The Austen Series: Reason and Romance

Reason and  Romance (The Austen Series #2) by Debra White Smith

So I have started reading this series out of order.

But it doesn’t really matter as they don’t have to be read in a the order they were published. The books are modern day versions of Jane Austen. I started with Amanda (The Austen Series #5), which set Emma in Australia and:

To read the whole review, follow this link.

So after that I wasn’t too jazzed to read this book, a modern day version of Sense and Sensibility.

But I decided to keep an open mind and hope for the best:

Well let’s find out, shall we?

So the story takes place in Ohio, as Elaina (Elinor) and Anna (Marianne) Woods (Dashwood) have just lost their father; the family business; and due to a prenuptial agreement, their home.

Elaina, the reasonable sister, has just received her Phd and will begin teaching literature at the university the next town over.

Anna, the romantic, has not gone to college and doesn’t have a job. She lives at home with their mother, dreaming of the perfect guy to come along and sweep her off her feet.

One of the students, Ted Ferrars (Edward) in Elaina’s class, causes the always reasonable Wood to become a romantic as she finds herself captivated by his personality and character.

Swoon!

He turns out to be the brother of her sister-in-law, and the complete opposite with his kind and caring nature. He is a superb pianist and dreams of leading a music ministry at a church, while his family has dreams of him becoming a superstar.

While that relationship develops, Anna also finds herself with not one, but two potential love interests. When she relocates with her mother to the home they are renting from, their cousins, she is first pursued by the older, broody, Dr. Brandon (Colonel Brandon). She isn’t too interested in him as he isn’t “a romantic hero”.

Everything changes when she heads off to her new job only to have an accident and be saved by the handsome model, Will Kenney (Mr. Willoughby).

That’s what I want

Elaina sister tries to caution her to slow down, but Anna is caught up in her emotions and will not listen to any advice, only intent on doing what her heart leads her to.

Will both girls be able to allow a little reason and romance in their lives? Or will Eliana cool reason and Anna’s hot romance keep them from forming real relationships?

So what did I think?

I thought it was horrible. A lot of things just did not work or make any sense why the author went in that direction.

So let’s count them off:

A) The Story Doesn’t Work Not Having Elaina Living at Home

So in Sense and Sensibility, Elinor lives at home in the cottage, runs the household, and is able to witness Marianne’s reactions with Willoughby and advise her. In this Elaina has her own apartment in another city and it just weakens the relationship with her sister and family. All information has to be relayed by her mother instead of Elaina being able to witness what she is speaking out against and has no real clue what is going on. It also weakens the character of Elaina/Elinor as she loses her role of caregiver, which is partially why people feel secure in sharing with her their secrets. The author should have had her stay living at home, I mean it would have been easy to explain that she was worried about her grieving mother.

B) She Makes the Mom a Pushover

In the original story of Sense and Sensibility, Mrs. Dashwood was in the throes of grief. She had lost her husband, income, home, most of her belongings, life, etc: all at the same time. When Fanny came along and started insisting this and that, she went along as she was sad, depressed, confused, numb, etc. In this she just gives in to everything because she “doesn’t like conflict”, which was not how it was in the book!!!

C) Hot for Teacher/Hot for Student

I don’t care how old they are I hate the teacher-student relationship. First of all it is against University policies as it could cause bias and because you are taking advantage of a relationship and power you have over the other. I don’t care that they “don’t really date”, as Elaine is intent on trying to form a relationship, something she should not have done or waited until he was no longer in her class.

 

D) Whatever Happened to Baby Margaret Dashwood?

So in the original novel there are three sisters, the youngest being Margaret.  Why do modern adaptations always get rid of siblings and make people only children or mess up their birth place? I mean there are whole psychologies that discuss how your place in the line of family helps form your character and personality, and I think a lot of modern adaptations mess this up when they cut out the siblings.

E) Ted Cheats on His Fiancé

So in Regency time: flirting, courting, etc. was much different. In the original novel, Edward starts to fall for Elinor, and she him, and his attention causes her to think and hope he is interested. However, he never actually does anything about his feelings or makes any overtures as he is secretly engaged. In fact, most of the being lead on is from what Mrs. Dashwood and Marianne think is happening. In this, Ted actually cheats on his fiancé, clearing stating to Eliana in his actions and words that he likes her, while being engaged. I didn’t like that at all.

F) Elinor/Elaina a major flirt

In this Smith has Elaina as a major flirt with any guy that crosses her path. This is not true to her character or “reason” minded self. It also makes everyone think that she is dating Colonel Brandon, while in the book everyone knew they weren’t together and only Edward thought she was interested in him.

G) Elaina’s Favorite Book is Sense & Sensibility

Reading the book your book is based on? That’s not clever but overdone.

H) Debra White Smith is obsessed with Pantsuits

I mean seriously that is all anyone in this series wears when they “dress” up. I mean it is a Christmas party?! Why aren’t they wearing dresses?! You seriously think that the fashion conscious Anna would wear a pantsuit over a dress? At her age? Reading the fashion magazines she reads? I don’t think so.

I) Colonel Brandon and the Anna Relationship: Together in Five Minutes

So in the original novel, Marianne is dumped by Willoughby: tries to contact him with no replies; humiliated by him; tries to visit him; is taken ill; has to fight for her life; goes into recovery; is visited by Colonel Brandon; and over the time the two spend together she falls in love with him and encourages him to try to start a relationship with her.

