Official Review: Jane Austen Lied to Me by Jeanette Watts

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Official Review: Jane Austen Lied to Me by Jeanette Watts

Post by bookowlie » 13 Jan 2018, 11:53

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Jane Austen Lied to Me" by Jeanette Watts.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Jane Austen Lied to Me is a contemporary novel by Jeanette Watts. Elizabeth Barrett (Lizzie) is a college girl who is an Anglophile. In particular, she is obsessed with all things related to Jane Austen and compares everything to characters and storylines from Austen’s novels. In fact, one guy she meets is named Darcy Fitzwilliam (remember Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice?). When Lizzie’s real life goes off track from her storybook imaginings, she becomes confused. You see, it’s easier for her to view things through the lens of literary fiction than live her life without preconceived notions.

I enjoyed this creatively written book with a quirky, likable main character. Lizzie often wonders how Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice would act and tries to emulate her. She even compares her math professor, Professor Jacobsen, to Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility and thinks about what it would be like to be involved with a much older man. Lizzie’s tutoring sessions with Professor Jacobsen turn into a warm friendship of sorts. These scenes are exceptionally written.

Much of the story focuses on the ordinary happenings of college life – hanging out on campus, class assignments, working part-time, and potential romantic interests. The book has the format of dated diary-style entries, even though it reads like a traditional story. One issue I had is that each “chapter” isn’t separated (e.g. - separate page, extra line break) and sometimes ends abruptly. As a result, there is a compressed feel and a less-than-smooth transition between entries.

The story is written in first person in a light, conversational style. There is a dry humor on display that borders on hilarious at times. When Darcy offends her, Lizzie thinks to herself, “And he better not ever need a library book checked out again. I will be marking it six years overdue since…he can afford to pay the fines.”

The pacing is slow and the plot could be more cohesive. Initially, it seemed the central plot was going to be about Lizzie and Darcy, but the story wound up moving in different directions. Long sections would be about a specific man or topic and then the story would switch to something unrelated, such as Lizzie’s struggles with math, uncertainty over her career path, or another male friend. Some of the characters are featured only to be thrown to the back burner for long stretches. When the main premise (a woman who views her life in relation to Jane Austen’s books) is zeroed in on, the book shines. The rest of the time, the plot gets bogged down by the mundane routines of college life.

I give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. I loved the author’s writing style and all of the characters are relatable. Despite the issues I mentioned, I still enjoyed the story and absolutely loved the ending. I recommend this book to Jane Austen fans, as well as anyone who likes light, contemporary fiction.

******
Jane Austen Lied to Me
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Post by Joy2thenations » 16 Jan 2018, 01:25

I am such a Jane Austin fan! I'm sure I'd enjoy this book. The main character reminds me so much of a friend from college who wanted to be Elizibeth Bennet! I'll have to tell her about this book.

Thanks for your review!

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Post by gali » 16 Jan 2018, 01:45

I am also a fan of Jane Austin! Sounds like an interesting spin on "Pride and Prejudice" (my favorite book). Too bad about the slow pace and the lack of cohesiveness. I am glad you enjoyed the book despite those issues. Great review!
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by Bamporiki » 16 Jan 2018, 05:01

This story reminds me some part of my past life ,nice pieces I need to read it

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Post by kandscreeley » 16 Jan 2018, 08:21

gali wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 01:45
I am also a fan of Jane Austin! Sounds like an interesting spin on "Pride and Prejudice" (my favorite book). Too bad about the slow pace and the lack of cohesiveness. I am glad you enjoyed the book despite those issues. Great review!
Ditto! I might have to try this one as I admire anyone who tries to do a contemporary spin on Jane Austin novels! Thanks for the review.
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Post by gali » 16 Jan 2018, 08:25

kandscreeley wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 08:21
gali wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 01:45
I am also a fan of Jane Austin! Sounds like an interesting spin on "Pride and Prejudice" (my favorite book). Too bad about the slow pace and the lack of cohesiveness. I am glad you enjoyed the book despite those issues. Great review!
Ditto! I might have to try this one as I admire anyone who tries to do a contemporary spin on Jane Austin novels! Thanks for the review.
If you love her books, you can try also Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, a modern adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" which I read and liked.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by kandscreeley » 16 Jan 2018, 09:22

gali wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 08:25
kandscreeley wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 08:21
gali wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 01:45
I am also a fan of Jane Austin! Sounds like an interesting spin on "Pride and Prejudice" (my favorite book). Too bad about the slow pace and the lack of cohesiveness. I am glad you enjoyed the book despite those issues. Great review!
Ditto! I might have to try this one as I admire anyone who tries to do a contemporary spin on Jane Austin novels! Thanks for the review.
If you love her books, you can try also Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, a modern adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" which I read and liked.
Thanks for the recommendation! I will DEFINITELY look at that...
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Post by bookowlie » 16 Jan 2018, 15:55

Thanks everyone for the nice feedback. I have never read any of Jane Austen's novels, although I have read one or two books that were inspired by her books. Gali - I read and enjoy another book by Curtis Sittenfeld and am going to add your recommendation to my reading list.
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Post by Maggie G » 16 Jan 2018, 22:57

Based on your review, the book sounds a little like Bridget Jones’ Diary (inspired by Pride and Prejudice, diary format). Thank you for your thoughtful review!

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Post by gali » 16 Jan 2018, 23:02

bookowlie wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 15:55
Thanks everyone for the nice feedback. I have never read any of Jane Austen's novels, although I have read one or two books that were inspired by her books. Gali - I read and enjoy another book by Curtis Sittenfeld and am going to add your recommendation to my reading list.
I suggest you start with the original book, "Pride and Prejudice". It is one of the best books ever. :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by kandscreeley » 17 Jan 2018, 08:18

bookowlie wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 15:55
Thanks everyone for the nice feedback. I have never read any of Jane Austen's novels, although I have read one or two books that were inspired by her books. Gali - I read and enjoy another book by Curtis Sittenfeld and am going to add your recommendation to my reading list.
That really is a tragedy! Her books are wonderful. You should definitely read one!
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Post by inaramid » 17 Jan 2018, 09:58

Never read Jane Austen, but with so many media inspired by it, this one included, I might have to go to that first. It's good though that even those who haven't read Austen can enjoy this book. Thanks for this review.

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 17 Jan 2018, 10:53

gali wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 08:25
kandscreeley wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 08:21
gali wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 01:45
I am also a fan of Jane Austin! Sounds like an interesting spin on "Pride and Prejudice" (my favorite book). Too bad about the slow pace and the lack of cohesiveness. I am glad you enjoyed the book despite those issues. Great review!
Ditto! I might have to try this one as I admire anyone who tries to do a contemporary spin on Jane Austin novels! Thanks for the review.
If you love her books, you can try also Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, a modern adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" which I read and liked.
Sounds like a book worth reading! @gali
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 17 Jan 2018, 11:00

I feel in love with Lit. thanks to Jane Austen's, pride and prejudice! The fascination of Lizzie about Austen's work is understandable but according to this review I felt that she used her fascination to escape reality, its more evident in her dealings with Darcy. But the end was sad, I felt as if the author has lost his tracks. The pot is worth it! Thanks for the review!
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Post by Gunnar Ohberg » 17 Jan 2018, 16:19

Very well-written review, though this doesn't sound like the book for me (I was never a huge fan of Austen either, though I think she is a fantastic writer). This book sounds like a very interesting contemporary homage to the romantic intrigues of Austen's novels, and despite the pacing I'm sure it will find a very enthusiastic audience.

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