Wednesday, September 4, 2013
"Austenland" by Shannon Hale
Publication: August 10, 2010 by Bloomsbury
Cover Rating: 3/5 Stars
From Goodreads: Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.
Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen—or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It’s all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?
My Thoughts: The premise to this book held so much potential! I went into it knowing it was going to be a cutesy, fluffy, romantic comedy, and I was okay with that. But I was still let down! While yes, this IS a cutesy fluff novel, it felt like the author just slapped some characters on a page without bothering to try to make them "real" for the reader. I had a hard time relating to Jane and I felt like her Austen obsession was just an excuse for A) Wanting someone as hot as Colin Firth in "breeches" and B) to believe in "love at first sight". However I pushed myself to keep reading it because I thought SURELY this gets better... and it did. At least, a little.
I really enjoyed the idea behind the story, but as so often happens, I didn't love the way it was executed. Not even the charming Mr. Nobley could change my mind. I'm still holding out hope though that the movie will surpass the book.