Friday, May 08, 2009

'Austenland'

by Shannon Hale
Fiction/Chicklit, 2007
Bloomsbury USA, trade pb, 194 p.
Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man – perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths to her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?
I read most of this one afternoon curled up on the sofa with a headache, and it was just the thing to distract me from my sinuses. I couldn’t concentrate on anything too deep just then and after re-reading Twilight I was still in the mood for a little romance, so this one caught my eye. It had been in my stack for the read-a-thon, although I didn’t get to it the day of. It would’ve been a good choice though as it was easy to read, and the pages flew by. It’s essentially chicklit so it had some typical cheesy moments and the requisite happy ending, but it was also humorous and witty sometimes. I'm pretty sure I chuckled out loud a couple of times. I’m not quite as obsessed as the character Jane in the story, but I do have a fondness for Mr. Darcy, and Jane Austen, so the premise and the setting was a lot of fun. Overall, it was an amusing story and a nice way to spend a few hours.

Shannon Hale's website
Interview with Shannon Hale (at Estella's Revenge)
Interview with Shannon Hale (at Maw Books Blog)

First sentence: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be in want of very little, and Jane Hayes, pretty enough and clever enough, was certainly thought to have little to distress her.



My Rating: 3.5/5
(#28 for 2009)

Also reviewed at:
A High and Hidden Place
Bookfoolery and Babble
Fyrefly's Book Blog
Tip of the Iceberg
Savvy Verse & Wit
Stephanie's Written Word
Maw Books Blog
Books Lists Life
If I've missed yours, let me know and I'll link to it here.

9 comments:

  1. Austenland is definitely a nice, light upper for a headachy day. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  2. Ooh, I didn't know Shannon Hale does chicklit! I haven't tried her yet, but I got a couple of her YA fantasies in my TBR. Must move them up the line

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  3. I think you nailed this book perfectly! I too really enjoyed it and thought it was a fun book.

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  4. I've not read any of the Austen spin-offs but this one sounds just fun. Everyone seems to love it so it's on my list of course :)

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  5. I read this last year and thought it was a really fun read. I would probably make a great movie too!

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  6. This isn't my normal read, but I think I might plan to read it one of these days!

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  7. Nancy - Yes, fun and easy to read was about all I could handle and it fit perfectly. :)

    sumthinblue - I think it's the only chicklit she's written so far. I have The Goose Girl in my TBR mountain and really should try to read it soon.

    Staci - It was a lot of fun to read! There's nothing like some fluffy romance when you're in the mood for it.

    Iliana - It was very cute! I hope you enjoy it too when you get to it.

    Stephanie - I ended up watching The Jane Austen Bookclub after reading this and I was thinking that too, that it would be a fun movie.

    Kailana - It's a really quick read so you'll just fly right through it. I don't read a lot of chicklit anymore either but every so often it can be fun. The fact that I love P&P helped of course!

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  8. I reviewed this as well and thought it was a really fun read. I read it on a sick day and the pages just flew by.

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  9. Jess - Yes, it's the perfect kind of book to read when you're not feeling well. :)

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