AustenlandAustenland by Shannon Hale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was cute, in a spunky, chic-flick kind of way. The heroine of the novel, unlucky-in-love Jane, is bequeathed a vacation in Austenland, where women go for three-week intervals to role-play lives in Jane Austen’s England, complete with dashing young men, elegant balls, and corsets.

Jane’s storyline played out a lot like “Pride and Prejudice,” though left the reader guessing which parts were genuine and which parts were contrived for the Austenland experience. For the most part, I was pretty accurate with my guesses, and because of that I was satisfied with the ending. The main character did drive me a little nuts at times with her indecisiveness and flip-flopping when it came to matters of romance, but in retrospect, that’s what made it more realistic. I also enjoyed the short excerpts between chapters which chronicled Jane’s prior relationships and how they fell apart; it gave a lot of interesting background into why she is how she is (a hopeless romantic constantly cycling between interest, infatuation, and cynicism).

Overall, I’d recommend it to Jane Austen/chick-flick fans who want a fun (and fairly clean!) romance novel for a quick read.

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