We Are Family: Austentatious (2015)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if all the Austen characters were friends and lived in the same town. Hmm, have I asked this before? Oh yeah…

That was a good book, unfortunately this isn’t a review of the next novel in that series but of the TV show:

Yes, all the Austen characters live in the same city, the city of…hmm they never say where this takes place. They all have an American accent except for Emma who is British, sometimes.

Ugh!

I’ve noticed in other episodes it just seems to fade away. She must not be faking it because no one else has one so why would they make her have one? But I cant explain why that happens with her. Anyways

I don’t know

So it says that it is the Austen characters, but only seems to have Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, Emma Woodhouse, Mr. Knightley, and Colonel Brandon. Yes there is no one from Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, or Persuasion.

Forget you!

I mean really? I wish someone would do “all” the characters and actually have “all” the characters.

So the story takes place in modern times. We start of with Elinor Dashwood (Kristen Marie Jensen) who is an IRS and is complaining to her friends Lizzie Bennet (Elise Groves), real estate agent, and Emma Woodhouse (Shona Kay), divorce attorney. Oops, and friend Grant Knightley (supposed to be GEORGE why change to Grant? I mean George is a common name), played by Brad Johnson, and works with Emma? I’m not quite clear.

HOld on…okay Elinor as a tax accountant, okay I can buy that as she is well organized and great with finances.

Lizzie as a real estate agent, I have a hard time seeing. I could see her more as a writer or Park Ranger or manager at something.

Meh.

BUT Emma as a divorce attorney?

That’s just crazy. First of all she hates reading-no way. Second, I don not believe someone who tries to match people up all the time could spend days working with separating couples. That makes no sense to me.

Did you even READ the book!!??

So Elinor is bummed her sister will be moving in as she is flighty, boy-crazy, and has no clue what she is doing. As soon as she moves in she starts shaking things up by redecorating and changing things. Elinor gets angry and flips out on her messing up her apartment.

Now I get that Elinor doesn’t want her sister to take over her space, but seriously? You know she isn’t staying for a few nights, but planning to LIVE with you. Unless you specifically drew up a roommate agreement or told her she only gets her room and a shelf in the fridge you are seriously overreacting.

They try to make it seem like Marianne is just doing what she wants-but Elinor is seriously being a control freak.

Calm down. They eventually patch things up and compromise.

Now the clothes that Marianne wears are really weird. 2015 was only four years ago, I remember what was popular and people where wearing and it was not that. Who picked your wardrobe? It is more 2005 than 2015.

Lizzie Bennet has the client William Darcy (Gavin Bentley) who is such a major jerk I am actually hoping they do not end up together.

Yes, a retelling made me actually wish that.

I think the world is going to explode or I’m going to die…too late

Good-bye, cruel world.

Too late

Sorry, this post will not be brought to you by the undead.

So Darcy in this is a total pain-complete and utter jerk. I really don’t see how they will redeem him.

Jerk

Also Lizzie’s parents are planing on divorcing and she doesn’t want them to as she doesn’t want her mother to try to live with her.

Woooooooow, real daughter of the year that one.

Both of her parents are going to Emma, who Lizzie gets to join her in her plan to reunite her parents. Emma plans a dinner date and before you can say The Parent Trap all is solved and they remember their love for each other.

This was weird to me. Why have that be the center of your episode? And just throwing this out there, maybe they would be better off not together. They fight nonstop (as Lizzie says) which isn’t healthy and a bad example to their children. I’m not for divorce, but if you read the book, they got married for the wrong reasons and were very unhappy with each other. And if they fight constantly, it might be better to at least try counseling or a separation.

Just throwing that out there, but none of my business.

Later Darcy storms in and yells and is a jerk to Emma as he works with her. Ugh, can we cut him out.

Yes, a retelling made me say that. As I said I think the world is going to end.

So yeah, I do not have high hopes for this show, but I’ll keep on watching. The things I do for Jane.

Ouch!

Sometimes when I read/watch a really bad retelling, I’m kind of glad that Jane Austen isn’t alive to see it. I think she’d be mortified at some things we come up with.

For more Jane Austen film retellings, go to Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

For more Sense & Sensibility, go to Jane Austen Chinese Zodiac

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements

For more Emma, go to Dull Times Breed Disaster

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Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements

Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements by Mary Pagones

I was given this book free in exchange for an honest review. I had planned to post the review earlier, but I had to go out of town for my grandmother’s funeral, and then the rest of the week was packed.

But then I began to put it off as I have been having such a hard time reviewing this book.

But I’m actually glad I did. I don’t know if you have been following the college bribe scandal involving Lori Loughlin and Felicity Hoffman-but this book is right up that alley. Crazy parents who will do practically anything to have their kids go to a “good” college. Expensive college application tutors doing all they can to get the kids placed and increase their application. If interested, go to this link. For the review-keep reading.

First let me start that I want to give props to Mary Pagones. Writing is hard…

Writing a whole book is even harder, and then putting your work out there for people to praise or pull apart-

That’s hard. So for finishing your book, Mary Pagones-

So I have been having such a hard time reviewing this book. I thought it was interesting but I’m sorry, I know that this will probably make the author angry-but I didn’t see Pride and Prejudice at all, but Emma.

What?

Yep-

Yes, I…well let’d back up. I’ll go over that later, let’s do a quick plot synopsis first:

So this is the story of Lissa- Jane Austen megafan who is getting ready to apply to college. She faces all the difficulties of branding herself, having a personal statement, using the scholarship from one school to leverage getting more money out of the other, etc. Besides that, she has her senior year with her friends, and a new boyfriend, and trying to do what she can to ace her SATs, pad her application, and hopefully-get into the school of her dreams!

So the first thing that made this book hard for me was that this concept was so foreign to me. I was shocked and confused, is this really how it is like? My experience was soooo different. I graduated in 2010 and am the first in my family to ever go to a four year university, and one immediately out of high school. I had no clue how to do anything and had knew no one to ask about it. There were no “college applications tutors”. We didn’t even have a guidance counselor-just the former principal who had retired and volunteered. I had never even heard of a college application tutor until reading this book.

