Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Austentatious (Jane Austen's Diary)

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  494 ratings  ·  144 reviews
In this quirky, sexy novel set against the lively, music-filled backdrop of Austin, Texas, a young woman learns that romance can wreak havoc with even the best laid plans. . .

It started innocently enough. While browsing in one of Austin's funky little shops, Nicola James is intrigued by a blank vintage journal she finds hidden among a set of Jane Austen novels. Even though

Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,942)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Either I am too picky or my expectations were too high after reading all of the rave reviews for this novel. I was so excited to get my hands on a copy so I could devour it myself. Oh, how disappointed I was. It was a chore to get through. The writing was painful to me and the story was only mediocre. I loved the premise of a magical journal that allowed a correspondence between Austen and today but that is where the creativity ended. I could have cared less about the main character and found it...more
Jul 13, 2012 Roanne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: die hard Austen fans that are also huge chick-lit fans
Note to self: No more books with a Jane Austen tie-in, or where the author is heralded as "the modern Jane Austen" or maybe even evokes Jane Austen in the review or the cover copy. To a one, they always disappoint.

To be clear, I think Alyssa Goodnight can write, and someday down the road, I'll perhaps peruse one of her books and see if she has (A) found an editor and (b) quit writing like she is getting paid by the word (see A).

I didn't find Nicola James likable, and was unsure if she was a 30s...more
McGuffy Morris
Nicola James is a serious, career-minded woman. She is on a path that she set as a teenager. The only things missing are love and romance but, practical and sensible, she is not about to risk it all with fool hardy risks.

When Nicola finds a beautiful blank journal in a boutique in Austen, Texas, she is intrigued. It is shelved alongside Jane Austen novels, her favourite. She buys the journal, initially as a gift. She is so drawn to the journal that she decides to use it herself, and once she doe...more
There was a lot I enjoyed about Austentatious, but also a fair bit I found problematic. The novel scored big points with me early on by dropping a reference to The Princess Bride without belaboring it with an explanation. And I enjoyed its breezy, nerd-culture-reference-spiked tone throughout. I'm generally favorably inclined toward modern spins on classic Austen plots, and I was distinctly intrigued by the notion of Austen's voice being brought literally into the 21st century by a supernatural...more
Nicola who is the main character in this story, is an engineer and a very goal oriented person. She has planned her life since she was thirteen! Then she stumbles on a journal in an antiques store and all her life plans start to go out the door. This journal is a little magical and she dubs it fairygod mother Jane. The journal guides her by using Nic's words that she writes in the journal. At first Nic doesn't want to believe that the journal is doing this, but she enlists her mentee who encourg...more
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
While some of us may make general life plans and long-term goals, our heroine Nicola James has taken planning her life to the extreme. Creating a “Life Plan” at the age of thirteen and strictly adhering to it for the rest of their life is not something most people are in the practice of doing. But because Nicola's dad made promises he never kept and plans he never followed through on, Nicola has decided that everything in her life must strictly coincide and adhere to her Life Plan. Which include...more
Backstory on this book: I was at Goodwill and ran into the sister of this author. Somehow, we ended up talking about Jane Austen (doesn't everyone at Goodwill do this?) and she mentioned that her sister had a book coming out, with Jane Austen as a current day woman's fairy godmother. I love Austen, and am known in certain circles as a fairy godmother, plus I ended up corresponding with the author, so it seemed a natural for me to pick up.

Not bad in a chick-lit sort of way. I did feel as if the...more
"Slightly envious, I splayed my fingers over the bumpy back leather cover and had even gone so far as to dip my unpolished, trimmed-short fingernail into the tiny keyhole. I'd instantly felt an unexpected little zing that had sent goosebumps chasing each other up my arms and nerves spiraling down like a roller coaster into the pit of my stomach. Startled, I jumped back, jostling my full-to-the-brim cup and sending a cascade of warm, spiced tea down onto the little book, staining the pages, buckl...more
GENRE: YA Fiction
THEME: Romance/Drama
RECEIVED: For Review for The Teen Book Scene Tour

I’m such a sap when it comes to anything Jane Austen; I always love the strong female lead and the wonderfully crafted romance. Alyssa Goodnight has written a story that every Jane Austen fan would love to have happened to them, Jane Austen herself giving advice, especially romantic advice. I immensely enjoyed Austentatious and look forward to reading more from Alys...more
As a fan of Jane Austen (especially Pride and Prejudice!), I love coming across books that take a bit of Austen into the story without trying to rewrite or add to the original (sorry, not a fan of the "sequels" written about Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennett). Usually these types of books are a lot of fun and seem to be written with the rabid fan in mind. This author is obviously a Jane Austen fan herself, and she wrote a really cute little story here. I liked most of the characters overall, and an...more
Lori McD
Nicola James is an engineer with an MBA whose life follows The Plan she made at age 13. Except she's got no life and no romance; she's too busy following The Plan.

