Books

Book 558: Autoboyography – Christina Lauren

I can’t believe I binged this. I started it around 4 PM on my way home from work and was done by midnight. I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as I did, but it just hit all the right notes for me.

Books like this and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda make me sad that these weren’t around when I was a teenager, but also incredibly happy at how far we’ve (allegedly) come as a society and for the future LGBTQ+ teens out there. I have two more Freak Show and Geography Club that I picked up a few months ago and am excited to read in the next few weeks. Books like these and the more recent comics I read in No Straight Lines make me feel like those old LGBTQ+ individuals on YouTube who are in awe of the freedom we have today.

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Books

Book 557: The Brontë Plot – Katherine Reay

The Brontë Plot cover artThe downside with reading so many romance novels by the same author back-to-back is you quickly discover their strengths and weaknesses. As I read each of Reay’s works, they became less and less memorable even as I was reading them.

If I have to tie it down to the most basic its character development closely followed by pacing. I’m not one to need a “two months later” directional at every instance, but in Reay’s case it would’ve helped a lot. Toward the beginning of the novel the meet cute and the timing was so off I found myself having to re-read multiple sections to see if I’d missed the introduction or some major indicator of time having passed. (I hadn’t.)

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Books

Book 553: Dear Mr. Knightley – Katherine Reay

"Dear Mr. Knightley" book cover artThis book is what I was worried of when I found out these were categorized under clean romance and Christian fiction. It could’ve been A LOT worse, but it was just enough to start to put me off toward the end of the novel. That being said, I know there’s a HUGE market for both clean romance AND Christina fiction, so I can’t really fault it too much because it was just a little too preachy for me at some points. I’ll talk more about this later.

I’m still not sure where to categorize this for my own references. I think they’d be more accurately described as inspired by Austen rather than the traditional fan-fiction/fanfiction. Reay does a great job weaving in the stories and characters from Austen’s works but doesn’t necessarily use them as frameworks or even plot outlines. I’ll read the other’s books in her oeuvre that are Austen/Brontë connected because they’re such quick reads, but I’m not sure I’ll follow her into the future.

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Books

Book 551: The Austen Escape – Katherine Reay

I picked this up at the library after reading about it on Jane’s blog greenish bookshelf, and wasn’t sure what to expect. I do occasionally like a clean romance, but let’s face it I also enjoy some pretty trashy and raunchy novels/works. I also wasn’t 100% sure where this would rank on the romance scale with it often being categorized as Christina Fiction, but I did ultimately enjoy the book. I have also complained multiple times about the books where characters jump right in to sex and living together and the whole book happens in two months. So basically, I don’t know what I want in a romance novel. But seriously though, coat it in Austen or Brontë, no matter how tenuous, and I’ll be happy!

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Books

Book 532: Epic Fail – Claire LaZebnik

This is one of the best Jane Austen adaptations I’ve read in a long time, maybe I’m just moving toward only wanting to read YA adaptations but honestly it made me laugh and similarly to The Season I read back in November I read it pretty much in one sitting. Basically, this book did for Pride and Prejudice what Clueless (IMDb link) did for Emma.

Seriously, if you don’t believe me just go look at the number of Austen adaptations/modernizations that I’ve read here. I’ll wait.

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Books

Book 531: Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet (Perfect #2) – Marilyn Brant

This is the second novel in the two book series, Perfect. The first, Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet and this one are both just sort of okay. This picks up within six months of Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match and happens over three weeks.

I did really enjoy Brant’s characterizations of the Jane and Bingley characters from Pride and Prejudice, which is who this book focuses on. They’re the best friends of Beth Ann and William from the first book and the story revolves around their being best man and maid of honor at their wedding and the various shenanigans that ensue surrounding various bets they make with each other while trying not to kiss or kill each other.

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Books

Book 530: Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match (Perfect #1) – Marilyn Brant

I picked up a digital copy of this back in June of 2014. I never got around to reading it because it never caught my attention as well as it did when I first bought it. However, when I needed a book to kickstart my reading, as usual, I went to my Goodreads account and sorted by shortest to longest and this was one of the shorter novels on the list.

I think what I actually enjoyed about this novel is that it reminded me of the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie You’ve Got Mail (IMDb link). You can see more at this blog post by The Bennet Sisters talking about it as a pseudo-adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. You’ve got the scrappy upstart (Social Work student in this case) in Beth Ann Bennet and the rich haughty Dr. William Darcy (who does have a charitable streak) and the rest sort of plays out very similarly.

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