I Only Read Pride and Prejudice Because I Hated the Keira Knightley Adaptation

Yes, it’s the bomb that wrecked the Internet. The hate mail and unhappy comments will be abounding. Oh well. All I ask is that you finish the review before writing them.

So this marks the seventh year of my blogging JaneAustenRunsMyLife and I’ve been thinking, it is about time I share how I got into Jane Austen.

So the first Austen-related thing I was involved in, was watching Sense and Sensibility (1995). I think I was 7 or 8 at the time, and I came into the living room and my mom was watching it. It was at the part when Marianne and Willoughby are going off in the carriage together. I watched a bit but then went off to do whatever it was I was doing before.

My sister read Pride and Prejudice in school and when I asked her what it was about, all I heard was “mother trying to marry five daughters…” and stopped listening. Romance?! Ugh. I was not about that and books that were only about people getting married. Ew! (Which P&P is not)

You see I was into mysteries-Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, etc-and “important” classics like Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Wilkie Collins, etc. Pride and Prejudice, no way.

Me, read Pride and Prejudice?

I know I was a snob.

No.

And of course-gothic fiction. I had read Wuthering Heights, The Phantom of the Opera, Edgar Allan Poe, etc.

So time passed and nothing could tempt me into reading Jane Austen. We even had a lady in our church who “adopted” us as her grandchildren and bought a beautiful copy of Little Women and Pride and Prejudice for my sister and I. I already had my beloved copy of Little Women (I know I owned and repeatedly read it and didn’t consider it girly. Why? I don’t know. I was working off teen logic which doesn’t always make sense), and decided to take the Pride and Prejudice as my goal was to read all the classics. But did I read it? NO. I put it on my stacks of to-read books and forgot all about it.

So what finally got this stubborn, obstinate girl to change her mind? A sleepover.

When I was 15 going on sixteen (circa 2007) we had a church girl’s sleepover. Now granted, I was not in a good mood that day. I was bummed that the boys were doing their own sleepover and making potato guns while we did something I found really boring. I can’t remember what it was we did, I just remember wanting to make a potato gun.

It came for the time of the movie and I was not jazzed as the last time the assistant youth leader, Allie, picked-she chose Master of Disguise. 

Or saw. Just a stupid movie altogether.

There were two choices of films and I can’t remember the one I really wanted to watch and argued long and hard for-but I lost to Pride and Prejudice (2005).

I’m angry with you.

I was totally bummed and we started watching it. From the very start I was not happy.

WHAT!!!!

First of all I do not like Keira Knightley as an actress. I don’t think she’s that good as I feel she is the same in every film. To me a talented actor should make you forget who they are, but think they are the character they are portraying. So of course being an emotional teenager I couldn’t stand her.

As an actress not a person.

I didn’t care for anything else in it and to top it all off I could not understand anything they were saying or follow the film.

Now I have hearing loss in one of my ears, but I didn’t know that at the time. When I was a baby I had constant ear infections, so bad they wanted to put tubes in my ears but my doctor gave me a shot and I was good until 2015, when I got an ear infection but still saw Avengers 2: Age of UltronI had to go in that same year and do a hearing test and discovered that one of my ears is damaged from all those ear infections. So when I’m in an environment where there is a lot going on, such as a lot of people talking, it is really hard for me to hear. And when I watch TV or movies something about the volume always bothers me. Either it isn’t loud eough or it is too loud. So I was already upset and then it was probably my hearing problems.

Whatever it was, I was angry, upset, and I hated this film-with the frigid storm of hate that no one but a teen can give.

Anyways, I kept asking what was happening and just completely hating on this film when Allie said to me, “You just aren’t used to the accents. If you watch British dramas you would understand it.”

Oh no. Heck no, those are fighting words. I was deeply offended at that! You see I’ve been watching Masterpiece Mystery, BBC, and others on PBS since before I was born. English accents don’t bother me none.

Don’t mess with me!

She offended me so much I stopped watching the dreaded movie and spent the rest of the night reading in a corner. The next day I resolved to read Pride and Prejudice.

So of course, the first step I had to root through my pile of to-read and began.

As soon as I started reading it, I was hooked! I felt like Isola Pribby in The Guersney Potato Peel and Literary Society. How come no one told me that there were other men to go ape for besides the brooding Heathcliff and romance that is better than the way Cathy treats him.

Why?

To be honest, my sister did try. I just didn’t listen.

After that little taste it was over for me.

I was hooked on Austen.

I then had to watch every version of Pride and Prejudice-discovering that I had seen the Laurence Olivier version earlier when I was watching anything Olivier-related. He’s such a beautiful man.

