Book Review: Austenland by Shannon Hale

I’ll admit this came on to my radar after seeing the trailer for the movie.  Figured it would be something worth checking out.  Here is my review of Austenland by Shannon Hale.

Austenland (Austenland, #1)

The basic idea is a three week vacation to fully immerse into Jane Austen’s era.  I think my favorite thing about this is how complicated Jane’s feelings get.  I mean the premise itself is simple, and she knows what she’s getting herself into.  But it really is a be-careful-what-you-wish-for scenario on a few different levels.  Not only does she have to deal with her options of the other characters (where everyone is acting) but even just the setting itself.  I certainly wouldn’t mind having more idle time to be reading, but I can imagine just sitting around all day every day getting boring.  I thought it was great that the experience just wasn’t cut and dry for her.

As far as Jane herself, I thought she was not the most likable main character I’ve read, but certainly not the worst.  The flashbacks to her prior ‘relationships’ (a word she throws around very easily) I think help sum it up the best.  I would say most of us are wishing for that happily ever after ending.  I just find it frustrating to watch someone wrap themselves up in the fantasy without keeping at least a little grounded in reality.

Overall this is a fun and breezy book.  Summer might be over but this has that easy (slightly predictable) beach read feel that is perfect for when you want something light.  I give it three out of five stars.


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