Enter a quaint-looking diary with a mysterious quote from Jane Austen inside:
"...I dedicate to You the following Miscellaneous Morsels, convinced that if you seriously attend to them, You will derive from them very important Instructions, with regard to your Conduct in Life."

Nicola buys it for a vintage-obsessed younger cousin, but whi...more
I heard about Austentatious while en route to Philadelphia. Two women sitting behind me on my British Airways flight to Philly were talking about it--one was raving about it, the other was in complete agreement. The first woman swore any fan of Jane Austen ought to read this book. I don't know if I would go that far--I know many Jane Austen purists who would be totally against anything derived from Austen's original novels--but it was an enjoyable read and it accompanied me on many a visit to St...more
Austentatious is an awesome story!! What happens when a nerdy engineer meets a HOT Scottish musician? Throw a magical journal into the mix and life can get a little out of control! All of which makes a humorous story that I couldn’t put down!

The day Nicola James begins writing in an antique journal, her "Life Plan" begins to unravel. Her entries disappear only to be replaced with tidbits of advice on life and romance. Very skeptical, Nic tries to ignore the advice “Fairy Jane” is giving her beca...more
Majibookshelf Juhina & Farah
Anyone who knows me knows how I am a Jane Austen fan, specifically for her Pride and Prejudice novel; It is even my all time favorite movie and any book that has any relation to Jane Austen grabs my attention immediately! Austentatious, from its title, had me sold. Picture you finding an old journal at a used shop and then writing in it, normal right? then the next time you open it to write some more, you find a REPLY BACK to your journal entry! and by none other than the lovely Jane Austen hers...more
Kate  Maxwell
This clever, witty, and quick-paced novel was a joy to read! Nicola James, an engineer in Austin, Texas, created a Life Plan when she was 13 years old, and was still (begrudgingly?) sticking to it when she came across a magical journal that led her down a path least expected. I don’t think I have laughed out loud with any book as much as I did with Austentatious!

Alyssa Goodnight has created a character so human and so funny, that I instantly fell in love with her and wanted her to be my new best...more
Sharon Redfern
“ Miss Nicola James will be sensible and indulge in a little romance.” Twelve little words in a journal, the problem being that Nicola had written several paragraphs earlier and this is all that was left. Nicola is a straight-laced engineer living in Austin Texas. She is probably one of very few people who doesn’t own one of the city’s signature Weird t-shirts. She has a PLAN for her life and she is going to stick to it.
The plan starts to derail when she purchases a small antique journal that s...more
Austentatious! What a fun, hot novel! I was swept up in a whirlwind of kooky advice, humorous characters and steamy romance.

When Nicola James beings writing in an antique-looking diary, her life begins to change. Once her journal begins writing back, she must decide if she is going to cling to normalcy, predictability, and her life plan, or throw caution to the wind and cross over to the weird side. After all, the unofficial motto of her hometown, Austin, Texas, is “Keep Austin Weird.” And who...more
Coranne (The Best Books Ever)
Two words. Sean MacInnes. ... kilt. Sean Macinnes in a kilt. I think this review is complete.
I am kidding. (Not about him though- yowzas!) This was not at all what I expected, and it exceeded my expectations. This is a contemporary romance that has the feel of a Bridget Jones Diary. Nic reminds me of many of my friends- that is what makes her character so wonderful. The author had me caring for Nic from chapter one- she is a realistic character that could be a sister or friend.

I love the magic...more
I will have to say that Austentatious absolutely captured my heart and wouldn’t let go and I couldn’t be happier!

Nicola James is a woman with a plan. This plan is well laid out and pretty much written in stone. She has her life mapped out and by golly she is going to make it happen. All that changed the moment she purchased a vintage journal for her cousin. When a cup of chai tea latte met the journal, all things changed. With the gift ruined and now owned by Nicola by default, she can’t help bu...more
Maria Waltner
There was very little I didn't love about this book. So little, in fact, that I am having trouble coming up with anything that didn't strike a chord.

Ms. Nicola James is sensible. On the fast track to management within her engineering job, Nic has had her life planned since she was 13. Furthermore, despite the fact that Nic has lived in Austin, Texas (whose slogan "Keep Austin Weird" is proudly flaunted throughout the whole book), Ms. Nicola James has done very little in the way of weird. Even h...more
This one was such fun and edge of your seat what will she do now? Both what will Nicola, the main character, do now, but also her "Fairy Jane" who posts in her antique journal with instructions to follow. Whether Nic follows them or not and how very serious-minded, down-to-earth Nic can wrap her mind around the possibility of the journal's magic is half the fun.
I think to really get the full enjoyment of this one, you should be at least passingly familiar with Jane Austen's works, the...more
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
I really, really loved this book! It hooked me from the very beginning and didn't release me until the very end.