So most people want to be Elizabeth, and friends said I was like her in some ways-however, I connected much more with Mr. Darcy, you know except the rich part.

When I finished P&P I then moved on to Sense and Sensibility. I took it along with me for my friend’s Sixteenth Birthday sleepover getaway and we ended up having Jane Austen pop up in more than one conversation.

I then watched all the Sense and Sensibility adaptations as well.

Mansfield Park was next and a little harder to get through. I liked Fanny but I really wanted her to punch Mrs. Norris in the face and was disappointed she didn’t. I mean I knew she wouldn’t do a physical punch, but was hoping for a verbal one.

I watched all the film versions of it that I could get my hands on, which wasn’t many as it is a hard one to get.

Then I tried to read Emma, but she kind of annoyed me and I skipped, planning to come back to it later, for Northanger Abbey,  which I just adored. I loved, loved, LOVED, this book. I adored Catherine as that was me!! I was such a tomboy growing up! I loved Gothic fiction! I had an overactive imagination! I loved that no one expected her to be heroine, but she became one. I loved the whole girl reads books and then has an adventure right out of a story. AMAZING! And I loved Mr. Tilney.

I did the same with the films-although I prefer the Felicity Jones and JJ Feild one to all others!

Then Persuasion, so romantic and sweet. I’m really bummed that Persuasion and Northanger Abbey get passed over so much. Persuasion  is slowly climbing it’s way out of obscurity, but doesn’t get the love it deserves.

I then watched all these adaptions as well.

I think this was from theotherausten.tumblr

I began to talk different, act different, dress different. You know how it goes. Watching all those films and reading those books your speech is extremely affected.

My first Jane Austen meme!

You’re view of the world changes:

My second Austen meme!

Your idea of the perfect man changes:

My sister used to poke fun at me, but I didn’t care.

Your life is consumed:

So I know, you are thinking-what about Emma. I decided to watch it, since I was struggling with the main character, and in the middle of watching it-I realized…Emma is Clueless.

After that-no problem at all. I LOVED Emma and how unique she was to the other Austen characters and women of her time.

Read it, loved it (some of my earliest posts were on it), and watched every adaptation I could.

So there we go, my Austen addiction all started because I couldn’t stand a certain adaptation and I was offended that someone thought couldn’t follow British films. Looking back on it, it all seems so petty. But hey, that’s what teens are right?

I then started a blog back in 2011-12 and then couldn’t find it as the title was too generic. I decided to create a new one and that’s how JaneAustenRunsMyLife was born. I mean it’s not that my friends or family don’t like listening to me, but if you have been following you know that when I like something, I really like it and love to talk about it. Sometimes making it annoying for those who don’t care about it as much as me, or who really don’t care about it at all.

And I know, you are all wondering-do I still hate Pride and Prejudice (2005)?

Do you?

I wouldn’t say I hate it, but I don’t like it. It is my least favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Pigs in the house? What? And why did they try and make them look dirty all the time? They were ladies!! And discount-Orlando Bloom who plays Wickham has no charm. However, I do think that their Mr. Collins was good, I liked how Matthew Macfayden and Simon Woods interacted with each other…and that will all have to wait for a review on another day.

So this marks seven years, and the seventh anniversary is wool. Hmm…what should I give myself? I always try to choose pictures from through the years. How about a Mr. Darcy in a wool coat?

Mr. Tilney in a wool coat:

Or Judd Nelson in a wool sweater from Making the Grade Valentine’s Day post:

How about a wool coat and scarf from Sherlock as well.

Ready for any case

How about a rugged Charlton Heston from The Ten Commandments anniversary post, in his wool coat.

There’s not enough wool coats, let’s throw Mr. Sinclaire in from Desire & Decorum

So thanks for the past seven years of awesomeness, and here’s to many more!

Yay!

In other news, I have decided to do a give away in honor of my 7th year. Now those of you who have been following me, know that after no one, and I mean literally 0, people entered my last one, I planned to never do one again.

But I decided to try again. I’m still putting it together and since “wool” is the theme of the 7th anniversary, I will be dropping it in the fall. So keep an eye out and of course, follow me on instagram, facebook, tumblr, twitter, or here on wordpress. And a special thank you to all who follow me:

For more anniversary posts, go to I Want Candy

 

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Austentatious (2015)

I wish we were talking about that awesome ’80s song, you know me…

But alas, no. We are instead discussing-Austentatious (2015)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Yes, I really, really do not like this show or how they portray the characters. But I started it, so I’ve got to finish it.

Ugh!

