I chose this novel because it has an awesome name. I had a vague idea of what the book was about, but didn’t have any particular views going into the book and didn’t realize it was nonfiction (or mostly so apparently) until after I finished reading and verified it because I wasn’t quite sure.. I knew it was an ‘adventure’ of sorts and thus I stuck it into my Back to the Classics challenge as a Classic Adventure and it conveniently qualifies also for my Mount TBR and my longer term The Classics Club Challenge.
It only took about two days to read the book and what I primarily noticed was that people are really interested in Orwell. I had multiple people ask me what I was reading on the T. I assume this is because Orwell’s name is in pretty large letters across the cover and that portion stuck out of my back pocket. It was a bit strange, but it was nice to talk to strangers. I feel like most people have only read Animal Farm or 1984 like me, but those who have read most (or all) of Orwell say that this one is his best work and it’s interesting as it’s his first ‘full length’ work.
While waiting on another book from the library I decided to request a copy of Blessed Isle from NetGalley. I had luck with the Tucker Springs series and wanted something light and fun to read and I wasn’t disappointed. This is my honest opinion and I received nothing in return.
This is how you write a romance novel! (To me at least.) There’s no rushing into things, there’s no the world is ours after 2-3 months (or shorter) and there’s plenty of conflict and potential heartbreak. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for the Wham Bam style of romance novel, but they’re just not the type of love story I’m generally drawn to. In addition, there’s a subtlety about Beecroft’s writing and her efforts (and total success) at keeping the sex out of the book. In doing so she created a novel that was much less low-brow than you would assume and the focus was shifted to the love story and the time period, which really only adds to the story. And to top it off, Beercroft did a good job of building at least one sympathetic character,
“But one day, perhaps, when the world has grown kinder, this journal will be read by less jaundiced eyes. To them I will be able to say there was fidelity here, and love, and long-suffering sacrifice, and joy. To them I will be able to speak the truth.”
This is why reading a sequel/spinoff isn’t necessarily the best idea. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the changes and plot twists were definitely worth the invested reading time and the ending was just as clichéd and wonderful as the first book, but I would’ve been just as good if I stopped after Austenland. And yet I’m already wondering if there is another book in the works for the ‘series.’
First, I want to start of with this. If anyone ever sets me up on a blind date there are two things you should know about who your setting me up with. If they can discuss both Jane Austen and Star Wars I will probably make a fool of myself. Somehow I feel as if the author knew this and I nearly died of embarrassment/enjoyment/excitement when I read the following:
“His slightest smile produced Death Star-size dimples in both cheeks, and his blue eyes sparkled in the candlelight.” (31)
I mean seriously? A Star Wars reference in a Jane Austen fan-fiction novel? OMG, YES!
What better way to close out the year than with some much-needed light frivolous reading? Add in that it’s Jane Austen related and I’m in :-D The last book of the year after this will be Hale’s Midnight in Austenland.
Every time I read one of these I get all giggly and giddy and then immediately think WTF is wrong with me; and really I just need to let go and enjoy the senselessness of it and enjoy them for what they are (which I clearly do – thus the giggly/giddiness).
I don’t want to discredit or over-credit this book. I thought the story was incredibly entertaining, and definitely humorous, but the writing felt somewhat juvenile. I’m still not 100% sure whether this novel is geared towards young adults or just the general public. I saw on Goodreads, and maybe Wikipedia too, that many people had labeled it Young Adult, but I’m still not sure. Writing says young adult, storyline says no.
What a wonderful novel AND a beautiful film! The day I bought this book my roommate asked if I wanted to go see the film and after a lot of internal dialogue made external I decided to see the film before reading the book and it was well worth it. The score of the film was one of the most beautiful I’ve heard in ages and it was also visually stunning.
I knew this would be a good novel because it was only short listed for the Man Booker Prize! It was nominated for and won a few other awards. I’m still convinced, in general, the runners-up on the shortlist are often better than the winners. I have read the winner that year, Alan Hollinghurt’s The Line of Beauty, and although I really enjoyed Hollinghurst’s novel it was a tome and I struggled, so this book was easier to read and I would say more enjoyable for it’s set up and it’s approachability.