Uhhhhhhh

I am biracial and the running joke in my family is that the only college fund we have is that my mom is Mexican-and I could hopefully get scholarships. I’m from a low-income area, mostly agriculture, but I did go to college prep/art school. I applied in mass (thank you fee waivers) to four UCs and four CSUs. I was lucky to get into al but one, UCLA. There were no interviews-just my resume of extracurriculars (which I had a ton of), transcripts, letters of references, and a personal statement (that I cant even remember what I wrote but I did have a teacher review it for me). I received my letters and then judged them based on the amount I received in scholarship money-I didn’t even know that you could use one’s amount as leverage as stated in this book. Basically I ended up split between two schools that were giving me the most. The school I chose, my first year was paid for, I had to take loans out the next three years, and work two jobs to put myself through school.

I had a hard time reading this book and hearing Lissa whine about being poor when she and her sister have iPhones and each have a laptop. I had a CD player because I and my family couldn’t afford anything. We had one computer growing up-that was my dad ad I only got my laptop my first year of college through my scholarship funds, and because I had a family friend who worked with Apple. Unfortunately, the one I purchased was outmoded the next year. Only by the grace of God is it still running. My first cellphone was a flip phone I got for free from the company because they were outmoding them, and it cost $40 a month, the cheapest I could get.

Lissa and her family eat all kinds of hamburger, pizza, turkey meatballs, name brand cereal, etc-and she can afford to buy lunch everyday from the cafeteria. Poor is surviving on 1/4 cup of oatmeal, hot chocolate instead of milk, and having to choose between fruit and dairy (which I did in college until I got my two jobs). She says that she is poor, but snubs her nose at a school that has maid service-if she was really poor she’d be down on that. If I didn’t have to clean my four years-woohoo. Do you know how much cleaning supplies can add up to? Luckily, today the Dollar Tree carries a lot.

As poor as these ladies

The other part I had trouble connecting to is when Lissa describes being at the college and meeting all these goth/all black wearing, alternative, pieced people-in a Jane Austen literature class. Really? In a Jane Austen class? I’m not surprised there would be some-but what about all the other people who would be in such a class.

My junior year I took an upperclass history class: The History of the Novel. Half the kids were in there for history, half were English majors. There is a picture of us and I will describe how we look. First there is Kevin: Kevin was a super outdoorsy, park ranger, hiker type guy. Hiking boots, loved the outdoors, all-american blonde football-type, in a baseball cap, tee shirt, and jeans. Then there was Thomas, noir-loving, Sundance, type guy-like Jughead Jones in TV’s Riverdale stole his look with the long hair, jacket, etc. Angelica-long curly hair/afro, always wore big rings, and smart jackets-very professional. Gwynn wore her hair long, with side bangs over one eye-dark eyeshadow and liner, jeans, and thin hoodies. Belinda was in a sorority and always had perfectly straightened hair and wore a shirt/sweater with the sorority letters on it. Kate was full athlete-always workout gear and hair in braid or ponytail. And then me-I’m wearing a little jacket my mom made, lacy “Jane Austen” inspired shirt and cowboy boots. A large variety of personalities, clothes, and interests.

Wow!

So I have to say that this book wasn’t for me. I just couldn’t connect with the characters or the plot. I guess a lot has changed in nine years. Or it might have been the area I grew up in versus where this is set.

I guess I’m too old.

So lets move on to why do I think this is Emma?

So the story is of a widowed father who loved his wife dearly, and lost her suddenly. He has two daughters which he cherishes, has a close relationship too, and worries constantly about.

Then we have the main character, Lissa. Lissa is headstrong and stubborn-but at the same time she is also a tad manipulative, thinks she knows everything, and can be harsh and judgmental. True-Elizabeth does share some of these qualities but I feel Lissa is way more Emma.  Like Emma she thinks she knows everything and in the end discovers that she was much more naive than she thought.

She can be very controlling of her friends-pushing Calvin to “officially” out himself, instead of letting him do things how he wants. She is also constantly trying to match her friend Jacqui up-first with a guy they go to school with, Noel, but when she determines that he is not worthy-tries to get her to match up with a guy Jacqui met on a school tour.

She meets a guy, Hugh Fitzgerald, and because of how he dresses basically she believes that he is perfect-not really getting to know him and enjoying his sarcastic jabs at everyone and everything…

That is until his jabs are aimed at her and she realizes that he is not that great of  person after all-very much like how Emma realizes Franck Churchill is a major jerk. Hugh is so Frank Churchill, he uses Lissa to get him through English and write a screenplay for his movie which he takes full credit for-while at the same time boinking her sister; just as Frank used Emma to deflect he was involved with Jane.

Jacqui is so a Harriet in my opinion. Jacqui is Lissa’s best friend and is kind, sweet, and completely convinced into doing whatever Lissa thinks she should do. Lissa thinks she should get closer to Noel, Jacqui does. Lissa thinks that Jacqui should go with her to the Regency Fair, even though Jacqui isn’t into it-Jacqui not only does, but has a dress made, gloves, etc. Then Lissa pushes Jacqui to another guy, and she does go after him.

Lissa hates on a classmate Charlotte so much, but I don’t see any real reason to dislike her. Charlotte is wealthy, goes on lots of trips, talks about her grades and Princeton constantly-but she cares about people and never flaunts what she has in other people’s faces. She may gossip a lot but she’s not mean about it or cruel. Lissa just hates on her because she is jealous-and all her reactions reminds me of Emma and Jane Fairfax. Jane Fairfax is Emma’s number-one hated person but there is no real reason to dislike her. Emma just does because she is jealous off all she has and her talents.

I think Calvin was supposed to be Charlotte from Pride and Prejudice, but I see a Mrs. Weston vibe. Calvin tries to help Lissa and give her some advice, but then is also easily led by Lissa.

And then there is Mr. Clarke-he is so Mr. Knightley. He tries to help Lissa, instructing her in books, schools, and life.

