quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler (Review)

Title: Sass & Serendipity
Edition: ARC, 350 pages
Author(s): Jennifer Ziegler
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
Source: Book Tour from I Read Banned Books

The Summary
Daphne Rivera and her sister Gabby could not be more different.

For fifteen-year-old Daphne, the glass is always half full, a dab of lip-gloss can ward off a bad day, and the boy of her dreams—the one she's read about in all of her beloved romance novels—is waiting for her just around the corner.

But Daphne’s older sister Gabby wishes Daphne would get real. In Gabby’s world, everyone’s out for themselves, wearing makeup is a waste of time, and boys only distract you from studying before they break your heart. The only boy Gabby trusts is her best friend, Mule, who has always been there for her.

Both Gabby and Daphne are still reeling from their parents’ divorce, though in very different ways. While Gabby will never forgive her unreliable father for failing her mother, Daphne idolizes her daddy and is sure that everything would work out fine if her cranky mom would just let him back into their lives.

When a crisis leaves the girls and their mom homeless, help comes from an unexpected source, and both girls are courted by surprise suitors who shake up their views of the world. Suddenly the glass isn’t so clearly half empty or half full . . . and love seems a lot more complicated than they ever could have imagined.
My Opinion
Looking at the cover of Sass & Serendipity I cringed a little.  This book just looks like a middle grade novel with no substance except for butterflies and pretty dresses at first glance, especially due to the wording of Sass.  But I couldn't have been more wrong!  What drew me in and past the cover was that Jennifer Ziegler wrote this as a contemporary retelling of Sense and Sensibility, one of my favorite Jane Austen books.  I absolutely love that the release coincides with the 200th anniversary of the original book!

When you crack open the pages you are immediately transported into the lives of Gabriella and Daphne Rivera.  Both sisters are not only years apart in age, but their personalities are worlds apart.  Gabby is the eldest, cold, sneering and cynical, continually looking for an escape from their little town in Texas.  Daphne is the youngest, sweet, bubbly, and happy, earnestly believing the best in people and love.  One can't stand the other, and there is no love loss between them.  Of course this chasm wasn't always insurmountable, but certain circumstances in the girls' lives have widen the space to ridiculous proportions.

The characterization of the girls is very well-developed.  I felt both of them come alive as I read.  Of course I hated some of Daphne's more frivolous, selfish moments, reliving how I myself acted at 15 (Gosh, looking back I was a little monster).  But the best part of the characterization was the portrayal of the sisterly relationship.

Having an older sister myself, we could have stood in for Gabby and Daphne.  The screaming matches, the careless words, the deep devotion, and the fierce protection against outsiders rang true.  This careful handling of the weird relationship between sisters could have been over the top, but Ziegler navigated the edge effortlessly.

The other aspect I enjoyed was the subtle referral to the girls' Hispanic heritage.  I like how it wasn't shoved in my face because that feels way more realistic then being beat over the head with their ethnicity.  I feel like race, religion, gender, sexual orientation etc. should not be the focus unless it is important to the main conflict (i.e. coming out story, dealing with racism etc.)  Again Ziegler handles it nicely.

The one problem I had while reading was the development of Gabby and Daphne's parents.  I feel they either needed to be mentioned briefly and have the focus entirely on the girls or, due to the major conflict, made into rounded, dynamic supporting characters.  Right now they both are in an in between place which at times felt as if they hindered and not helped the story.

Overall, Sass & Serendipity is an awesome retelling of a great classic. However, it definitely stands on it's own, and has it's own flavor.  Don't pass this one up!  Look for Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler for sale on July 12 at your local bookstores, and on pre-order now!
Final Rating
Book Cover: 3.5/5
Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43.5/50: B+


  1. OH wow, I was also expecting the same sort of thing because of the cover but am glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the review :)

  2. It seems like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the review.

    Library Mosaic


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