Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scones and Sensibility + Interview with Lindsay Eland

Twelve-year-old Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic age. A time when Elizabeth Bennett walked along the stone halls of Pemberley, arm in arm with her one true love, Mr. Dracy. A time when Anne Shirley gazed out at the wild seas off Prince Edward Island with her bosom friend, Diana, beside her. A time when a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality, and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers. But alas... Polly was born in the twenty-first century New Jersey. This however, does not hinder our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with the summer job of delivering baked goods from her parents' bakery to the people in her small beach town (how delightfully quaint!), she finds a way for force... um.... encourage romance to blossom. Indeed, Polly is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together... whether they want to be or not. - book jacket

Sconces and Sensibility was a fun book to read. It might seem a little juvenile to older teens, but I thought it was a great story for pretty much any age. Polly, the main character, is a true romantic. She brings out the best and the worst in people. During this particular summer, Polly decides to take matters of love into her own hands had find suitable matches for her sister, Mr. Nighquist, Miss Wiskerton, and Mr. Fisk. The results were predicable, but I enjoyed watching Polly’s schemes unfold to her advantage or to her dismay.
The funny–and special thing–about Polly that sets her apart from most girls, is that she enjoys talking and thinking like Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice and often asks herself what Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables, would do. I think  it’s neat that Eland incorporated these two very classic novels into the story. It was also a great way to sort of introduce those book as well to girls who have yet to read or even hear about them. At first, when you start reading Polly’s narrative, it seems silly that she tries to talk in the style of the Regency Era, but if you look past that, you’ll begin to see a character who is much like you and me. Once upon a time, it was every girl’s fantasy to wear pretty dresses, wear bonnets or sunhats, talk and walk like royalty, and be as elegant as possible. In many ways, Polly brings out the romantics in all of us because she is not afraid to be the person she wants to be whether it’s Elizabeth or Jane Bennett or Anne Shirley. The only problem is that Polly has yet to learn the different between reality and fiction. In the end, Polly has to realize her mistakes and the messes she caused from thinking that no matter what she does, everything will have a “happy ending”. I think Eland has very good potential as a children/young adult writer; it’s always nice to see a new voice in children’s literature.
My Recommendation: For kids/teens ages 10-15 (or any age) who have a soft-spot for Jane Austen inspired books, middle grade fiction, or just enjoy a fun story about matchmaking and scones!

Content: None (G)

The Final Straw: "For everyone knows that a girl cannot live on chicken cordon blue alone."
|Pages: 309|Year Published: December 2009|Publisher: Egmont US|
|Genre: Contemporary fiction|Content: None (G)|
|Age Group: Ages 10+|Buy/Borrow?: Both|
|Enjoyed It: 4/5|Content: 5/5|Cover: 4/5|
|Overall: 4/5|

Interview with Lindsay Eland
{Blog Tour}

Morgan: Polly is really, really obsessed with Anne Shirley and Elizabeth Bennett. In many ways she reflects how a lot of us girl acted, use to act, or wanted to act. Is Polly's character based on yourself? What was your inspiration?

Lindsay: Polly is based a lot on myself and my sister and on all the girls that I know were like me. My sister and I used to pretend we lived back in the days of wagon trains and Laura Ingalls, watching our husbands perish in the cold and taking care of the young-ins. Then there was me and my best friend in 5th and 6th grade. Bekka and I loved to pretend that we were Anne Shirley and Diana Barry and even exchanged locks of hair with each other. Polly was also inspired by my eight-year-old daughters friend who is completely dramatic and totally hilarious

Morgan: Polly brings out the romantic in all of us. What do you want young girls to learn/experience by reading Scones and Sensibility?

Lindsay: First I want them to laugh. To laugh and recognize that girl in themselves that once was and still is somewhere inside them. And then I also want them to recognize the truth that life in books is so wonderful but not nearly as wonderful as the real life that’s happening right now.

Morgan: Although we might can already guess, what were your favorite book(s) when you were Polly's age? Why?

Lindsay: Actually, I didn’t read Pride and Prejudice or Anne of Green Gables until I was quite a bit older than Polly (though I did watch the Anne of Green Gables series…which I own and adore). But I wish now that someone would have put them into my hands, cause I would have gobbled them up. My favorite books when I was Polly’s age were Matilda by Roald Dahl, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, and Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell…Yeah, want to know a little-known Lindsay fact? I used to want to be a dolphin…but really, not just pretend to be one, but actually BE a dolphin. Now just the thought of being in the middle of the ocean alone scares me.

Morgan: Current favorite pastime?

Lindsay: Every Friday night my parents would get me and my sisters Dominoes Pizza and an old classic movie like Bringing Up Baby or The Philadelphia Story or Psycho to watch while they went on a date together. It was such a blast, and now my husband and I do that with our own kids, though I think Psycho won’t be on the list for quite a while. 

Morgan: If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

Lindsay: If you’re talking about fictional people, I’d choose Anne Shirley because in LM Montgomery’s own words, Anne “seemed to walk in an atmosphere of things about to happen.” What could be more fun than that? A real-live-not-fictional-person would have to be Kate Dicamillo…because well, basically I think she’s brilliant.

Morgan: Awesome, I love Kate Dicamillo's books. Is there another book(s) is the making? If so, could you give us a taste?

Lindsay: Yes, there is! I have a contracted book two with Egmont, which is another contemporary middle grade novel, though very different than Scones and Sensibility. The novel is called (as of right now) A Teaspoon of Rosemary and it’s about a shy, introverted girl who in the midst of becoming a wonderful young chef learns to celebrate the strength and confidence buried inside herself. And I just started outlining a new novel called Partly Sunny but that novel is just in the beginning stages, so you’ll have to ask me more about that one in a few months! Thank you so much for having me!

Morgan: Thanks for doing an interview with me! I'll be looking forward to your new books–keep up the good work :) Till next time, wish big and happy reading...

➡Please go to He Followed Me Home to see the next stop on this tour!! Don't forget to visit Lindsay's blog & website here as well.


1 comment:

Nina said...

Great interview and review for this fun and cute book. I just love the sound of it and allot of people say that it reminds them of Emma, Jane Austen. Emma is one of my favourite books, so this will be on my tbr list!!

The cover is just way too sweet.

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