Thursday, June 11, 2009

Austenland - Shannon Hale

My Jane Austen kick continues! This is the story of Jane, a quirky New Yorker who is gifted a fantasy trip to "Austenland" where she gets to pretend to live the life of someone similar to a Jane Austen character during Regency times. The "vacation" lasts about three weeks. Jane's trip is a fun escape, but she also uses the trip to try and prove to herself that romantic men like Mr.Darcy of Pride & Prejudice are not worth pining over and fantasizing about. There are several comedic moments (Mrs.Charming's attempt at proper British is hilarious with her "what-whats" here and there), and there are some surprising romantic twists and turns in the plot (and fun make-out sessions, too). The characters in this story aren't who they seem to be, and I was a bit confused by some of them at times. The author was able to pull the story together nicely at the end, and, even though the ending seemed liked it was put together quickly, it was a good one. I recommend this to anyone looking for an enjoyable, fast read...and I don't think Jane Austen fans will mind this bit of fluff.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jane Austen Ruined My Life - Beth Pattillo

I love Jane Austen everything, and when I saw this book and read the first page, I knew it was coming home with me. I really enjoyed this story. It's easy to get into, the author's writing style is so relaxed and welcoming, and I wish the story hadn't ended. Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen love story, and I'm so glad that the author chose to feature it the way she did in this novel. I wish I had my own Captain Wentworth!

Emma's story is uplifting, and I love how Beth Pattillo kind of paralleled her story with Jane Austen's in the book. I especially loved reading all the made-up letters and the fun tasks Emma had to complete. My favorite task was the last one at Chawton where Emma runs her finger across Jane Austen's writing desk when no one is looking. I can totally see myself doing that, and my heart beat even speeds up just thinking about such a rush! Oh man, to feel the power! I would love to visit all the places Emma went to during her research. Fun, fun!

The only thing I wish was different was the ending. I was hoping the author would have featured a little more about Adam and Emma reuniting in the epilogue. I was really rooting for Adam the whole time. Poor guy. Pattillo should have written more story so that Adam and Emma could get together again back in London and have a happily-ever-after. Those are always nice...but the final ending does suit the story and leaves the reader wondering what will happen next. Sometimes at the end of a really good book, it is nice not really knowing the rest. It made for a good "find yourself" type story, and even though there was not as much romance as I would have liked, it was still a satisfying, fun read. I'm definitely keeping it to read again in the future.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Stern Men - Elizabeth Gilbert

It started out well enough, but I lost interest halfway through. I couldn't finish it and took the book to my local used store for credit. Sorry, Ms. Gilbert. I loved Eat, Pray, Love, and I couldn't put it down, but I gave up trying on this story.