I started off this month with a guest post at Roof Beam Reader where I talked about my three types of Janeites. I had a few books that I had been meaning to read and this seemed like a perfect excuse to read them, it turns out that I picked books that might just appeal to readers in any one of these three groups.
First up is the book for the "I'll Read Anything" set.
Love is a Battlefield by Tamara Morgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It was a really cute read, but I don't know if it impressed me enough to have me keep reading the series. I originally decided to read it when I saw that Kate is a member of a Jane Austen Regency Reenactment Society. Or JARRS!
That being said there was just something about the story that didn't work for me and I can't even really put my finger on what it was, but there was just "something". I feel like the problems the characters kept facing could have easily been solved with simple conversations, I tend to like when things are harder to solve and they really have to work at overcoming their problems.
For you "Inbetweeners" I would suggest the following two books.
The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'll admit, I cheated. Since I was listening to this, I sought out reviews with spoilers so I could see where the story was heading because the first disc interested me, but I didn't know if I wanted to keep listening. After reading the review with spoilers, I kept listening and I'm happy I did, this was a refreshing adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.
I'll also admit that Sense and Sensibility is my least favorite Jane Austen work, I've read it once and will probably never force myself to read it again. So when I saw in the spoiler reviews that the plot doesn't perfectly follow Jane's tale, I knew it would be worth my time to finish listening to this story.
There were so many things that reflected Jane's original work, yet changed them so they fit in with her (Schine) story. She changes up characters but has the fit perfectly into the rolls they are supposed to play that you can't help but just go along for the delightful ride this story turns out to be!
CLICK HERE FOR FULL REVIEW WITH SPOILERS
Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As I finished this book I found myself surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it and how much I liked it. I normally do not like these modern day adaptions of Jane Austen stories, but this one was different.
To start, I was pulled in my the cover first and the premise second. Darcy as a rock star? I can read that! I liked the changes in the story to fit the plot of this book.
As others have noted there were editing flaws with the book and there were a few sections that I had to reread because of the changing POV, that kept this from being a 5 star book.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL REVIEW
For you "Purists" and really for any one, I would suggest.
The Jane Austen Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons for the Modern Woman by Lori Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As with any interpretation of an author's work, Lori Smith uses what we know about Jane from her letters and those of her family to advise us on how Jane might advise us to live our lives. She uses examples from the books and it makes a nice little, light advice book.
I have had one little problem with the book and it's kind of had me question some other information in the book. Lori Smith writes
"Compared to Austen, we are a generation of hopeless romantics, just waiting to catch sight of the right person and fall head over heels into lifelong happiness. We may be surprised -- Austen wouldn't have any of that. Actually, she doesn't give us any successful stories of love at first sight. (45)"I think that's wrong, I think Jane and Bingley were a successful love at first sight relationship, and through a discussion on Facebook (CNJ-JASNA) we think there are more.
That being said, there was a lot of nice information and ideas that we could think about incorporating into our lives.
All Roads Lead to Austen: A Yearlong Journey with Jane by Amy Elizabeth Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I honestly can't think of anything to write besides that I loved this book!
Amy E. Smith spent a year touring South America. She visited 6 countries and hosted a number of reading groups to discuss Jane Austen and her works. She didn't cover all six novels, the discussions she had with those she did were wonderful. During her travels she meets new friends, experiences new things, and gets sucked into the culture and the uniqueness that makes up these countries. She also has her own love story.
If I was the kind of person that marked up a book, there would have been so many great passages underlined or highlighted. I really think I'll be rereading this book again.
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