Austenland

Author: Shannon Hale
Adult fiction

Jane has one of those shameful little secrets that she doesn't want anyone to know... EVER!  She is obsessed with Jane Austen books... why can't all men be just like the charming (yet fictional) Mr. Darcy?  In an attempt to purge herself of this ridiculous notion of Austen's perfect world, Jane embarks on a 3 week vacation to "Austenland", a make believe setup in England where Austen fans can experience life as it is in her books.  From corsets to horse drawn carriages, Jane is plunged head first into the 1800's (with the exception of flush toilets), where she hopes to finally cure herself of the ridiculous delusions that are holding her back from enjoying real life in the 21st century. 

A friend handed me this book and said "I hated it, but I want to know what you think." Umm... yeah, ok then...  I found the story to be very silly, and not personally being obsessed with Jane Austen books, I kept thinking "get a life already". That much being said, Hale is a very funny writer, and her humor shines through in this book.  Several of the lines had me laughing out loud and helped improve the rather predictable plot.  I wouldn't say I liked or didn't like the book, it was just there, and I did finish it, so that is saying something (I'm not above putting a book down). There was nothing offensive in here of course, only a bit of mild making out, which wasn't bothersome at all.  Would I recommend this book?  Well, if you love Jane Austen (or even just Colin Firth), then absolutely!  If you are stranded on a desert island with nothing but this book or The Joy of Gardening, then maybe.  If you have a stack of 10 books to read like me, then perhaps you'll want to set this aside until you are headed out to sea.

Enjoy!
Becky

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