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review 2017-07-27 01:27
Austenland - Shannon Hale

Jane is obsessed with P&P.  Okay, she's really into Colin Firth as Mr Darcy.  When her aunt dies, she is gifted with an all expenses paid trip to England to stay at Pembrook Park. Pembrook Park is a place where one can go and pretend to live in regency England.  PP employs actors, so who knows when something is real or genuine.  

So, interesting premise, but fell flat for me.  But I will say I liked the movie better (I know, sacrilege!)  I didn't like Jane.  She was flat, pathetic, and I really (really!) wanted to slap her. She did get better as the book progresses, but not enough for me.  I didn't like how she hid her P&P DVDs.  Luckily, they are on the shelf by the end of the book.  I own them too!

Sweet ending.

I hated this quote:  "You know, that book did Austen herself no good- died a spinster."  Yep, cause there is nothing worse than a woman who is SINGLE!  It doesn't matter how accomplished you are, etc, the "S" word is what is important.  Whatever.  


#rippedbodicebingo - Austen retelling

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review 2016-10-29 19:51
Austenland - Shannon Hale

Next in my stream of "happy" books to take my mind off of current events I thought I'd read Hale's 'Austenland'. Jane is a New Yorker who has been unable to find the right man for a relationship. Maybe she lets her adoration of Mr. Darcy from Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' get in the way. But when reality is so disappointing, who can blame her?


A wealthy relative conveniently passes away and bequeaths a trip to an English resort that is aimed at women like Jane. The visitor is plunged into a Regency-era play acting sort of deal. Will Jane find love? Will this visit cure her of her obsession with Jane Austen? Read to find out!


Or not. I'm not familiar with Hale's work although I'm aware she's done work such as the 'Princess in Black' books. But she's an informative follow on Twitter so I thought I'd try one of her books out. Unfortunately, this book is exactly what I dislike. I don't care for romances. I've found most Jane Austen update attempts or revisions or adaptations do not work very well for me.


And Jane herself is just not interesting. She pines over the fact that she hasn't been successful in love. This is incredibly irritating as a plot point and is unappealing for me. The Jane Austen amusement park does not sound very interesting and the plot bored me out of my mind.


Other reviews say this isn't a representation of Hale's best work. That's a relief and a pity. I'll still follow her on Twitter but I wouldn't recommend this at all. Some people say it's great if you enjoy romantic comedies, "chick lit", Jane Austen-themed books, etc. none of which I really enjoy so perhaps it's just a bad fit.

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review 2016-08-29 14:23
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Austenland - Shannon Hale
Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1740389428
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text 2016-05-20 05:35
New Books This Week (May 20)
The Bookshop Strikes Back - Ann Patchett
Old Herbaceous: A Novel of the Garden - Reginald Arkell
Midnight in Austenland - Shannon Hale
On the Edge - Ilona Andrews
Against the Paw - Diane Kelly
Love, Lies and Spies - Cindy Anstey

These trickled in over the course of the week, so as I was putting this together I was surprised how many there were; if you'd asked me, I'd have said 2-3 max.


The Bookshop Strikes Back by Ann Patchett almost doesn't count as a book, it's really a special printing pamphlet Bloomsbury books did of Patchett's essay from the Atlantic Monthly in 2012.  I hunted it down because I'm building a small "books about books" collection.  It's a good essay, btw.


Old Herbaceous is one I picked up from one of my BL friends' posts; I have got to start using the notes function so I can properly thank people by name.


Midnight in Austenland was recommended to me by Darth Pony (ha! remembered!) because I'd read the first book, Austenland and thought it was pretty good.


Love, Lies and Spies was an impulse buy when I stopped at our local bookstore to buy MT a copy of The Hunger Games.  After being eyeball-deep in Harry Bosch and books by Baldacci he turned to me the other night and said he wanted to read The Hunger Games.  Cool, although I'm still trying to adjust to the genre whiplash.


New books: 6

Books read: 3

Total physical TBR: 221


Happy weekend everyone!

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review 2016-04-20 09:54
Austenland - Shannon Hale

Jane is hopelessly obsessed with Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice, going so far as to allow it to color all her attempts at romance.  A deceased relative bequeaths her a 3-week stay at an all-inclusive, fully immersive, Regency England country house, complete with Austenesque characters and romances and Jane goes with the intention of putting the fantasy behind her, once and for all.


I've seen this one recommended time and again, but i've never been that into romance or Mr. Darcy (as much as I love P&P) so I never made an effort to read the book.  A few months ago, I ran across a copy at the book outlet and thought, why not?


I was immediately taken with the writing - the tone felt so very Austen!  But it took a lot longer for me to warm to Jane; her constant berating of herself grew thin fast and at one point, I wondered if I'd finish.  Luckily, that was just when Jane started finding her spine and things started getting interesting.  Honestly, Pembrook Park was almost Machiavellian; Hale too, because she totally, totally fooled me.  This was a 3.5 star read until that final couple of scenes.  By the end of the book I not only liked Jane, but I respected her.


A fun read that ultimately surprised me.

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