Series: The Jane Austen Academy Series #5
Genres: Romance, Young Adult,
Publication Date: May 4, 2014
Publisher: Gray Life, LLC
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
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Synopsis:Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph…
Emma has it all – looks, money, and luck. It’s not like she keeps it all to herself – she’s totally committed to helping those less fortunate. AKA, everyone. She invites her heartbroken friend to help with a weekend charity event with an eye to matchmake, but when that friend turns her eye toward the guy Emma wants for herself, how will she choose between friendship and her own feelings?
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The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…
The Jane Austen Academy series are modern retellings of Jane Austen classics set at a beachside California boarding school.
About the Author:
Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter
Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.
She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige.
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If I were to sum up Only With You in 10 words or less, those words would be - Light. Hilarious. Sweet. Fun. A Perfect Beach Read.
Light: There are absolutely no 'deep' moments in this story, the only thing getting close would be that Anne's family lost the Academy, and Emma is actually insecure when she puts on a mask of superiority, confidence, and popularity. Besides that, everything else is a walk in the park in terms of subject matter, which would be perfect after a heavy contemporary novel, or a classic like Les Miserables.
Hilarious: Does this even need to be explained? It's Emma Woodhouse in the 21st century. That means the empire waisted dresses and delicate parisols are traded for form fitting sundresses' low coverage bikinis, and four inch stillettos. Then there is the whole matchmaker aspect of the story because Emma keeps on tryig to bring other happiness when doesn't want it herself -at least romantically. Gray translated this into modern times perfectly, sportscars, smartphones, and all.
Sweet: Only With You is a retelling of the classic by Jane Austen, Emma. ***Mild Spoiler Alert if you don't know the story Emma*** Inthe story, Emma, Emma realizes that she is in love with her best gentleman friend, Mr. Knightey. It is positivey adorable how Emma tries to make Knight fall for her when he already has for all the years in their friendship. Emma has several trying-on-clothes sessions that end up with waist high piles and the decision to scrap everything and go natural. In fact, she makes quite a fool of herself in front of both Knight and her fest friend Anne, when she strips into just her bra and underwear, prepared to dive into her swimming pool.
Fun: While some may see it as juvenile, I think the entire retelling is fun read for all ages. I mean....Emma texted her friends in order to set them up with a 911 emergency which she tried to disguise as needing help for her parents charity pet adoption event. The way Gray retells Emma is so fun and carefree, and modernizing it adds an extra perk which is also safe because the story of Emma translated to the 21st century could have easily gone wrong and been portrayed as a chick flick type book. Instead, the knowledge that this is a retelling makes everything even better.
A Perfect Beach Read: The story is only 135 pages, which would make one feel accomplished to have finished a book while at the beach. The plot is very relaxed and easy going, yet still compelling enough for one to read straight through. There are also no heavy duty action scenes or topics which would make it harder to come back to if one went to the water for a few moments, and then came back to resume reading.
Sidenote: I was afraid that because this is the 5th book in the Jane Austen Academy Series, that it would be hard to follow, but Cecelia Gray did a very good job at making sure you understood what was going on, and any other excess information -about Anne, Knight, or their other friends- wasn't too distracting, and didn't impact the my enjoyment or understanding of the story whatsoever.
Conclusion: If you're looking for the perfect quickie this summer, go out and purchase yourself a copy of Only With You, and be prepared to giggle.