As a BAD book blogger, I haven't been supporting Utah Book Month as I should. We really do have a lot of great authors here in Utah, many of whom come out and support our local get togethers and local events. They are really awesome! Right now I'm in the middle of reading Bree Despain's third novel in her Dark Divine series and I'm getting ready to read Shannon Hale's Midnight in Austenland. Before I pick up Hale's next novel though, I went back to re-read Austenland so I could remember some of the details, and it was even better the second time through!
Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.
Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?"
Review: This was a fun book to read from the get go. I liked the it the first time, and I loved it on the second go around. I distinctly remember not liking the Darcy-esque character in this novel, which is ironic, right? Aren't we supposed to not like him and then realize how prejudice we were? Yes, I do think that's the case. The first time I read it, I just remember being sucked into the re-enactment of our favorite, romantic read, Pride and Prejudice. This time, I remembered some of what was to come and paid more attention to the characters that I knew were the nice guys--you know, the way you watch the romantic lead in a movie when you know that's how he'll end up? You just seem to notice all the sweet things they do to show that they're not the person they are putting on. That was the case in this re-read; I picked up on some fun interactions that I didn't the first time around.
As far as sweet escape reading goes, this is high on that list. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Austenland and its twist on the Jane Austen tale. The ending is very reminiscent of a great chick film, which I loved. I'm in need of another one of these, so I hope the film comes out soon! On the whole, this was just a real delight to dive into and relive all over again! Now I'm ready for the movie to come out, which I'm hoping will come out before the end of the year.
All right. Now I can head off to read Midnight in Austenland!
By the way, here is a fun film exclusive if you're interested in the movie that will be coming out.