This is a VERY niche book, made especially for young women who read classic novels and use big words they read in said novels. Spoiler alert: I was that teenager, and so fitting into that niche meant I greatly enjoyed myself. I realize that not everyone will have the same experience, so I will recommend this book with a few qualifiers.
Mary Porter-Malcolm is your stereotypical Bookish Girl Who Reads 19th-century Novels. I’m not judging, because I *definitely* read those novels as a young teen and woman (and still love so many of them). That said, Mary has been rather insulated by her large family of academic parents and standout siblings, a private school, and friends who talked like…the children of academics. All of that changes when she is forced to go to public school and her best friend has frozen her out. Suddenly adrift, she falls into a group of three girls trying to avoid romantic heartbreak. Relying on her knowledge of literary scoundrels, Mary tries to give dating advice. Yet when it comes to their Number One scoundrel, Alex Ritter, Mary realizes that going strictly by the book may be her undoing.
I will highly recommend this book IF (a) you like classic novels; (b) at one point in your life REALLY identified with one Anne “call me Cordelia” Shirley; and (c) like a good Pride and Prejudice setup. This book may not be everyone’s flavor, and I totally get that. But for those people who fall squarely in that niche, I think you’ll enjoy yourself as much as I did.