They even dance together and quote from Emma (although that’s not something I think Mr. Clarke should have with all the teacher/student romantic relationships that have been in the news.)

This has nothing to with Emma, but Lissa’s little sister-ouch. Lissa should have told her father that her sister makes awful decisions about boys and will be ending up pregnant or with an STD if dad doesn’t get into checking on her. But really Lissa, giving your skeezy boyfriend’s number to your young, naive, impressionable sister and setting them up to all kinds of things together alone-reminds me of my friend Shannon, who had her friend Samantha tutor her boyfriend Vincent, and next thing you know-Vin and Sam were together.

Forget you!

So I know I have been harsh, as I said I don’t think this book was for me. I will say that I really enjoyed her writing style, it was a very engrossing read.

And I LOVE how she wove points and quotes from Jane Austen throughout her work. It is littered with it, and a fangirl’s delight.

She was able to tell a story based on a Jane Austen work, but it is something that an non-Austen fan can easily follow along with.

I also think that she made some very strong points and observations of Austen and her novels in her work. You might not agree with everything, but she has sound reasoning and presents a good case and an interesting view.

Hmmm….

I liked her depictions of teenagers and how Lissa thinks she knows everything, but is not as on it as she thought she was-falling for a narcissistic pig like so many young teens and women fall victim too.

As I said it was a hard review to write. I think it is definitely worth checking out, especially in light if the recent scandal and how far parents will go to get their kids into school. I mean bribing admissions so your kids can get in? I could see Mrs. Bennet doing it.

If you do read it, comment below what you think. I’d love to hear it.

For more Emma, go to Jane Austen Chinese Zodiac

For more Emma variations, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MODERATE

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MATURE

For more Pride and Prejudice variations, go to Why Do People Love Bridget Jones’ Diary?

For more Young Adult novels, go to Victoria and the Rogue

Jane Austen Chinese Zodiac

So today marks the last day of the Chinese New Year! Every year I do a Chinese New Year post, and this year as I was starting to write it I was wondering what if the Jane Austen characters celebrated the Chinese New Year? What would they be?

Hmm…

Of course when that idea came I had to write a post! Now how I did it may not be one hundred percent accurate as I don’t know the exact year they would have been born. Basically I took the age they were and misused it back from the the year the book was published-so even though some books may have been written earlier than their publishing date, I figured it would be easier to just go with that. Without further ado, here we go!

Colonel Brandon, Born 1776- Year of the Monkey

I’m a Monkey too!! Cool!

Monkeys are intelligent and can be lighthearted pranksters or slightly mischievous. They are logical thinkers and do well in any field where they can apply that type of thinking. They tend to be competitive and their fault can be arrogance. They are also very forgiving and tolerant of others.

Because of his year, Colonel Brandon is a fire monkey which means that they have big dreams, are family orientated, and set goals-achieving them. They also can have a hot temper.

Monkeys do best with a Rat, Snake, or Dragon. They should romantically avoid Pigs & Tigers.

For more Colonel Brandon, go to The Austen Series: Reason and Romance

Mr. Knightley, Born 1777-Year of the Rooster

Roosters are serious, straightforward, logical, organized, and good at managing things. They criticize things they see are unfit and can be perfectionists. They are also planners and problem solvers. They enjoy family as they are their refuge.

Because of his year, Mr. Knightley is a Fire Rooster. They are great at time management and very trustworthy.

Romantically they are best with Dragons, Snakes, and Oxen. They don’t do well with Rabbits, Dogs, or other Roosters.

For more on Mr. Knightley, go to Always Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

Mr. Darcy, Born 1785-Year of the Snake

People born in the year of the snake are sophisticated, hold their own ground, calm in the midst of chaos, alert, and observant. They are humorous and great in social situations. They are romantic and empathetic. They are not good with small talk but crave to be the center of attention.

Because of the year, Mr. Darcy is a Wood Snake-easygoing, good at making friends and tend to be more on the perfectionist side.

Snakes should be romantically involved with a Monkey, Rooster, or Ox. They should avoid Tigers and Pigs.

For more on Mr. Darcy, go to Darcy’s ’80’s Power Song

Captain Fredrick Wentworth, Born 1787- Year of the Goat/Sheep

Goats are strong, resilient, and able to persevere through anything. They are quiet observers and analyze everything before making a decision. They love animals, children, and nature. They are friendly, empathetic, forgiving, generous with time and money, and very good at organization. They are genuine, helpful, but at times can be very pessimistic.

With the year he was born in, Wentworth is a Fire Goat. They are straightforward, loyal, and tend to worry over small details.

They are best romantically with Horses, Pigs, or Rabbits. They should avoid Oxen, Rats, and Dogs.

For more on Captain Wentworthgo to I’m On a Boat

Edward Ferrars, Born 1788-Year of the Monkey

As stated above: Monkeys are intelligent and can be lighthearted pranksters or slightly mischievous. They are logical thinkers and do well in any field where they can apply that type of thinking. They tend to be competitive and their fault can be arrogance. They also are very forgiving and tolerant of others.

Unlike Colonel Brandon, Edward is an Earth Monkey. Earth Monkeys are cheerful and very optimistic. They tend to not have a lot of support but are able to overcome those difficulties and through hard work to achieve a happy life.

Monkeys do best with a Rat, Snake, or Dragon. They should romantically avoid Pigs & Tigers.

For more on Edward Ferrars, go to Lambie-Pie

Edmund Bertram, Born 1789-Year of the Rooster

As stated above- roosters are serious, straightforward, logical, organized, and good at managing things. They criticize things they see are unfit and can be perfectionists. They are also planners and problem solvers. They enjoy family as they are their refuge.

Because of his year, Edmund is an Earth Rooster. They love going on outings with friends and are patient and reliable. They work hard and this rewards them in their career.

Romantically they are best with Dragons, Snakes, and Oxen. They don’t do well with Rabbits, Dogs, or other Roosters.

