Amazon (used)
Okay, this review is going to be tricky for me - I happened to see the movie adaptation multiple times before I read the book. I know fans of the book really didn't like the movie. That's because Jerusha Hess (yes, of Napoleon Dynamite fame) took a lot of liberties with the story and turned it into an extremely goofy and cheesy (I think "cheesy" good) romantic comedy - which, and this is strictly my own opinion, made it so much more fun.
The novel was your basic, run of the mill chick-lit. Jane was sort of a Mary-Sue. She's kind of a fill-in-the-blank character, the only concrete attributes being that she's beautiful, compares every man she's every dated to Mr Darcy (being by and large why they don't succeed), doesn't make much money, but has a steady job. A true Mary-Sue would have a dead-end job as a lawyer or running a successful antique shop, would have a PhD but still be an enormous idiot, and would have an Victoria's Secret model's figure while living off of potato chips & marshmallow fluff as the dip and bottles of white wine. So Jane isn't full Mary-Sue - but that at least was something that I think the movie version got right. Jerusha & Kerri Russel made her a lot more relatable

in the movie version.
The book was very short; there was a lot of changing inner dialogue that - while not necessarily conflicting or senseless - happened too quickly. But that's a small thing. These types of books are about escapism and discourage over-thinking.
The final word is that, while it was fun (and I did read a large chunk of it while waiting in line at the DMV - thank God for that) it's best saved as a beach read. Shannon Hale wrote one of my all time favorite YA novels (That is, Goose Girl) and I'm delighted to have a common interest in Jane Austen with her, but this wasn't the same quality of writing that Goose Girl had which bums me out. Still, there is a sequel to Austenland and I'll probably someday get around to reading it.

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