Monday, September 22, 2008

Austenland By Shannon Hale

I have been meaning to do this but lately just haven't had the time. A few weeks ago I finally got around to reading Austenland by Shannon Hale. It's been on my summer reading book list for awhile now, So I decided it was time. I had heard some pretty good reviews from various friends and was looking forward to sitting down for a light fun read. Austenland is a story of a 30ish single girl who was left a trip to England by an Elderly Aunt {who recently passed away} to join a 3 week, step back into time resort. There you must dress, act, and do all the activities and life events as one would have done if you had lived in 1818. From there the best way to sum it up is if you've seen Pride & Prejudice, then your all set.

Now, before I begin let me note that I had read Shannon Hales blog on "How to be a Reader" and I 100% agree with her that, to be a good reader you have to be open to the writers style and remember that this is the author's story to tale. Here's a little bit of what Shannon Hale had to say on how to be a good reader & so forth.

"You are half of the story. But in order to participate, you need to give up some control. You can't force the characters do say different things, do different things, be different people--you can only control your own interpretation and reaction to them. You need to allow the author to tell the story she's trying to tell. It may not be a good story, it may not be your kind of story, but if you don't try to play along, you're not giving the story a chance. And in the end you might not like it--there are an infinite number of reasons why this might be. But the author didn't fail you--the author just wrote a story that didn't click with your internal reader at this point in your life. You are responsible for half of that story. So you go find the next book, the next author that works for you, and as a team, you and the author tell a new story together. "

Again, I agree 100%. So as for my review for Austenland. This was just not my idea of a "fun" light read. ****SPOILERS*** First , I did not like how Jane, the lead heroine just HAD to get over her fascination with Pride & Prejudice and the whole Jane Austen world. What's wrong with it? The whole "Let's make out with Martin the Gardner" was just plain stupid & silly. I did try to make an effort in liking it BUT I found that I just could not like the lead character Jane. Yes, it did follow the whole kinda Pride & Prejudice feeling BUT Elizabeth Bennett would not have gotten up when board and decided to go make out with the Gardner.

So, I will try another Shannon Hale book later. To me, it just wasn't that cute or funny as I have heard others call it. If your looking for a light read, with a really cute love story to hold your interest, where the lead characters are at the center of the book, This is NOT your book.


bensey said...

good to know about the book! i had heard about this one & am glad you reviewed it so that at least i can know what i'm getting into, if i even decide to read it now. thanks for the review!

Menghinifamily said...

I really liked this book! But even if you didn't like it, you should try the goose girl by shannon hale. It was my favorite book of hers. And it's completely different so you might like it better.