Interference by Kay Honeyman
So during COVID19, we have been reorganizing the library. No better time to rearrange shelves than when people are not in the building.
So as I was making the changes and this caught my eye:
“Friday Night Lights meets Jane Austen’s Emma in this delightful novel about big dreams, big games, and a little romance.”
So of course Emma, caught my eye as I plan on reviewing every Jane Austen adaption, (I know that’ll take years, but I’m okay with that), and had to check it out. Besides Jane Austen, I’m a big fan of Friday Night Lights.
So let’s get started.
Kate Hamilton (Emma Woodhouse) and her mother and Congressman father have been sent back to her father’s hometown of Red Dirt, Texas after her public scandal.
It started off as something good…Kate discovered that there was serious graft regarding which kids received letters of recommendation, scholarships, etc, for colleges. She exposed this and changed the practices, but it was a hollow win.
Her boyfriend, now EX, was cheating on her with a senator’s daughter who lost her recommendation, and he secretly took photos of Kate- styling them to look extremely compromising and blasting them on the internet.
So Kate has a plan-she wants to go to art school to be a photographer, but to do that she needs an awesome portfolio and a fantastic letter of recommendation. She decides to find a way to lay low, up her volunteer hours, send them to her old school, get the letter and get out with what she wants.
She espechially wants to get way from her dad as she feels so guilty about what happened, and hates having to always be in “political mode”-all the time. She needs volunteer hours and starts to help her Aunt Celia at her animal shelter.
There she is in the middle of trying to birth a calf, unsuccessfully, when she meets Hunter (Mr. Knightley). He is cute and nice and whenever Kate gets a little too cocky and sure of himself, he is there to help push her on the right track, espechially as he understands the dynamics and politics of the town better than her.
The two end up being paired as science partners and they spend a lot of time together. In fact, they become best friends as Hunter helps her transition to Texas life, and appreciate things without constructing a narrative of doing some political machinations.
Kate quickly becomes friends with Ana-a shy, studious, photographer who helps Kate out with her photography and gets her in on yearbook staff (which gives her access to the darkroom she needs). Kate hates to owe anyone anything and has decided that she is going to help Ana. Ana is adorable, but her ex-boyfriend has given her a bad reputation with the lies he has spread about her.
Kate decides the best way to fix Ana’s reputation is to pair her up with a guy better than her ex-basketball playing boyfriend Hank. Someone higher up the social hierarchy and settles on quarterback, Kyle.
Hunter warns her that Kyle is a serious jerk and that matchmaking Ana and him up is not a good idea, but Kate doesn’t listen.
Kyle is not just the quarterback, but he is also the son of her father’s political rival. Her father wants her to avoid Kyle, as he doesn’t trust him or his father, but she ignores him and sets her plan into serious levels of action.
She hangs out with him a bit, takes photos of him.
Kate has lunch with him and Ana and people begin changing in the way they are acting around her-and after Kyle defends her, things seem to be going great. Kate and Ana even get coveted invites to several after game bonfires.
Kate is super pleased at how things are going and starts to divert her attention to her other plans. Spending time working with her Aunt and seeing how much her Aunt pours into her shelter, she decides to help out by creating a website where people can donate to care for an animal, getting D.C. friends and friends’s parents to give. She also tries to match her D.C. friend Tasha up, over the phone by giving her advice.
She also works hard on her project with Hunter. But it turns into more than science. He helps her see the beauty of the area, she helps him mend some of his broken relationship with his mom, as said before they become best of friends…thoughts turn to more-but their can’t be as Kate is not interested in anything more after her jerkwad ex.
But then Kate goes to a party with Kyle and he tries to force himself on her.
She breaks his wrist and takes off in his car crashing in a ditch (she’s only had one lesson). Hunter, worried about her going to a party alone with Kyle, rescues her-but things are looking grim.
It seems like everything Kate does screws up:
- Kate’s breaking Kyle’s wrist and crashing his car reflects bad on her father
- Everyone in the town hates Kate for costing them the championship game (as they have no quarterback)
- Her aunt found out about the website and hates it-yelling at Kate
- Kyle treats Kate and Ana like crap (espechially Ana-publicly dissing her [such an Elton], but Hunter helps her out)
- Kate gets revenge against Kyle by making mock yearbook pages embarrassing him and she and Ana spread them around the school
- Their little revenge plan gets Ana is kicked off yearbook
- And Hunter who never wanted to play football ever again (as it is too much pressure) does so to save the team and Kate.
Kate has to figure out a way to fix things and she decides to do the one thing she never thought-she is willingly going to put herself in the front of the camera-and partner in her father’s campaign.
Will Kate be the thing that helps tip the scales in her father’s favor? Will Ana get back on yearbook and achieve her photography dreams? Will Hunter win the big game or choke? And will Kate admit she cares for Hunter or let her fear and insecurity keep her from taking a leap?
So when I was first reading this book I had a hard time. The beginning moves slow and her parents seem checked out. They just leave her alone and don’t seem to care about the trauma she went through with her pictures being posted everywhere. Nothing about that relationship seemed to micmic the one shared by Emma and Mr. Woodhouse.
But once I reached the middle with Kate and Hunter being best friends, adorable Ana, Kate’s matchmaking…I got invested.
And then when they got to the hardcore part of Kate taking Kyle down and then her pairing up with her father to take down Kyle’s dad- it became a real page turner.
I really liked Kate and Hunter’s relationship, although I think he if he had been a little less vague about Kyle not being a good guy it would have been better. I mean he did try, telling her he heard the way Kyle would talk in the locker room-but with Kate/Emma you can’t be subtle.
I really enjoyed it and how it had the aspects of Jane Austen but still was its own story. Like Clueless, this is a great gateway to get teens interested in Jane Austen and Austen fans will adore it.
For more Emma, go to Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken
For more Emma Woodhouse, go to Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)
For more Jane Austen adaptions, go to At Legend’s End
For more Friday Night Lights, go to What a Fanatic!