For more on Edmund Bertram, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce 

Anne Elliot, Born 1791-Pig

Hey girl, this is your year!

Pigs are realistic, treat themselves well (they are a bit materialistic), hard workers, energetic, and enthusiastic. They are friendly and easily gain trust from others. They are very organized and blessed with good fortune and wealth.

Anne is a Metal Pig, which mind their own business, are lazy, and do bad with budgeting/saving. (So not her!)

Pigs are most compatible with Tigers, Rabbits, and Goats. They should avoid Snakes and Monkeys.

For more on Anne Elliot, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

Elinor Dashwood, Born 1792-Rat

Rats are sensitive to others’ emotions, kind, and likable to all. They like to save and are considered stingy by others. They are responsible, organized, and place importance on family.

Elinor is a Water Rat. Water Rats encounter hardships in their early years, but their middle ages things can settle down to a happy family. However, their relatives and friends can bring them down.

Rats are most compatible with Oxen, Dragons, and Monkeys. They should avoid Horses, Goats, and Rabbits.

For more on Elinor Dashwood, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

Elizabeth Bennet, Born 1793-Ox

Oxen are honest and earnest, low-key, and don’t like to be the center of attention. They tend to hide their talent as they pride themselves in hard work. They are kind, logical, and never lose their temper. They are calm, gentle, stubborn as heck, and will walk their path and do what they will no matter what.

Because of her year, Elizabeth is a Water Ox. Water Oxen are comfortable, respected, have a loving family, but it is recommend they marry late.

Oxen should be with a Rat, Snake, or Rooster. They should avoid Goats, Horses, and Dogs.

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy

Emma Woodhouse, Born 1794-Tiger

Tigers are kind, benevolent, and have rich emotions (which can be hard to control). They have a lot of imagination and persevere through disappointments. Tigers are mesmerizing, love their freedom, and express themselves through fashion and their work. They love children, are friendly, intelligent, and patient. But don’t let that fool you, they have claws and will unsheathe them when needed.

Because of her year, Emma is a Wood Tiger, honest and doesn’t have much to worry about.

Tigers do well with Pigs, Horses, and Dogs. They do not do well with Monkeys and Snakes.

For more on Emma Woodhouse, go to You Cannot Think That I Will Leave Off Match-Making

Henry Tilney, born 1794-Tiger

As stated above, Tigers are kind, benevolent, and have rich emotions (which can be hard to control). They have a lot of imagination and persevere through disappointments. Men who are tigers are confident, adventurous, and are willing to risk everything.

Because of his year, Henry is a Wood Tiger, honest and doesn’t have much to worry about.

Tigers do well with Pigs, Horses, and Dogs. They do not do well with Monkeys (NO!) and Snakes.

For more on Mr. Tilney, go to Why is Northanger Abbey Always Ignored?

Marianne Dashwood, Born 1795-Rabbit

Rabbits may seem weak and soft, but they are strong and confident. They will move toward their goal, no matter what negativity they face. They have great attention to detail and are great at socializing. In love they are very extreme! They love someone or they don’t care for them, there is a very clear line. When they love someone they put themselves and everything into that-but the deeper they go, the more they will get hurt if things go wrong.

Because of her year, Marianne is a Wood Rabbit. Wood Rabbits are not sly but do have tricks up their sleeves. They tend to be successful and do well career-wise.

Rabbits do best with Dogs, Pigs, and Goats. They should not be with Roosters, Dragons, or Rats.

For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to Candy Girls

Fanny Price, Born 1796-Dragon

Dragons are mesmerizing and strong. If you underestimate them, they will destroy you. They are serious in what they do and have high self-esteem. Even though dragons are strong and independent they still desire love and support.

Because of her year, Fanny is a Fire Dragon. Fire Dragons are intelligent and social.

Dragons should be with Roosters, Monkeys, or Rats. They should not be with Dogs, Rabbits, or other Dragons.

For more on Fanny Price, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

Catherine Morland, Born 1801-Year of the Rooster

Roosters are serious, straightforward, logical, organized, and good at managing things. They criticize things they see are unfit and can be perfectionists. For women they are down to earth, responsible, and love to help others in any way they can.

Because of her year, Catherine is a Metal Rooster. They are decisive, set on plans, logical, and popular.

Romantically they are best with Dragons, Snakes, and Oxen. They don’t do well with Rabbits, Dogs, or other Roosters.

For more on Catherine Morland, go to No One Would Have Ever Guessed

According to the zodiac:

  • Colonel Brandon & Marianne 80% match
  • Edward & Elinor 100% match
  • Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth 100% match
  • Mr. Knightley and Emma 80% match
  • Edmund and Fanny 100% match
  • Henry and Catherine 80% match
  • Captain Fredrick Wentworth and Anne 100% match

So what do you all think? I thought it was interesting how the characters matched up pretty well according to the zodiac. I thought some people matched up with their description well, while others did not.

Hmm…

Jane Austen, Born 1775-Goat/Sheep

As said before, goats are strong, resilient, and able to presevere through anything. They are quiet observers and analyze everything before making a decision. They love animals, children, and nature. They are friendly, empathetic, forgiving, generous with time and money, and very good at organization.

For women-they are reliable and attentive, constantly observing so nothing escapes their attention. They are kind, motivated, and perform their tasks well.

With the year she was born, Jane Austen is a Wood Goat/Sheep. They are friendly and polite. They are also very sympathetic and always there to aid others. They love to be alone, even if they are married.

They are best romantically with Horses, Pigs, or Rabbits. They should avoid Oxen, Rats, and Dogs.

For more on Jane Austen, go to Jane Austen’s Royal Fanboy

For more Chinese New Year posts, go to Here Piggy, Piggy: Chinese New Year

For more Sense and Sensibility, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MODERATE

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Why Do People Love Bridget Jones’ Diary?

For more Emma, go to Victoria and the Rogue

For more Mansfield Park, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MATURE

For more Northanger Abbey, go to Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

For more Persuasion, go to Right Away I Know I Won’t Like You

Why Do People Love Bridget Jones’ Diary?

