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(Jane Austen's Diary)

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  826 ratings  ·  180 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)
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Average rating 3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  826 ratings  ·  180 reviews

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Feb 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ahnya by: Sophia
Nicola James is a girl with "A Plan." Literally she has a plan, and has stayed on track since she was 13. She is an engineer living in Austin, Texas, and even amongst its weirdness "The Plan" has not managed to derail. She finds a journal in an antique shop, and it has a mind of its own. After writing in the journal it transforms her entries into messages, and advice. After much convincing of a friend, and a suggestion that the journal is embodied with the spirit of Jane Austen, Nicola decides ...more
Apr 17, 2013 rated it liked it
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
McGuffy Morris
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Lesley a/k/a Eyelit
Shelves: retellings, romance
What a fun read. I am a Jane Austen fan, and I try to read all the JA fan-fic that I find. Some books are good, and some are awful. This one was so cute. From the little bit of magic to the romance with a hunky Scottish man, the book was a delight.
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Ever since I first read Pride and Prejudice, back when I was somewhere around twelve or thirteen, I've been an unmitigated Austen fangirl. Dear readers, I know that right now, you are probably all either pumping the air in sisterly solidarity or rolling your eyes at how trite it is to be obsessed with Jane Austen. For me, there can never be anything remotely hackneyed in appreciating some of the wittiest, best-written literature ever composed, so you can say what you want, but you will not chang ...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 earns yo
Maria Waltner
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Jan 23, 2013 added it
Shelves: austenesque
In Austentatious, Alyssa Goodnight transforms Jane Austen into a fairy godmother of sorts, dispensing “Miscellanious Morsels” through a magical journal. Our heroine, Nicola James, is an engineer intent on earning the right to wear a “Keep Austin Weird” shirt — except the only weird thing about Nic is her unwavering commitment to the Life Plan she crafted when she was 13 years old. This plan is all about job security and “sensible” romance with an equally geeky engineer with a 401(k) plan.

Nic’s l
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kensington-arcs
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
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magical, romance, fiction
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
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
May 19, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sharon Redfern
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“ 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
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
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
Aug 29, 2012 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
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: austenesque
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
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
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"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
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jane-austen
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
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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Alyssa Goodnight also writes as Stephanie Graves

Alyssa Goodnight is the author of the Jane Austen's Diary series (AUSTENTATIOUS, AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY) and a Regency historical, UNLADYLIKE PURSUITS. Her books have been mentioned in FIRST for Women, Woman's World, and Entertainment Weekly. Her latest, JUST SAY YES, will be released August 24, 2015.

Alyssa is a Texas girl who dreams of British accents

Other books in the series

Jane Austen's Diary (2 books)
  • Austensibly Ordinary

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“Wobbly as I was, I felt ready for anything-in a tentative, baby-steps kind of way.” 5 likes
“magic is flighty - find it and don't let go.” 2 likes
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