Published by Viking Children's on July 12th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
She can score a goal, do sixty box jumps in a row, bench press a hundred and fifty pounds…but can she learn to curtsey?
Megan McKnight is a soccer star with Olympic dreams, but she’s not a girly girl. So when her Southern belle mother secretly enters her in the 2016 Dallas debutante season, she’s furious—and has no idea what she’s in for. When Megan’s attitude gets her on probation with the mother hen of the debs, she’s got a month to prove she can ballroom dance, display impeccable manners, and curtsey like a proper Texas lady or she’ll get the boot and disgrace her family. The perk of being a debutante, of course, is going to parties, and it’s at one of these lavish affairs where Megan gets swept off her feet by the debonair and down-to-earth Hank Waterhouse. If only she didn’t have to contend with a backstabbing blonde and her handsome but surly billionaire boyfriend, Megan thinks, being a deb might not be so bad after all. But that’s before she humiliates herself in front of a room full of ten-year-olds, becomes embroiled in a media-frenzy scandal, and gets punched in the face by another girl.
The season has officially begun…but the drama is just getting started.
The thing about marketing something as “the new (insert popular book)” or “a modern day “(classic book)” is that people tend to expect it as such; or at least, people would compare it to the book mentioned. So, I couldn’t help but compare The Season to Pride and Prejudice.
The Season is She’s the Man and Pride and Prejudice in the elite Texan society. Instead of a country home, our Bennets (or in this story, the McKnights) live in a ranch and Mr. McKnight is a cattle rancher. Instead of five daughters, the McKnights have twins—Megan Lucille McKnight and Julia Scott McKnight, the Elizabeth and Jane of the story.
When I first read the blurb and saw the genre, I expected a high school student—maybe 16 yrs old or so—to star in this book. Instead, we have Megan McKnight, a twenty-year old junior college soccer player at Southern Methodist University.
Megan is blindsided and furious when she sees her name in the Bluebonnet Club 2016 Debutantes list. Growing up, she knew her twin Julia would take part in the debutantes ball and she would skip it, but because of a scheming mother, she is forced to join a “virgin auction” for the elite.
My favorite character is probably Ann Foster, the debutant ball governess. I love how she helped Megan in transitioning into a proper debutante without actually changing into a whole new different person.
Andrew Gage, The Season‘s version of Mr. Darcy, was alright. I don’t really know how old he is, but since he owns a company and all, maybe he’s the same age as Darcy in P&P. So, 27/28. When he’s not acting like a sort-of jerk, he’s actually funny and endearingly awkward. He just wasn’t in the picture as much as I would have wanted.
The modern-day Mr. Wickham, a dashing man named Hank Waterhouse, is more sly than classic Mr. W. Even Megan’s dad fell for his charms. He acted a little too perfect, but since he’s in the book more than Andrew is, people might like him more. I, however, smelled his bullshit from a mile away. Only because I knew he’s the story’s Mr. W.
It was hard to get attached to Andrew and Megan’s romance since the two barely had any interaction in this book. I think I could count with a single finger how many times these two talked to each other before the Hunsford Proposal (a.k.a. the first confession). Plus, Andrew was in a relationship with Lauren Battle (this book’s Caroline) throughout the story.
It was also hard to sympathize with the family’s financial restraints when they spent thousands upon thousands for their daughters’ debutante ball and preparation. Never mind that the twins’ mother provided a trust fund for their daughters’ debut. People in debt (especially Megan’s parents whose marriage was affected by said debt) would at least feel ill at ease when buying designer-brand items for the debutant preparations—Alexander McQueen, Vera Wang, to name a few brands mentioned in the book—hiring a personal stylist, and preparing an over-the-top ball when it was Megan’s turn to host one.
And most of all, it was hard to love Megan. Despite the fact that she’s talented, different from the other debs, and that she eventually put her 100% into having a successful debut, she was oftentimes petulant, entitled, and selfish. Sometimes I’d forget her age because of how she acted.
Some of the scenes in this story felt forced; like it was added only because it was in Pride and Prejudice. The revelation after the first confession was weird, and I raised my eyebrows at how easy it was for Georgie, Andrew’s sister, to divulge information that could possibly ruin her reputation to a girl she only met once.
It would have had potential as a normal YA/NA, but as a modern reboot of Pride and Prejudice? A miss for me.