Bridget Jones’ Diary (Bridget Jones’ Diary #1) by Helen Fielding

So I watched the movie before reading the book. How did I feel about it?

I HATED the movie. There was a few things that were good, like the cooking scene, but on a whole I thought it sucked. I don’t see at all what it has to do with Jane Austen. To read my full review, go here.

So the book?

I didn’t like it either. I gave it zero stars on Goodreads.

Now I know you might think this review is a copout, as there is hardly anything written, but you do not know how many times I have tried to review this book.

I have read this book three times and I just don’t get it. I don’t find the characters interesting or as amazing as everyone else seems to. I especially can’t stand Bridget!

I just do not get it.

Could someone please explain it to me?

For more Bridget Jones, go to You Are a Horrible Cook, But I Will Eat What You Prepare Anyway: Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MATURE

For more Pride and Prejudice variations, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MILD

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Victoria and the Rogue

In other news, I typically do 14 posts on romantic moments in film and TV, but I will not be doing that this year. It’s canceled.

I know, I know. I hate breaking with tradition, but I’m just not in the most romantic mood. Sorry all…

I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day, if you are one to celebrate.

Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MATURE

 

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd

So here we are with the final post, the conclusion to Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues. It is always nice to finish something you start, but at the same time sad that it is ending.

Aw…

So quick review. For those of you who missed posts 1, 2, & 3Dangerous to Know is a compilation novel of the bad boys of Jane Austen-Mr. Willoughby, Mr. Wickham, Captain Tilney, General Tilney, Mr. Elliot, Mr. Thorpe, and more.

A great thing about this book is that with these men, besides Wickham, we don’t know that much about their past or who they are. Most only play a small role-but have a big impact. This allows the authors a ton of wiggle room and almost anything can happen.

As these are rakes, rogues, & villians-they aren’t the best of men. Their stories being sexy

And I just want to say thank you to Christina Boyd for including this little chart to help you:

Mature Content Guidelines:

  1. None: Possible kissing and affection.
  2. Mild: Kissing.
  3. Moderate: Some sexual references but not explicit.
  4. Mature: Some nudity and some provocative sex.
  5. Erotic: Explicit, abundance of sex.

Because not everyone is interested in books like this:

It’s nice giving us a head’s up, so those that aren’t interested know to skip or skim, or those that do-can enjoy.

Something for everyone

So first we had the none posts, which had stories on Captain Fredrick Tilney, General Tilney and John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey; along with Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion. I loved these stories as some of these men I love to hate and it made me hate them ever more: And some men I have hated and actually began to like them:

What! It did all that? Wow!

Then came the mild posts. I was really surprised with these stories as they were on Tom Bertram from Mansfield Park and Colonel Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I had never thought of these two as rogues, mostly because they have two of the biggest, baddest Austen rogues-Henry Crawford and George Wickham. The stories were really good and sucked me in, making it very hard to stop reading.

Then came the moderate. These had stories on Frank Churchill from Emma, Mr. Elliot from Persuasion, and Mr. Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. I really enjoyed them as each author gave us a fresh view into the characters-before they enter the Austen novels. They really fleshed those men out while making me still hate those guys.

This last one will be Mature-Some nudity and some provocative sex. So with out further ado-bring on the bad boys!

A Wicked Game by Katie Oliver

So we start off with George Wickham, Austen’s most notorious bad boy. Reams upon reams have been written about him.

 George Wickham was raised with Mr. Darcy and frittered away the money the elder Mr. Darcy left for his education; later tried to take off with Darcy’s sister; ran up debts all over town while smearing Darcy’s name; and runs of with Lydia Bennet. He’s one really bad boy.

This story begins in 1812, with Wickham fighting for the British army and is struck by the enemy. As he is injured, his life flashes before him and he finds himself wanting. He thinks back to where he all started on this profligate path:

We travel back to Derbyshire 1800. Wickham is heading to church with Mr. Darcy Sr and Jr. It is the summer before he is to start his first year at Cambridge and he is a restless young man.

Especially today as he finds church dull. (And this guy seriously thinks he is going to be a minister?) But then he spots her, a vision-Lady Clémence Harlow, widow and sister-in-law to Mrs. Fanshaw. He gets to meet the beautiful and stylish woman and is smitten.

The Fanshaws join the Darcy’s for dinner and Wickham sits across from Lady Harlow so he can spend the whole night looking at her.

While at the table-Wickham realizes how dissatisfied he is with his life. Everything is plotted and planned by Mr. Darcy Sr., he has no say. He would love anything out of this blueprint-such as the lovely Lady Harlow, which the Darcy’s can’t stand. He’s at a crossroads and leaning toward the crazy path, more than the steady one.

Which way should I choose?

That night a big storms comes up, so the Fanshaw party has to remain at Pemberley. Wickham approaches Lady Harlow for a bit of flirting and she plans to meet him later-in his room.

He waits for her to come, but she never does. At one point he thinks he hears angry voices and a door closing-but Lady Harlow never appears-except in his dreams.

The next day he is grumpy and mad at Lady Harlow for standing him up. She conspires to get them alone and apologizes, blaming it on the brandy they drank. She invites him to walk with her and they take off into he woods. They can’t stay too long and return to the house. Lady Harlow promising that they will have a chance in the future.

Wickham is grim until a ball at cousin Fitzwilliam’s house occurs. The Fanshaw family is going too, this could be his night. Mr. Darcy Sr, doesn’t like Lady Harlow and cautions Wickham against her, but he doesn’t care.

Or what I’m doing!

He finally gets a chance to dance with Lady Harlow that night and the two make plans to run off to a hotel and France together.

He makes his way out there, pretending to be traveling with a friend, but using him as a cover. His friend tries to warn him that things won’t go well-Lady Harlow is not the woman for him, but he won’t listen.

He gets in the room and the two:

But in the morning there is no Lady Harlow…just Darcy!

What?