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I immediately thought of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (I am a huge Harry Potter geek fan. So anytime a connection can be made, it usually pops in my head.) I loved that once I hit chapter 3 of this book, there was a Harry Potter reference and Luna Lovegood zing! But, this book was so much more than my initial thought and so much...more
This book is so Magical! I seriously could not stop smiling and laughing while I was reading it. I didn't want it to end at all. I loved that the chapter titles were the bits of advice from the journal and I loved the Jane Austen Quotes. This books makes me want to pick up the Collected works of Jane Austen and rediscover their magic.

Nicola James is one of my favorite female main characters that I have read about in a long time. She is funny and quirky, awkward and geeky and I loved all of her...more
Austentatious is my second attempt in the audiobook realm and I finally found one that I love! This book is so much fun. So much fun, I found myself smiling and giggling throughout the entire book. It truly was a joy to listen to it.

Nicola James is a girl after my own heart. She wants organization, security, and predictability. Plus, she’s the girl with a Plan. I loved that one little book could wreck such havoc over every aspect of her life, personal and professional. Ms. Goodnight’s use of the...more
I listened to this one on audiobook, so you guys are actually going to get 2 reviews in 1, here: my thoughts on the story, and my thoughts on Janine Hegarty's narration of it. And I might as well just jump the gun and tell you I loved both. Okay, so yes, I may have made it pointless for you to read the rest of this review now, but I trust you'll stick around for my dazzling wit.
No? Unceasing charm?
Because you've got nothing else to do, and reading & commenting on this review earn...more
Aug 29, 2012 Stacy added it
What a lovely romp of a read!!! I easily devoured it in one sitting – laughing and smiling.

I absolutely adore this Jane Austen-esque book. It is full of wit, comedy, magical journaling and utterly cute and ahhh worthy romance. Goodnight has done an excellent job capturing the essence of Jane Austen and her characters – creating a modern world for them to live. While there aren’t direct correlations to Austen characters (well, except for Nicola and Sean), there are plenty of references to them fo...more
I really like the premise of this story. The plot, writing style, and many of the characters really delivered. It has a large dose of Jane Austen, but you need not know a thing about Austen or her books to appreciate this story.

Obsessive Test Engineer, Nicola James, who has everything plotted down to the crossed 't's and dotted 'i's in her life stumbles upon a magic journal in a curiosity shop. The journal leads her on a little romantic adventure kicking and screaming all the way. Her romantic...more
Update 12/27/2011: I loved this book! Nicola is an endearing and neurotic protagonist (my favorite kind), and her narrative voice is funny and wise; Jane Austen would approve! I enjoyed all of the minor characters as well, particularly Gabe and Beck who give Nic the nudge she needs to take action and find her happiness. And oh, Sean MacInnes... what a dashing and sexy rogue! From his first encounter with Nic over a mushroom dropped into cleavage (hilarious scene!), he charmed his way into Nic's...more
I loved this book and now I have a great desire to go tour around Austin and find my own rock star romance. The way Ms. Goodnight injected Jane Austen into a modern story was clever and fun. I'm pretty sure I could use a few days with that magical journal. Yes. This book definitely left me believing in the possibility of magic.
Bibliolatry Me
"I really enjoyed reading their romance and I loved Nic's entries in the journal and the things that Fairy Jane would reply back with. It put a nice paranormal spin on what otherwise would have been a contemporary romance novel."

Read full review
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 64 65 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Jane Austen Sequels: Austentatious, by Alyssa Goodnight 3 5 Oct 07, 2012 12:21PM  
  • The Three Colonels: Jane Austen's Fighting Men
  • Attempting Elizabeth
  • Mr. Darcy's Secret
  • First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride & Prejudice
  • Persuade Me (Darcy & Friends, #2)
  • And This Our Life: Chronicles of the Darcy Family: Book 1
  • Mr. Darcy Forever (Austen Addicts #3)
  • The Darcy Cousins
  • Compulsively Mr. Darcy
  • Rainy Days - An Alternative Journey from Pride and Prejudice to Passion and Love.
  • A Wife for Mr. Darcy
  • The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy
  • Darcy and Anne: It Is a Truth Universally Acknowledged That Lady Catherine Will Never Find a Husband for Anne...
  • A Pemberley Medley
  • An Arranged Marriage
  • Intimations of Austen
  • Only Mr Darcy Will Do
  • The Darcys Give a Ball: A Gentle Joke, Jane Austen Style
Alyssa Goodnight is the author of AUSTENTATIOUS, the story of a girl, a journal, and the incorrigible Jane Austen. The (sort of) sequel will be published in Feb 2013, by Kensington Books.

Keep up with Alyssa on her blog at

Or visit her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
More about Alyssa Goodnight...
Austensibly Ordinary Unladylike Pursuits Austentatious

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Wobbly as I was, I felt ready for anything-in a tentative, baby-steps kind of way.” 4 likes
“magic is flighty - find it and don't let go.” 1 likes
More quotes…