Here's a tip for all the fictional characters out there: If your book begins with a quote from Pride and Prejudice, don't go out with a guy named Wickham. You should know better than that. Go for the grouchy brooding guy. He'll be rad. I promise.
I wasn't expecting to be all that into Crushed. I read Zipped a while back and wasn't hugely impressed with it. But, hooray! I really, really enjoyed it, right from the get-go. I hadn't planned on going back to read their first book, but I liked this one so much that I changed my mind. So I'll have to pick it up soon.
Despite Wickham and Clyde the brooder, it isn't yet another Jane Austen re-write. Yes, there's a Wickham character and there are some other parallels to Pride & Prejudice, but that's just a small part of the whole.
Audrey and her two best friends have just started their junior year at Jemison High -- a public school. Since sixth grade, they've gone to a private one-room school. So, yeah. They're geeks. Wickham takes an interest in Audrey while Clyde (the shy brooding type) seethes from afar. The school bully also takes an interest. Everyone has their secrets and some of them are exposed in The Yellow Paper, the school's underground gossip rag.
It's a good one.