The Saturday Reading List: Austenland

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Austenland book cover

The Stats:

  • Fiction, Humor, Romance
  • 3/5
  • Warnings: Neither for those who have never picked up an Austen book or watched one of the Austen TV/movie adaptations (come on, you have had to at least seen the BBC version of Pride or Prejudice) nor for those who are hardcore Austen fanatics who can’t handle Austen being poked and slightly made fun at.

From the back of the book: “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?

In this addictive, charming, and compassionate story, Shannon Hale brings out the Jane Austen obsessive in all of us.”

Zo’s Review: 

I think when I first picked up Austenland I was going through a BBC Pride and Prejudice phase (I mean come on! Colin Firth was made to play Mr. Darcy. He even somewhat reprised the role in The Bridget Jones Diary.). So yeah, I was on a Mr. Darcy high when I found Austenland the book and its movie adaptation. Yeah, I’ll admit, I watched the movie first before the book and though the movie was pretty cute, the book (as in most book turned movie adaptation situations) had a bit more.

The main character, Jane, hasn’t had the best of luck with guys and that might partially be due to her desire to find a guy that can stand up to her Mr. Darcy standards. So the solution: go to an Austen themed resort where guys are paid to be Mr. Darcy-esque and to flirt with you while you wear regency era clothing. Fuuunnnnn…

But I liked Jane. She’s not the most complex character in fictional existence but she’s likable and funny enough that you do root for her. The other characters are great too from the over the top but well meaning Ms. Charming, the flamboyant and entertaining Andrews, to the solemn and serious Mr. Nobley. Honestly, this book kind of made me want to take my own adventure to Austenland…kind of.

If you’re looking for something as constructed as Austen’s original work than this is not the book for you. If you want a light, fun, not too serious, read where Austen’s original characters are both loved and somewhat poked fun at, than Austenland is the book for you.

austenland quote

quote from Austenland (and also my life)

P.S. Need a movie to watch tonight, totally check out the movie version of Austenland. It’s totally fun.

You know you want to.


2 thoughts on “The Saturday Reading List: Austenland

  1. Disha says:

    Aah…you’re right. I had a major problem with the movie since I have been reading Austen ever since I was about ten. But I do see how this can be appealing to others. I guess


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