Rated Reads

Fall for You (Jane Austen Academy, #1)

by Cecilia Gray

Rated: Mild

Lizzie attends the exclusive girls-only Jane Austen Academy in central California and loves it just as it is. Unfortunately, this prep school with a long and proud tradition has just been purchased by mysterious new owners, and they are changing how things are done, not the least of which is allowing male students to attend.

But Lizzie has a few ideas to make a difference and try to get things back to the way they were. Primarily, she’s a journalist: she intends to attend Georgetown and be a White House correspondent. So she rallies the students on the school newspaper staff to start digging for some information.

Naturally, all of Lizzie’s plans don’t go just as she’d like. The big wrench in those plans is Dante, a handsome but annoying guy who just keeps getting in her way. And could he possibly be interested in her? No. Yes. Maybe? And could she possibly be interested in him, even though he also wants to attend Georgetown and could snag the one spot at the school given to “Jasta” students?

Fall for You is a very brief novel that aspires to bring some of the Jane Austen stories to life in a modern, teen setting. Unfortunately, it’s just entirely too brief to achieve its goals. This novel mimics one or two storylines from Pride and Prejudice. I wouldn’t expect it to do the original justice, but it doesn’t even come close, falling pitifully short. This is primarily because of its length; there’s just not enough time for the author to make her characters meaty and likeable. She wants us to root for Lizzie and Dante, but when they do get together, it’s an empty payoff because we just don’t care about them, and they’ve honestly had very few interactions, let alone meaningful ones. The idea is a cute one, but the book just falls flat. It’s as if Gray were writing by numbers, and even then she only used about a quarter of the numbers available.

Rated: Mild, for very little language and a little reference to troubled pasts, but no details.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Fall for You (Jane Austen Academy, #1)
  • by Cecilia Gray
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: