One of my blogging goals this year is to actually start talking about books rather than just review them. And while my reviews are more casual and I do just let it all out sometimes, there are those times when I don’t really want to “formally” review a book for whatever reason – wasn’t really feeling it, it’s an older book, it doesn’t really fit into the “type” of book I review on here – but I still want to talk about it with you all! Typically whenever this situation has come up in the past I’ve just text or tweeted folks about it, but I figured a lot of you had read some of these books I want to discuss and would want to chat too!
Today I want to talk about:
I have sooo many friends who have read these books and they LOVED Austenland. I lucked out and found an ARC of it at my library’s used book store (seriously one of my cooler finds there). I decided to buy it because a) everyone loved it and b) the movie was coming out. And it sat on my shelf.
I finally read it last week during Bout of Books (which I failed epically) and oh man, I REALLY loved it! Granted, it made me feel all the feels which turned out to be not so good because I started crying, but otherwise it was a light, refreshing and fun read.
Here’s why it made me cry: I totally felt like Jane. Bad relationship after bad relationship, a confident well-adjusted woman (for the most part) who just wants a Mr. Darcy and is that too much to ask? I think this book, while a light read, made me look at my own love life. Granted it’s not quite as disastrous as Jane’s was, but I felt like I understood her pain and her desire for a romance straight out of an Austen book. Damnit, is it too much to ask to for Colin Firth coming out of the lake in a white shirt?
The one thing that really made me fall in love with this book was the characters. They were so perfectly written for the setting – quirky, a little off-beat, obsessive; I could seriously imagine that these would be the types of people who would run, work for and go to a Jane Austen themed.. er… theme park? Destination? I don’t know. My favorite character had to have been Miss Elizabeth Charming. At first I wasn’t a fan because I kept picturing this old dumpy woman and it just didn’t fit. But then I realized Jennifer Coolidge played her in the movie and it was like she suddenly clicked for me. She was so hilarious and the perfect comedic relief, but I think she also had a much deeper side that we got to see shine at serious moments – I love these types of characters!
The only thing that bothered me about this book series is how easily the visitors seem to fall into place in Austenland. I kept imagining how I would be if I went on this vacation. I would have been awkward, clumsy and terrified of the Austen love interest who was hired to woo me. I know this book was supposed to be kind of fantastical and probably not the MOST realistic, but since it was written so realistically I couldn’t help but think this way.
Austenland was such a fun book to read that I hated to put it down. It was filled with ups and downs, laughter, romantic suspense… honestly one of the better fun romances I’ve read in a really long time. I will definitely be reading it again!
Have you read Austenland? What are your thoughts on it? Let’s chat!