Luckily I wasn't expecting anything more than a chick-lit novel from an excellent author, so while this could have been a disappointment it was actualLuckily I wasn't expecting anything more than a chick-lit novel from an excellent author, so while this could have been a disappointment it was actually pretty decent. This book is definitely nothing like Shannon Hale's other works, but it's a fun enough book to stand on its own.
The basic plot is Jane Hayes is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, specifically the BBC production with the every-so-handsome Colin Firth (understandable--I can't imagine many straight women that can watch this version of P&P and not fall in love with him). So much that she doesn't really give a lot of her relationships a chance, and is now a 30-something-year-old and wanting a husband and kids. Her great aunt, Carolyn, leaves an all-expense-trip to Pembrook Park for Jane in her will. Pembrook Park is basically an estate set up as a giant role-play during the Regency era of England, where for three weeks Jane is able to pretend she lives in the period.
As soon as the gentlemen of the novel are introduced in Austenland, it's pretty obvious the outcome of the novel. Anyone who has read a stereotypical romance written in the style of Jane Austen (or, really, read Pride and Prejudice) knows how this one will turn out, although there's a couple of moments where I thought I might have been wrong. Really, my biggest problem with the book was the cheesier writing style--I was hoping for a bit more of the fairy tale style that Hale uses in her children's books, rather than the goofy chick lit style with some overtones of Austen.
Oh, and the random slip-up where Aunt Carolyn is randomly Aunt Caroline...and then back to Carolyn? I was glad I wasn't the only one who noticed that, and I'm a little sad that the publisher (or Hale, herself) didn't catch that one. But that's just me nit-picking.
Fun book, overall, but definitely nothing literary. I'd like to see Shannon Hale write another adult novel, but for now I definitely prefer the whimsical children's novels she has written that read like good, old-fashioned fairy tales....more
I generally avoid bandwagon books, especially ones that customers pour into the store in droves to buy (I try not to be a snob, but certain books likeI generally avoid bandwagon books, especially ones that customers pour into the store in droves to buy (I try not to be a snob, but certain books like "The Da Vinci Code" have taught me to continue this trend). After multiple friends telling me to read the thing, I finally did and loved it.
I regretted starting the last 200 pages close to bedtime, however, and remember being up entirely too late and being an insane cranky-pants the next day, but it was worth it. Hosseini is an incredibly compelling writer, and he manages to be educational at the same time....more
This book deals with some very unpleasant subjects in Japanese society. Two prostitutes are both brutally murdered, and they just so happen to have knThis book deals with some very unpleasant subjects in Japanese society. Two prostitutes are both brutally murdered, and they just so happen to have known each other in high school. The story is mostly told in flash-backs and also by a found journal, from the different perspectives of the girls and one of their sisters. A dark novel, and you never really know exactly what happened (each version of the story contradicts the other). None of the characters are exactly likable, either, which can be a bit off-setting.--they're all pretty selfish or depraved.
Not a happy novel by any means, but a pretty fascinating look into the dark underbelly of Japanese society....more
An interesting look into life working on a traveling circus during America's Great Depression. I didn't expect much from this one, and was happy to fiAn interesting look into life working on a traveling circus during America's Great Depression. I didn't expect much from this one, and was happy to find out it was really quite good....more