Okay, not like that-they aren’t in bed together or anything. Wickham wakes up to Darcy in the room. Lady Harlow never intended to take him with her, she used him to get what she wanted and for Darcy to pay her off, £500.

What?

It turns out the lady is a gold digger. First she tried to seduce Darcy, when that failed to be “compromised” into marriage, and lastly use Wickham to wrangle some cash.

Wickham continued down his path, but as his life is saved in Spain he looks at life with new eyes-seeing that he should change the person he is and become better.

Hmmm….I need to rethink my life’s choices

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was an interesting view into Wickham, a softer side if you will. I liked seeing Wickham made a fool of, he angers me down to my core so I took great pleasure in it. But then you realize that he pulls the same scam on Georgina, what scum.

Forget you!

Last Letter to Mansfield by Brooke West

Oh Henry Crawford, one of the biggest rakes and rogues in all of Austen’s work. He is taken charge of his sister, Mary,  when his Uncle scandalously moves the mistress into the house. He and his sister visit the Bertram family where he flirts with the engaged elder sister Maria and the younger sister, Julia. Later, he decides to bring their cousin Fanny into his web, but ends up falling for her.

That wasn’t part of the plan…

Fanny seeing that Henry is no good, sidesteps him. Later, he and married Maria take off together. He and his sister try to get him back in Fanny’s good graces, but no dice with Fanny.

I was really interested in this as I have always wondered what the heck was going through Henry’s mind? Why run off with a married woman?

October 1809

So the story starts off after all that happened. Henry is trying to write a letter to Fanny to beg her back. He’s been with Maria for months, but wishes it was Fanny. He is dying to go back, but…can’t. He tells her that he din’t want to seduce Maria, had no plans to…

We go back…

September 1809

Henry and Maria have been together for a while. Maria is angry and getting ready to leave as nothing turned out how she wished. Maria loved being in charge at Mansfield Park as the eldest woman, then as Mrs. Rushworth, but now she is a scandal and staying at an inn in the middle of nowhere. Henry keeps trying to get rid of her-but she doesn’t want to leave-she has nowhere to go.

So what happens now?
So what happens now?
Where am I going to?
[Peron:] You’ll get by, you always have before
[Mistress:] Where am I going to?
[Eva:] Don’t ask anymore -Hello and Goodbye from Evita

Maria hoped to be with the sexy, charming man rather than her simple husband and is angry that nothing has come from it. Henry blames Maria for seducing him-and causing him to lose his love.

Wow, real mature. You need to take responsibility for YOUR actions.

Henry spends as much time away from Maria but returns every night and uses her for sex-wanting to hurt her, making her cry every night.

Eventually, Maria gives up and leaves with her Aunt Norris, the only one who doesn’t hold her responsible for her sins.

Henry goes home to his sister, Mary. Poor Mary, I actually feel sorry for her. She went from the scandal of her uncle to the scandal of her brother. Unfortunately, the men will go on but what about her? She’s too sullied by them.

Five Months Earlier

Henry and Maria  met up again and they had a night of fun together. Henry hopes to walk it off, no needs to know-but Maria craves it. She hopes to run off with him and have him marry her-even going as far as to follow him when he leaves for home. She had planned to trap him, and Henry in his vanity fell right in it.

Oh no!

London 1799

18-year old Henry and his uncle are out together, his uncle deciding it is time for his nephew to become a “man”. His uncle buys him his first, Arabella- beautiful young woman. She teaches him how to make love

He loves being with her and seeks her again and again, something his uncle notices and does not care for, as women are nothing but tools to be used.

This dude

One day he goes to be with her and finds his uncle on top of her.

After that, they were all the same to him-somethig to have his needs met, nothing more. Basically the Joe of Say Anything:

Corey Flood: Hi Joe, How are you? I love you.

Joe: I love you too.

Corey Flood: You invade my soul

Joe: I want to get back together, Mimi is gonna go to college and I’m gonna be alone and I’m gonna break up with her before she leaves, have sex with me.

Until Fanny, but that’s over.

He finishes his letter to Fanny, pouring everything out into it…and then throwing it on the fire. The rakish roguish Crawford must live on.

Devilish grin must stay grinning…

Thoughts After Reading:

Like Wickham we regress into boyhood, get a very different view of the character than seen before.  Although I still didn’t feel bad for him, no one made you do it and you can’t keep blaming women, “Fanny of only you had loved me”, “Maria, if only you hadn’t seduced me.” What about what you did, punk? Hmm…

This did make me view Mary in a completely different way. Poor girl, she has the worst guardians, and she will be forever tainted by their shame. What will be come of her?

So now that we have reviewed the stories let’s talk about the other question on people’s minds: How sexy was the sexy parts?

Hmm…?

The sexy parts were pretty sexy. If that is what you enjoy, than you will definitely like it. If it isn’t something you like reading, than like I’ve said before, they don’t make up the entire story so you can skim/skip it. There is something for everyone.

So my final conclusion:

I LOVED It! I thought it was an amazing addition to any Jane Austen fan’s bookshelf. Each author was able to write a wonderful story that took the few scenes we had of each character and really flesh them out to a complete story. One thing I really enjoyed was that in doing so, each author kept true to Jane Austen’s story. True, they are creating their own tale but none of these men seemed too out of character or so radically different that it causes Jane Austen to roll over in her grave. You can tell that each story was lovingly written, in honor of Jane, but still allowed each author their own individual style. I highly recommend it. You should read it now!

Yes! If interested, here is the Amazon link

But this book did leave me with one question: Christina Boyd will you be editing a book on the bad girls of Jane Austen?

Can you see it? Lucy Steele and Mrs. Fanny Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility; Lydia Bennet and Caroline Bingley from Pride and Prejudice; Maria Bertram, Julia Bertram, and Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park; Mrs. Elton from Emma; Isabella Thorpe from Northanger Abbey; Mrs. Clay from Persuasion. Think about it…

For more reviews of Dangerous to Know, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MODERATE

For more by Christina Boyd, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MILD

For more Mansfield Park, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to The Retellings Strike Back: Pride & Prejudice, cont.