In this Anna is sick, healed, and in love with Colonel Brandon intent on marrying him and becoming a nurse in like five minutes. It made no sense at all and I didn’t like how Colonel Brandon tells her his feelings first instead of allowing Marianne that time to overcome her heartbreak, be open to a new relationship, and fall in love with him.

J) Why a Nurse?

I don’t care if you boyfriend/fiancé is a doctor that is no reason to become a nurse! Especially, if you are bad with everything needed to become one. They should have just had Marianne continue as an interior designer, artist. or fashion designer. .

K) She Cut Out Some of the Best Parts of the Novel

Even though Sense and Sensibility has a lot of sad themes: depression, loss, grief, homelessness, poverty, dysfunctional family, heartbreak, betrayal, etc,: it also has a ton of hilarious moments as well. Like when Edward goes to tell Elinor the truth about Lucy and Lucy is there. Or when Fanny discovers the woman she has been promoting over her “plotting” sister-in-law has in fact long plotted to marry her brother!

Hilarious, comedic moments that only Jane Austen knows how to do. And they are glossed over or barely touched it.

L) Christian Fiction but Hardly Any Christian Themes

So this book says that it is “Christian” and talks about having “faith in God”, but that faith and relationship with God is never really even in the book.I mean if you want to write a Christian retelling of Emma then write it. If you want to write a non-Christian retelling of Emma then write that. Just don’t give me this lukewarm mess that is “Christian” but only a smatter. I mean go big or not at all, there is no in between.

So yeah, I did not care for this at all or found it to be a good adaptation or a good read.

Will the rest of the series be just as bad?

Hmm…

Keep following me to find out.

For more by Debra White Smithgo to The Austen Series: Amanda

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Sense and Sensibility variations, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Eras

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Viva La Révolution

Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuple

So I decided to do this post in honor of Bastille Day! Yay! You know I find the French Revolution so fascinating on how things got so ugly, so quickly. Also the complete irony on how they tried to change everything about France and erase all shreds they were ever ruled by a monarchy, but yet at the same time, find themselves being ruled by a king in about 10 years. By the way this is Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix (1830) about the July Revolution of 1830 (the 26-29), which ousted King Charles X of France. For those of you wondering, this took place two years before the June Uprising depicted in Les Miserables. So in this image we have liberty, represented as a woman (as usual) leading the people onward. This painting helped end the Enlightenment period and made way for Romanticism, the style that revolved around political events and current issues to try and evoke emotion out of the viewer. The people in the image following liberty and the French flag, are a wide range of people from different classes. To the far left is a poor peasant, and next to him a member of the bourgeois in a top hat, and to the right of liberty a member of the military.

Anyways, this post is also a response to Girl on Firemy post on The Hunger Games quiz result I got. I mentioned how I would start a revolution as I have tried before at an Oxfam  banquet.

So at my school we do an Oxfam banquet every year that raised awareness of hunger and homelessness in the world, U.S. and city that we live in. Each person who visits picks a name/occupation out of a bowl and it determines where you will be placed, and what your economic status is. Those who are lower class are the majority, sit on the floor, are treated rudely, have to drink water with coffee grounds in it, share a thing of rice, and eat last. Those who are middle class are seated at tables and get clean water, beans, and rice. Those who are upper class get bread rolls, salad, clean water in glasses, eat off glass plates instead of paper, cookies, and some kind of meat dish. They get the most attention and there are only like five of them, but yet they have more tables set out with food that remain empty. Throughout the night they have speakers and do a discussion of how we felt about the activity.

Freud

Now the first year I worked the bowl, holding it and making sure no one cheated, and all went to their right place. At the end of the shift, I pulled out a name and ended up getting upper class. Unfortunately, the waitstaff forgot to serve us the main dish so we only had salad and bread.

The next year they didn’t need volunteers so I just went with my friends. This year I got middle class (pooh) and in order to eat we had to do “chores”. They gave us a bag with holes in it and we had to clean up the newspaper pieces they had ripped and thrown about. The poorer class had it worse as they didn’t have a bag and the people get throwing more and more paper at them.

throw confetti

So I came up with the idea to tie the holes up as otherwise, we were going nowhere. After we finished we got our nasty food (it was horribly done as our caf sucks). Then we sat there. Now we had plenty of food left over, and I tried to give it to the other group but they just wouldn’t take it. They felt that it was their role so they were going to accept that. Well I wasn’t. I saw all those tables with empty people and I was hungry. So I told my friends, let’s start a revolution! Look at all the uneaten food that is going to be thrown away afterwards. Let’s go get it. Come on, there is plenty for us. We won’t have to take anybody’s stuff, we won’t force them to do anything. We’ll just rise up and take the stuff we need. I was very much Maria from Metropolis.

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

 

Come on everyone! Let’s do this!

But sadly, none of my friends wanted to as they “thought they would get in trouble”.

tumblr_lo2xcfV0AQ1qiucd5o1_500

But I was like images

And went and took the food.

Yum!

Yum!

A few people followed my lead, but mostly everyone was too complacent to stand up for their rights or scared they would get kicked out. So what if we do? Then we do. That’s the problem with revolutions or fighting for a cause. You need others to fight with you, but sometimes you just can’t convince them to take that chance. 😦

According to Buzzfeed I’m a real revolutionary and belong during this time period

Revolutionary France Les Misreables

Go here to see what time period you belong in

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For more of my favorite art, go to You’re Just So Pretty to Look At

For more on the French Revolution, go to Sucky Sequels

For more on The Hunger Games, go to The Hunger Games: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

For more on rebels, go to A True Princess

For more on Revolutions, go to Being Friends is Good Enough