My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a love letter to one of my favorite modern retellings of Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star. I've seen all the negative reviews, and I can't understand it. To me, this story is raw and emotional, and the dream of every Austenite out there - a shirtless, rock star version of our favorite heart-throb! Still - to each their own I suppose...
Just a little background: I first read this years ago on Austen Interlude, a fan-fiction site for Austen books. At that time, the story was called "Slurry" (personally I prefer the old title but I understand why it had to be changed for the published book. In addition, there are a lot of differences between the fan-fiction story and the book, some of which take a lot away from the story. First - the fan-fiction featured songs from established, real bands and artists such as Michelle Branch, Sheryl Crow, and Puddle of Mudd. In a way, this allowed the reader to better grasp the characters. When Lizzie sang, it was Sheryl Crow's bluesy tone I heard in my head. When Charles belted out the BDSM-based song, I heard Hoobastank rocking out. Now, in the book, it would have been too costly to license the song lyrics, so Heather Lynn Rigaud did her best in writing original lyrics to the songs. It was a valiant attempt, but fans of the fan-fiction felt the disconnect.
So on to the characters!
Meet Longbourne Suffering, an up and coming female rock group picked by the most famous rock band in the world to tour with them.
Lizzie is the guitarist and backup singer. She has her own songs and sound, not to mention her typical sass. This Lizzie is very prejudiced and insecure. She constantly is on her guard and looking for fault in the male members of Slurry - specifically Will Darcy. I personally believe she is envious of Darcy's skill and in awe of him. There is a hidden strength in her, but it takes the love of her life to bring it to the fore.
My Lizzie - Michelle Branch
Jane is what you expect: a sweet, adorable, optimistic lead singer, constantly seeing the good in people. But what we find in this Jane is also a depth you rarely see in P&P adaptations. She is willing to stand her ground. Most of all, when the happiness of her family and her friends is threatened. She might be a damsel-in-distress at one point, but she is also a tigress willing to defend her cubs.
My Jane - Avril Lavigne
The black sheep, Charlotte, is a surprising twist from the original spinster we are introduced to in Austen's work. The colorful (both in personality, attitude and physical appearance) drummer seems at first to be the sensible glue to hold together her band. But we soon see the chink in her emotional armor, and a melancholy that lurks beneath. This version of Charlotte is probably one of my favorites, due to her depth and her humor.
My Charlotte - Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Meet the bad boys of rock, the legendary Slurry. The top of the charts, these boys have a bad rep and no luck on retaining an opening act.
The child-prodigy, moody lead guitarist - the title character of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Jaded and judgmental, withdrawn and a surprising home-body, Darcy is a conundrum. He is what you expect of Darcy - dark, brooding and a true proficient. With a backstory to make you ache for him, Darcy is, as ever, misunderstood, foolish and fast-tempered. But who can help but love him?
My Will - John Mayer
Golden-haired, surfer boy turned lead singer, Charles is the glue of this band. He is the newest member, having replaced a certain villain (guess who?). He also is sweet, innocent and sexy as all hell. Good natured and fast to fall in love, Charles is amazingly lovable from beginning to end. He is however, too trusting, too willing to please. And he learns his lesson the hard way.
My Charles - Jared Leto
Oh Richard. Sexy Sexy drummer god. Good lord, this version of Darcy's cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, is the most damaged and most appealing version of the character I have read. He's funny, irreverent, self-depricating, and so very lost. His wild roller coaster ride through this saga is angst-ridden and dangerous. You know how they say - sex, drugs and rock'n'roll? That phrase defines Richard Fitzwilliam.
My Richard - David Silveria
The story-line is simple enough - Slurry needs an opening band and selects Longbourne Suffering to go on their US Tour with them. Rock and Roll is not what you expect however. Nor is the close confines of a tour bus or the cramped backstage.
Wickham is absolutely despicable in this version. Not only is he a drugged-up philanderer, but he also is a child molester. Ugh, I get skived out thinking about him.
As I said above, the engagement with the story is more extensive in the fan-fiction story. However, I was still drawn in regardless (probably because I love SLURRY!). Anyone who loves to glimpse into the raw side of being a glamorous rock star will like this book. As will lovers of angst and romance.
My personal thanks to Heather Lynn Rigaud, for giving the world this tale. It needed to be told.
Next review... I go way back. Queens, intrigue and heartache!
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