The Retellings Strike Back: Pride & Prejudice, cont.

So most of you are like, what is this? A post on the many retellings of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? Don’t we have a post on that?

What?

Yes, but the problem is that there are just sooooooooo many books and films based on Pride and Prejudice…

 I decided that instead of doing an endless list, I would do a post of thirty, then make another post with thirty. To see the first installment of Pride and Prejudice works I have reviewed, go here.

Better start today!

 

Books:

Duty & Desire (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman #2) by Pamela Aiden

These Three Remain (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman #2) by Pamela Aiden

The Darcys & the Bingleys: A Tale of Two Gentlemen’s Marriages to Two Most Devoted Sisters by Marsha Altman

Georgiana and the Wolf: Pride and Prejudice Continued by Marsha Altman

An Arranged Marriage by Jo Beverley

Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Diana Birchall

Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MATURE by Christina Boyd and Others

Bridget Jones’ Diary (Bridget Jones’ Diary #1) by Helen Fielding

Disappointed Hopes (A Fair Prospect #1) by Cassandra Grafton

Darcy’s Dilemma (A Fair Prospect #2) by Cassandra Grafton

Mr. Wickham’s Diary by Amanda Grange

The Journey by Jan Hahn

Pride and Popularity (The Jane Austen Diaries) by Jenni James

Bluebells in the Morning by Karalynne Mackrory and Christina Angel Boyd

At Legend’s End (The Teacup Novellas #4) by Diane Moody

Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements by Mary Pagones

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud

Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster

Films:

Pride & Prejudice (1940)

Pride & Prejudice (1980)

Furst Impressions (1995)

Bride & Prejudice (2004)

Bridget Jones 2: The Edge of Reason (2004)

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Lost in Austen (2008)

Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-2013)

Austenland (2013)

We Are Family: Austentatious (2015)

Austentatious: Big Girls Don’t Cry (2015)

Other:

First Impressions (1959)

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part I

Victoria and the Rogue

Victoria and the Rogue (An Avon True Romance #12) by Meg Cabot

I first was introduced to Meg Cabot through her book All-American Girl, later reading The Princess Diaries series. Another book series she helped write was Avon True Romance for Teens.  

The Avon True Romance for Teens was written by different authors and is a collection of clean, historical romances-written specifically for the teen/YA market.

I was going to include this in the Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers, but as I continued to read the story I realized that this was basically Emma, with some Pride and Prejudice thrown in.

Hmm…

I mean it isn’t an exact retelling, but there are just so many similarities. Let’s begin the review.

Lady Victoria Arbuthnot, Duchess of Harrow, is a young, beautiful, wealthy woman. Her parents traveled to India when she was little and died there leaving her an orphan and raised by her uncles. She was not interested at all in being married but just living her life with her fortune. Sound like someone we know?

“Never mind, Harriet, I shall not be a poor old maid; and it is poverty only which makes celibacy contemptible to a generous public! A single woman, with a very narrow income, must be a ridiculous, disagreeable, old maid! the proper sport of boys and girls; but a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as anybody else.” –Emma

She, however, did fully intend to match up her uncles.

This, however, they do not like at all. To stop her from meddling they decide to send her back to England wagering on how long it will take for her to get a proposal. She decides to prove them wrong and ends up engaged on the boat over.

Yes, engaged to Lord Hugo Rothschild, Earl of Malfrey. He’s a bit of a fop caring for his clothes and money and just not really seeming to be a stand up gentleman. After all, who enters secret engagements if they have honorable intentions?

Frank Churchill

But also on the trip is the very annoying Captain Jacob Carstairs who likes to tell her what she is doing wrong and tries to stop her from managing (her word), or meddling (his word), on the way the ship is run.

Victoria meets her relatives that reside in England for the first time, the Gardiners. They are poorer than her and have a very large family full of kids, much different than how it was for her in India.

This is…pleasant? 

Something that differs from Emma, is that as Victoria was raised in India and she doesn’t behave quite like most gentle ladies of society. She can shoot a gun expertly, doesn’t accept help from getting down from the boat, and breaks “societal” rules she has no knowldge of. Emma on the other hand was finely tutored.

Victoria meets her older cousin Rebecca “Becky” Gardiner who she discovers has a crush on Captain Carstairs. Oh no, this must not be as Victoria thinks of Captain Carstairs as a rogue and sets her mind on finding a more suitable man. Just like Emma…

Rebecca envies Victoria’s gowns, money, fans, and the time she spent with the very wealthy Captain Carstairs. It turns out that he is not only a Captain, but he owns the ship that they used and not just that one-a fleet of them. He worked hard to take his father’s business and turn it into something truly powerful.

Vicky lets it slip that she is engaged but manages to coerce her cousin into keeping the secret by giving her a beautiful gown and fan.

Rebecca tries to warn Victoria about Lord Malfrey, as he has no fortune. But Victoria doesn’t care, she wants a man that won’t boss her around but one she can hep and aid, one that needs her-even of that means she will be footing the bill.

-Speaking from experience and the wastrel of a man I married. This is not a good idea. Slight PSA. DO NOT DO THIS. BAD, VERY, VERY BAD IDEA

Unfortunately, for Victoria Captain Carstairs is a very good family friend. She will have to endure his company constantly.

Ugh

The family goes to Almack’s, for a ball and to be “out” in society. Captain Castairs reveled to all that Victoria is engaged, so that secret’s out. Captain Carstairs spends time at the dance to try and convince Victoria not to marry Lord Malferey-but Victoria won’t listen she wants to “organize his life.”

Captain Carstairs tries to convince Mr. Gardiner to stop the betrothal but Mr. Gardiner doesn’t really care. Vicky and him squabble some more before she sets her plan “Have Rebecca be with a man I Believe to Be Perfect for Her” into motion.

Victoria “loses” her fan and Rebecca meets the handsome Charles Abbot, who Victoria believed perfect for her cousin-arranging everything ever so nicely.

