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Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler
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Sass & Serendipity

by Jennifer Ziegler

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Sisters Daphne and Gabby Rivera are as different as night and day! Older sis Gabriella is all “straight A’s and neat-freak genes,” according to younger, impulsively romantic sister “Daffy.” Sensible Gabby works part-time to help her single mom make ends meet while studying hard for a scholarship so she can get out of Barton, Texas. On the other hand, unsensible Daphne lives in a dream world, shopping for prom dresses instead of applying for jobs and literally falling head over heels in love with the new cute boy of the moment, Luke Pascal. Gabby is quite cynical about love, after witnessing her parents’ divorce. Who needs it? It only causes misery and pain. The sisters bicker and bark at each other, rarely agreeing on anything. The only stable person in their lives is dependable friend “Mule,” short for Samuel, who seems to always be there helping Gabby study and offering friendly advice.

While Daphne moons and dreams about her new heartthrob Luke, Gabby has reason to not believe in love. Sonny Hutchins, a young boy she connected romantically with one incredible brief afternoon died in a tragic accident which she is certain his rich, spoiled cousin Prentiss Applewhite is to blame for. Her deep affection for Sonny is her secret that she shares with no one, not even her best buddy Mule. Gabby is certain that the only one you can depend on life is yourself.

As Gabby retreats into her reclusive inner world of loneliness and grief, Daphne’s histrionics are abrasive and unproductive. She deals with her family’s emotional crisis’ by ignoring reality, worshiping her flake of a father and falling madly in love in a moment. Her mom tries to bring her back into reality…

“Real life, real love, isn’t the way you see it in movies or read about in books,” her mom went on. “I hate to see you risk yourself like this. I just wish you’d be more sensible.”

“Sensible.” It was one of those words Daphne hated. Something she apparently wasn’t – along with being “responsible” or “mature.” “Sensible,” she repeated, considering the term. The opposite would be “foolish,” right? “Silly.” “Idiotic.” “Stupid.” “Do you mean sensible like Gabby, who’s never even been on a real date? Or sensible like you, who couldn’t make her marriage work?” pages 99-100

When late child support payments and a steep rent increase cause a crisis for the Rivera women, they must move in a hurry. Feeling fatalistic, Gabby is certain that they would be better off homeless. Life changes for the two sisters when Daphne’s unsensible way of dealing with life challenges results in more troubles than she ever dreamed of until help from an expected source saves the day and Gabby must face facts about her fond memories of Sonny and her feelings for his cousin Prentiss before the two sisters can find happiness.

In Sass & Serendipity, author Jennifer Ziegler has given us a boldly creative tribute to 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Sense and Sensibility. Her modern interpretation of the two sisters: one too sensible and the other not sensible enough mirrors Jane Austen’s Dashwood sisters beautifully. Even though the plot does not follow Austen’s storyline faithfully, the essence of the emotional dilemma that each of the sets of sisters face with life and love challenges is a great match. Ziegler reminds us that sisterly relationships are like no others, filled with friendship, rivalry, devotion, frustration, love and “strong family affection.” Read Sass & Serendipity to remember that incredible time in your life when you were on the cusp of adulthood and a sister or best friend in your life made all the difference.

"Between Barton and Delaford, there was that constant communication which strong family affection would naturally dictate; and among the merits and the happiness of Elinor and Marianne, let it not be ranked as the least considerable, that though sisters, and living almost within sight of each other, they could live without disagreement between themselves, or producing coolness between their husbands." Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 50

Laurel Ann, Austenprose ( )
  Austenprose | Jul 27, 2011 |
I just love how an author can take a classic and make it in to something new. I really loved diving into this book and how it was the same yet different.

The plot line is good. I really how how even though the point of view switched up a lot, you can right away tell which sister it is. I loved how the author made these two sisters so different. Gabby, I loved her and really connected with her. I connected with her because I am just like her. Growing up with a single mother with 2 other siblings, I had to grow up fast. Gabby had to be the responsible one and help her mother out. She understood as such a young age, the responsibility that she carried on her shoulders. Daphne is just a free girl. It may seems at times that she think of only herself, but she is a young teenager and should be one.

I really like how Ms. Ziegler incorporate a real life issue in the book. Ms. Ziegler really did a great job in capturing the voice of two very different teenage girls. It was so good, that even I found myself laughing free with Daphne or getting responsible with Gabby. I like that Ms. Zieger took the reader into the world with her writing and let you be in the characters shoes.

My only gripe was the love interest. I am a sucker for romance, so it did disappoint me with how the love interest went. I was hoping for it to go a different way, but in the end, I am glad that both sisters can be happy.

Sass and Serendipity with a great classical read. Filled with lots of drama, romance, an d great writing, there is nothing like it to read. The Rivera sisters will have you by the heart from the very first page. ( )
  Bookswithbite | Jul 3, 2011 |
Gabby and Daphne are at each other's throats for most of the novel because their approach to life and love is so different. But they are sisters and have to find a way to live together. As the girls navigate problems in school and home, they find love in unexpected places in this enjoyable read. ( )
  ewyatt | Jun 22, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385738986, Hardcover)

For Daphne, the glass is always half full, a situation is better managed with a dab of lip gloss, and the boy of her dreams—the one she's read about in all of her novels—is waiting for her just around the corner.
For Gabby, nothing ever works out positively; wearing any form of makeup is a waste of study time, and boys will only leave you heartbroken. Her best friend, Mule, is the only one who has been there for her every step of the way.
But when the richest boy in town befriends Gabby, and Daphne starts to hang out more and more with her best and only friend, Mule, Gabby is forced to confront the emotional barriers she has put up to stop the hurting. And for once, her sassiness may fall prey to her definition of stupidity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Unlike her romantic sister, Gabby is down-to-earth and does not put her trust in relationships, but when the richest boy in school befriends her, she discovers that emotional barriers might actually be getting in the way of her happiness.

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