Monday, May 12, 2014

Austenland by Shannon Hale

The problem with following authors on Twitter is that you want to buy/read/watch everything that they talk about in their tweets. That’s how I came across Austenland, and before anyone asks, yes, I did see the movie before I read the book. But I believe that I can keep the two apart…maybe.

So, Jane Hayes hasn’t been lucky in love. All of her boyfriends (all thirteen) have turned out to be total assholes or gay. The one thing she could depend on was the wonderful Mr. Darcy and the wonderful works of Jane Austen. Her obsession, including the Pride & Prejudice movie with Colin Firth, is not healthy and she knows that. Her best friend has told her that, and even her great aunt told her that. However, after her great aunt dies, Jane is surprised when she is notified that she was named in the will. Her great aunt doesn’t leave her money, instead she leaves her a trip to Pembrook Place aka Austenland.

Jane goes and is swept up into a world straight out of an Austen novel. The only problem is that she can’t seem to wrap her head around the fact that this is supposed to be real. Hence, why she falls into the gardener’s – Martin – arms. He is apart from all of this, and things seem to be going wonderfully until he dumps her unexpectedly. Jane is shocked, but it seems to be the push she needs to fully encompass herself into the theatrics of Austenland.

Only she doesn’t really seem to. She knows that all of this is an act that these are actors trying to win her affection, and that seems to be the rude awakening that she needed to realize that her obsession with Austen and Mr. Darcy needs to stop – am I the only person who didn’t like the character of Mr. Darcy?

Okay, so I really liked this book – no, really I did. It’s just that…I think the movie was better. For instance the character of Miss Charming? She had a lot more character development in the movie than she did in the book. Martin’s character was kind of boring in the book, more interesting in the movie. The only thing I liked more in the book was the final scene with Mr. Nobely. I loved the fact that he jumped onto the plane and followed Jane home. It worked better than him showing up at her apartment the next day with her sketchbook that she left.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Good book, just a little boring in a few parts.

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