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Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1)
Austenland - Austenland, Bk 1
Author: Shannon Hale
Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man -- perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane’s fantasies of meeting t...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781596912861
ISBN-10: 1596912863
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Pages: 208
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 148 ratings
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

librarinth avatar reviewed Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
For anyone who's read Pride & Prejudice (or watched 1995's BBC version) and wished for their own personal Mr. Darcy, this is the book for you. Jane, a single 30-something from New York whose Darcy standards have been ruining her relationships for years, is given an opportunity to immerse herself in the Austen-era at a specialized vacation resort.

A modern woman, she struggles to stay in character and breaks a few rules with actors at the park. In the end, can she finally kick her Darcy obsession? Or will her three week trip result in something more?

Loved this book. Loved it! Such a fun, quick and light read. Hale wrote some great dialogue (Jane is snarky/sarcastic) that had me laughing out loud. Some of the flirting scenes tugged on the heartstrings. I enjoyed it so much that I stayed up ENTIRELY too late in order to finish it in one go!
reviewed Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1) on + 289 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5

In her debut novel for adults, Shannon Hale pays homage to Jane Austen in Austenland, an exclusive fantasy retreat where Regency England awaits wealthy Austen-obsessed female guests. Jane, a New York graphic designer "not yet four and thirty" doesn't quite fit in with this set, but was bequeathed an "Experience" by a wealthy great-aunt who uncovers her obsession with Mr. Darcy, especially as played by Colin Firth in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Could this be poisoning her relationships with modern-day men, and if so, would three weeks in Austenland be the cure?

The devoted Austen fan would relish Jane's immersion (therapy?) in Austenland, where she meets eligible Regency-era gentlemen as Jane Erstwhile, an escapist playground where it's hard to parse what is real and what is pretend for the client's paying pleasure. Those unfamiliar with Austen might have an occasional reference pass overhead, but the novel still serves up a delicious light sample of chick lit. Yet at times I wished there was more meat to Jane's character. While the reader learns more about her relationship history through italicized flashbacks at the beginning of the chapters that take place "on site," Jane begins as a rather one-dimensional girl, defined by her Darcy obsession, not necessarily the heroine for whom one would wholeheartedly root for a happy ending. Could a fear of physical intimacy be the root cause of both her failed relationships and Darcy obsession? If not for the Austen tie-in, Jane would need to be more psychological defined for the book to sustain interest. But as such, it was an enjoyable light read.

reviewed Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 5
I've been put off by other tribute novels, but was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It has the right mix of chick lit and Gothic suspense. Hale avoids the pit falls of other tribute novels that try too hard to be Austen and successfully finds her own niche in the land of Austen.

The movie version would be a welcomed guilty pleasure!
coconutlibrary avatar reviewed Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1) on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Type: {Beach Read: fluffy, mindless, easy to read}
Rating: {An Unputdownable: couldnt eat or sleep until I finished this book}

Why Youre Reading It:

Youre an Austenite (lover of all things Jane Austen)
You love time travel type books
Youre a sucker for a good love story
What I thought:

First of all, Im a total Austenite. Plop me in front of any version of Pride and Prejudice and youve lost me for hours. I was hooked by the blurb on the front cover that told me of Jane Hayes, a single woman living in the city who is obsessed with Jane Austen. A wealthy relative gives her a trip to Austenland (an English resort that is set up as a Regency-era role play getaway). I had fun reading as Jane plunged herself into this new life (for three weeks) full of characters who are visiting and others who work there (ahem, cute men who of course become love interests). Austen fans will be tickled by the references to her books, and newcomers will enjoy a good chick-lit romp through time.

This is the type of book you could read in one gulp. Short, easy, sweet, with just enough romance to keep smiling.
reviewed Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
Good, fun, light read. Kept me guessing until the very end which guy she'd end up with.
Read All 18 Book Reviews of "Austenland Austenland Bk 1"

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natalexx avatar reviewed Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1) on + 52 more book reviews
Hale has a nice, effortless style that makes this book a real page-turner. This book is light and entertaining, and short -- I read it by the pool during the summer and it was perfect for an escapist afternoon. The characters have substance (plenty for this type of book) and I thought this book did a great job tapping into the whole Jane Austen phenomenon. It played with the typical girl's familiarity with the subject in a manner that was compelling (even to a reader who love/hates Austen, like me) without completely falling into a swoon. So far I have enjoyed everything I've read by Hale (this and "The Princess Academy") and plan to read more.
Shellaree avatar reviewed Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1) on + 270 more book reviews
A fun book to read for the Austen fan with a sense of humor. This book is for any fan of Mr Darcy or Colin Firth or Pride and Prejudice as the character is slightly obsessed with those characters and the movie.
aggielawyer avatar reviewed Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
This was a quick, lighthearted read. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it to the Austen enthusiast who has always wanted to step back in time and experience her world in person.
Cordelia avatar reviewed Austenland (Austenland, Bk 1) on + 153 more book reviews
Info from back of the book: Jane Hayes has a lot going for her-a good career in New York City, a decent apartment, really fabulous hair-but her love life leaves something to be desired. It might have something to do with her secret obsession with Pride and Prejudice, the BBC adaptation, the one with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. How could any real man compare? she might just give up men forever. But when a great-aunt bequeaths her a paid vacation to a special resort for Austen-obsessed women. Jane decides she deserves one last hurrah in fantasyland. Decked out in empire-waist gowns and flirting with obliging hired actors, Jane feels thrillingly like Elizabeth Bennett. Of course, it's all a game. Or maybe her fantasies of a real-life Darcy weren't so ridiculous after all. I enjoyed the book and had wanted to see the movie, however, it was not playing in our area. I was not disappointed I enjoyed it very much. I was going to see the movie with a teen girl if I had her read the book I would discuss some of the male/female interactions with her.


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