Captain Carstairs accuses her of being too controlling, but she counters that things are much better with her at the helm.

They have a picnic thrown by Lord Malfrey, in which she has him invite Mr. Abbott for Rebecca. Lord Malfrey’s mother is overly madeup and odd and his friends-not acceptable ones for society in dress and manners. And none of them talk aout anyting other than clothes and hunting.

And unfortunately for Victoria, Captain Carstairs arrives and disapproves of everything and all the people.

But then Rebecca’s bag is stolen by a street urchin. Just like Harriet in Emma. And just like in Emma Lord Malfey/Frank Churchill goes to save the day-except in this, one Victoria controls the situation by taking down the boy-to everyone’s surprise and shock.

They set to take him to the police, but Victoria feels bad for the boy and pretends to faint, causing a distraction that allows him to slip away.

They are invited to Captain Carstairs’ house to have dinner with him and his mother, but Victoria tries to stay behind. She can’t imagine having to go through a whole dinner with him.

They spend time together before dinner with Captain Carstairs and his mother. To Victoria’s shock she has a lovely and interesting conversation on India, boats, sailing, the navy, etc. Much more interesting than the talks she has with her fiancé and his mother.

Hmmm…

Anybody getting what I’m thinking…?

Hmm…

Jacob takes Victoria aside after dinner as he wants to speak of something serious with her. She thinks he is going to declare his love for her, but instead he tells her that Lord Malfrey is only marrying her for her money. Victoria doesn’t care…

…but then Captain Carstairs reveals a secret about Lord Malfrey that concerns his sister. Only a few trusted people know about it. The two were engaged, but when some ships were lost along with the Carstair’s fortune, Lord Malfrey dumped his sister and up and left-his sister utterly heartbroken.

Poor Georgina Margaret. But now she is married and living happy.

Victoria realizes the severity of the claim, and decides to trust Captain Carstairs and test Lord Malfey.

Captain Carstairs tries to speak to her, but she refuses him-embarrassed that she is attracted to him.

Ugh…I don’t want to like him.

Sh tests Lord Malfey, telling him that it turns out that she won’t get control of her fortune-married or single-until she is 21. That means they would have to wait five years. Lord Malfrey is having none of that and after throwing a big fit, Victoria decides she is done. Forget this dude.

Victoria is saddened, but soldiers on. After all there is Rebecca’s romance, the molding of the younger Gardiners, etc.

Unfortunately, Captain Carstairs won’t leave her alone. After a constant barrage and a plea by Mrs. Gardiner-Victoria agrees. Captain Carstairs is happy about end of the engagement, and tells her what you need is “someone who doesn’t need you”.

I have to agree with him. After being with someone who “needed” me which really meant “using”-It would be nice to have someone who isn’t going to just be taking but giving.

Well Captain Carstairs proposes…sort of. Here it is:

“Wouldn’t it be restful to come home to someone who needed nothing whatsoever from you?”

Really dude?

That’s Darcy level messed up.

I men you could say you love her or something.

I mean, seriously dude. Get yourself together.

He kisses her, and then Victoria becomes so upset she pushes him away. Victoria is justly angry an Captain Carstairs acts like a total tool.

Jerk

Seriously, “he won’t extol her virtues” or be romantic and refuses to ever ask her again.

Well fine. Seriously dude-would it kill you to say anything endearing. I mean Mr. Knightley:

Or Mr. Tilney

So he storms of and life goes on. Lord Malfrey asks Victoria to met him so that they might exchange letters. Victoria agrees but when she goes, she gets caught in the rain. He takes her inside and her clothes so she can dry and warm herself, but then the Malfreys won’t let her go. They want her money and they want it bad. Their plan is to trap her there all night and to “save her” from scandal force her to marry Lord Malfrey-just like Wickham’s plan.

She gets locked in a room, but Victoria is no quitter. She doesn’t quite know what to do, and is in her underwear, but decides she cannot stay there and makes a break for it out the window.

She tries to go to the police to get help, but they think she is a prostitute, and ignore her. She does gets saved by some street urchins, the ones in the group that belonged to the boy she saved earlier. He keeps her safe there with the others while going off to deliver her note to Captain Carstairs.

He comes right away in answer to her note, and brings clothes, like Victoria asked. When he gets there Victoria tells him the whole story. They concoct a story to give to the Gardiners, and Captain Carstairs takes her home.

Captain Carstirs is so angry about what happened, Victoria is convinced that he would try to duel with Lord Malfrey. She wonders why she is so upset when she realizes she is in love with Captain Carstairs.

She hears nothing from him and agonizes over what is happening. (Just like in Emma when Mr. Knightey is gone visiting his brother and Emma is freaking out as she realizes she loves him.) Victoria writes him a note but hears nothing. She is so anxious and angry at herself for turning him down, especially as she knows he won’t ask her again.

A man who has once been refused! How could I ever be foolish enough to expect a renewal of his love? –Pride and Prejudice

Victoria has a little bit of a breakdown believing Captain Carstairs is dead. The Gardiner’s see her distressed state and think she is sick, wanting her to stay home but she has to go out to Almack’s, as she needs to know if Captain Carstairs is alive.

He acts cold, polite and aloof.

Victoria pleads with Captain Carstairs and he tells her that there was no duel. He just told the Malfreys that they needed to go to France and never return to England or else he would let out the news about Malfrey’s first wife, Mary Gilbreath, and their divorce.

All ends well with Victoria and Captin Carstairs ironing out their issues and ending up together.

Meh.

I thought it was a fun story with great characters except for Captain Carstairs. As you can see from the above gif, I didn’t care for him and Victoria to end up together.  I found Captain Carstairs to be annoying, mean, immature, and a major jerk, only a shadow of Mr. Knightly and Mr. Darcy. Personally I believe Victoria could do better.

 

For more on Emma, go to Always Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

For more Emma variations, go to A Visit to Highbury: Another View of Emma

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MILD

For more Meg Cabot, go to Would You Like a Pizza My Heart?: The Princess Diaries (2001)