DRAMATIS PERSONAE ...................................... Anne ShirleyIt's not often that a book lives up to its public-shaming-if-you-haven't-read hype. This book lives up to its 104 YEAR HYPE. I almost divorced my childhood for not reading this then. So many of the words that describe Anne are ones that too many girls are running away from today -- imaginative, impertinent, outspoken, smart, driven. If you have a problem with them, you can take it up with the slate being cracked over your head. She's a scrappy little hustler who convinces Marilla Cuthbert to keep her at Green Gables, changing both of their lives. I absolutely loved this now and would've adored it back in the day. Like Judy Abbott, another feisty orphan, Anne has so much gumption. Gumption seems like such an old-fashioned word... Is it an out-of-date characteristic? Why don't modern characters have more gumption?! Be the badass you wish to see in the world, girls!One of the reasons Anne grows up to be badass and not just an ass is Marilla. Marilla was old school 100 years ago. Her strict parenting style would probably be crucified along with Liz Lemon's on Urban Baby, but Marilla Cuthbert does. not. care. I admit, my appreciation for Marilla, like my own mother, came in hindsight. While reading, I sympathized with Anne and her non-puffed sleeves. However, Marilla was as fair as she was tough, and her devotion to Anne was unwavering. This brings me to another favorite character with unwavering affection for Anne -- Matthew Cuthbert. Matthew, who knew nothing of fashion or puffed sleeves but knew how important they were to Anne, was soft where Marilla was rigid. His kind and gentle manner brought tears to my eyes. Now about Gilbert Blythe. Ah, Gilbert. If only you were my boy next door. A love interest isn't someone who completes you or who you have to change yourself for -- it's someone who challenges you and makes you better and, here's the important part, VICE VERSA. Gilbert is Anne's pace car. Whenever she finds herself slacking in her studies, she mentally checks herself against Gilbert to push herself to work harder. I like that though Gilbert isn't in every scene or even a majority of the scenes, he sneaks in through Anne's subconscious."But, oh, Matthew, I'm so sleepy. I can't go to school. I just know I couldn't keep my eyes open and I'd be so stupid. But I hate to stay home for Gil--some of the others will get head of the class..."Gilbert's scenes made me grin so much, and not just because I was picturing Henry Cavill.I was worried when I started this book because it seemed, well, old timey and nothing makes my attention drift faster.* I ended up picking up the audio version from the library and put it on while I was stuck in traffic. This worked out really well because I could zone out through some slower parts early on and by the time I was home, I couldn't flip through the pages fast enough. I can't wait to follow Anne to Avonlea and beyond. I'm in complete agreement with Miss Barry when she says,"That Anne-girl improves all the time. I get tired of other girls -- there is such a provoking and eternal sameness about them. Anne has as many shades as a rainbow and every shade is the prettiest while it lasts. I don't know that she is as amusing as she was when she was a child, but she makes me love her and I like people who make me love them. It saves me so much trouble in making myself love them."If you haven't ventured to Prince Edward Island yet, just open this book. Anne will do the rest.This review appears as part of the Back to the Future challenge on Young Adult Anonymous.--*That is until I started [b:Infinite Jest|6759|Infinite Jest|David Foster Wallace|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1165604485s/6759.jpg|3271542].