. There they discover several likely candidates for True Love, including the handsome and sensitive Parr. And Julie begins to wonder if maybe this obsession of Ashleigh's isn't so bad after all. . . .

Fans of Jane Austen and Meg Cabot, and Maureen Johnson alike will swoon for Polly Shulman's charming novel.
Polly Shulman is also the author of The Grimm Legacy (a Bank Street Best Book and Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Finalist) and its companion novel, The Wells Bequest. She has written for many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Discover, Newsday, Salon, Slate, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Archaeology, and The Village...
Title:EnthusiasmFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.52 × 0.56 inPublished:September 6, 2007Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142409359

ISBN - 13:9780142409350

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 2 out of 5 by from A Little Too Young For Me So this wasn't a great book. My friend recommended it to me but I think the book was a little too young for me and I didn't appreciate it the way someone under the age of 13 would have. Girl has no backbone and that is just a pain to read.
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it Feel good and younger to relive he awkward gawky moments that so many girls experience with their first love.
Date published: 2013-09-04

Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTIONLittle-known facts about Enthusiasm and Jane Austen*Jane Austen’s niece, Anna, wrote a novel called Enthusiasm, which she sent to her aunt. Jane had many encouraging things to say, including suggesting that Anna change the title to Which is the Heroine?*The character of Charles Grandison Parr—or Parr for Short—was named after Sir Charles Grandison, the hero of Samuel Richardson’s 1753 novel of that name and one of Jane Austen’s favorite literary characters.*Jane Austen published her novels anonymously, as was the custom of female writers at the time.*Like many of Austen’s heroines, Jane herself turned down an offer of marriage that would have allowed her to live a more comfortable life and be less dependent on her family. In the end, she never married.The Life and Legacy of Jane AustenJane Austen (1775–1817) lived her entire life in the English countryside with her mother, father, sister, and two brothers. She never married nor ventured far from the confines of her family’s home, yet she wrote some of the most enduring novels of her time, including Pride and Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and Emma.When Jane Austen penned her first novel in 1789, little did she know that the stories she acted out in her drawing room with her sister and brothers would affect popular culture hundreds of years later. Dozens of movie adaptations of her novels have been made and continue to be popular, starring actors such as Keira Knightley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant. Her writing has inspired other books as well, such as Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating. ABOUT POLLY SHULMANPolly Shulman has written about edible jellyfish, Egyptian tombs, infinity, blind dates, books, brains, centenarians, circuses, and cinematic versions of Jane Austen novels, for The New York Times, Discover,Newsday, Salon, Slate, Scientific American, Archaeology, and The Village Voice, among others. She edits news stories about fossils, meteors, the ocean, the weather, and theShe is an alumna of Hunter College High School, Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics, and Yale University, where she majored in math. She has never dared to crash a dance, but in tenth grade she did write a proof for math class in the form of a sonnet. She grew up in New York City, where she lives with her husband, Andrew Nahem, and their parakeet, Olive. planets for Science magazine. She collects Victorian jewelry made of human hair, puts cayenne pepper in her chocolate cookies, and reads forgotten books with frontispieces. DISCUSSION QUESTIONSWhy do you think Jane Austen and her books have endured as long as they have? Why do Jane Austen’s stories translate so well into modern stories? Have you ever read any of Jane Austen’s books? If so, what similarities and differences do you see between Austen’s works and Enthusiasm? “There is little more likely to exasperate a person of sense than finding herself tied by affection and habit to an Enthusiast.” Do you know/have known an enthusiast? Were you ever one yourself? Although Julie complains about her friend’s enthusiasm, what admirable qualities can be found in Ashleigh’s exuberance? If you could produce a movie based on a Jane Austen story, which would you choose and from what angle would you approach it: Comedy or drama? Present day or historical setting? Have you ever had a crush on the same person as your best friend? If so, what happened? Throughout the story Julie is careful to point out what a good friend Ashleigh is to her. Unfortunately, Ashleigh’s not always a very good listener. At the same time, Julie is keeping secrets from Ashleigh. Could you still say they are great friends? Why or why not? Class was an important issue for people in Jane Austen’s time. In what ways does the issue of class/money come up in Enthusiasm? Do you think Julie handles her relationship with her stepmother well? What could Julie and her stepmother do to improve their relationship? 

Editorial Reviews

"When someone asks for a reading suggestion, Enthusiasm is the first word off my tongue." --Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga"Enthusiasm, like Pride and Prejudice, bubbles over with romantic misunderstandings and comic confusion." --New York Times Book Review, an Editors' Choice book"Enthusiasm has the makings of an instant classic!" --Time magazine"A fanciful romance . . . delightfully wholesome." --Newsday*"Wry [and] engaging . . . an impressive first novel."--Booklist, starred review"A charming romantic comedy!"--SLJ"Witty exchanges, comic errors and miscommunications that could be taken right out of a Jane Austen novel. Readers [will be] caught up in this debut novel's romantic whimsy and humor."--Publishers Weekly"Equal parts romance and farce, this novel is an enjoyable read. Julie's wry voice and self-deprecating humor will make the conclusion satisfying."--VOYA