Reputation is a Regency-era historical romantic comedy from a hilarious new British voice, Lex Croucher. This book was described as Bridgerton meets Gossip Girl with a dash of Jane Austen, so naturally, I had to pick it up. I had high expectations for this book, and I was honestly disappointed. I would describe this book as edgier than expected, but not necessarily well-written. The dedication says it all. “For Jane Austen. Sorry, Jane.” Because any true regency lady would be completely shocked by the sordid behavior in Reputation.
So don’t read this if you are a stickler for historical accuracy, because you won’t find it in this book. I appreciate what this book is trying to do for diversity, but there are some passages that are just plain bad and positively inaccurate for any century.
Croucher’s next book should possibly be set in a more modern era, which would allow room for the heavy drinking, drug use and the women’s empowerment movement. There are just so many details that are wrong for a historical fiction. It is definitely one of the less realistic Regency fictions I have ever read. Croucher tries to make the story readable for modern audiences by attempting to tackle some big topics (TW: rape, SA), but unfortunately the characters come across as spoiled brats instead of empowered young women.
I can see where the work drew inspiration from Jane Austen’s works. The romance between Georgiana and Thomas give me a very Lizzy & Darcy vibe, but Georgiana is Darcy in this tale. And in the spirit of Emma, our MC is haughty, unimpressed by everyone, and borderline rude. I started to dislike her and her “friends” around chapter five. Georgiana does get a few set-downs through the novel, though they do little to humble her. “You’d do better to apply that mind of yours to the improvement of yourself and those around you, rather than letting your cleverness fester into cruelty.”
Read this stand-out review that sums it up best: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…