So Austentatious is the story of Elinor, Marianne, Emma, Elizabeth, and Mr. Knightley being friends in modern times. In the last episode Collins (Mr. Collins from P&P) was trying to get with Elizabeth:

Elizabeth is trying to find a home for the insufferable Mr. Darcy-like they right him really bad.

Uh oh

Emma hired Marianne temporarily and she is back to looking for a new job. But not doing well in that at all…mostly because they make her a dunderhead.

And Elinor got a promotion, had to deal with a mess at the office (she’s an accountant), and meet the handsome and fun Edward Ferras-IRS agent.

So in this episode Elinor, Emma, and Lizzie are hanging out at the coffee ship and Elizabeth lets Elinor have some of her smoothie-all I can think is no!! Never!!!

I never share drinks after I did with someone and they gave me a cold sore.

Lizzie is picking out colors for a family photo. Now is this really a thing? They always show people doing this in movies and TV, but my family only did it twice when I was a baby and the when I was sixteen. Otherwise our photos were just at weddings and events, etc. Did anyone have a family where they took family photos every year?

Elinor’s hair looks darker than the other episodes in the series, I wonder if she dyed it or if she wears a wig.

Hmm…

Marianne is applying but no one will hire her because of her lack of experience. Elinor acts like Marianne must be making this up to get out of working, but I remember it being like that. It’s hard out there.

But wait, Marianne does have some experience working for Emma and Darcy’s office. Why doesn’t she try a temp agency?

Hmm…?

Elinor finds out that the cafe is hiring and grabs an app for her sister.

Lizzie mentions that they took a “jean on jean” picture years ago…first of all-yuck that has bad idea written all over it. And secondly, no flashback? Really? I know this didn’t have a humongous budget, bit still-now that you have said it I want to see it. Since we don’t have that I’ll gift you with this.

And why is Lizzie looking at paint samples? Is that how you really choose a background?

So every one in the Bennet family wants a different color and its up to Elizabeth to find a compromise. I have to say that one thing this show does right is name drop her sisters, we hear Jane, Kitty, and Lydia. A lot of retellings cut them out-making Elizabeth an only child, or just have one sibling. It just doesn’t work in my opinion, as anyone with a sister knows-you guys influence each other and make each other’s personalities.

Elinor is thrilled that she scored Marianne an interview at the coffee shop. Marianne is still asleep, the call waking her up.

Marianne is less than thrilled and asks about free milkshakes. Elinor is not amused, but I think it is a valid question and I would have asked the same thing. You know me and free…

Marianne thinks food service is a bit lame, but agrees to come. Okay so Marianne finally has  cute outfit, yes, they were putting her in some weird stuff. Blue lace dress, small rope belt at the waist, and knee high boots-I’d wear that in a millisecond.

I love my shoes!

She plans to wear that to work and Lizzie isn’t sure it will work, but doesn’t say anything. I think she definitely should wear more comfortable shoes, but every coffee shop and cafe that I’d ever gone to, if they don’t have uniforms, their staff have worn all kinds of things. So it isn’t too crazy or anything.

The two are amazed at books that help you choose and coordinate colors and that people have “seasons”. I’m shocked they have never heard of this, I mean Marianne is supposed to be a fashionista girl. But I mean the terms “my color”, “having my colors done”, “what’s your season”, or “I’m a ___” are things people were saying before 2015. Although you know what I think:

And how could they have missed these with all the different shows on HGTV or WE or Lifetime?

Marianne is late for her first day and is all no big deal-really? Why do they always make Marianne so dumb.

And Elizabeth is over at Elinor’s at 3:30? Doesn’t she have a job and work to do? And why would she think 9 to 5 Elinor would be home at 3:30?

Elinor is trying to help Lizzie choose colors and patterns, but why? Didn’t we establish in the other episode that she has zero fashion taste? Why isn’t Lizzie asking Emma?

Maybe because she is the only one doing her job.

Lizzie is freaking out what color to pick and I’m just like go with Navy Blue. Navy blue is the best color that looks goos on everyone. I have never met a person that cannot pull of navy blue.

So we hear a bit about Lizzie;s sisters. Mary is conservative (gray turtlenecks), Jane classic and sweet (pastels), Lydia wild (neon, ’80s, and animal print), and Kitty slightly less wild that Lydia (a tamer version). I have to say good job writer’s, it appears someone read the book or saw a movie as this is spot on. I can imagine their modern-day equivalents wearing these.

Marianne bursts in, a mess and shares her day. She was told off by her boss, Eric, for being late, has to wear an apron, and messes up a lot. Well-jeez I don’t blame her. The guy didn’t even train her. Now I have never worked as a barista, but I think I would have a new employee come in early to show them how things are done and how to work the equipment. Do they just throw you into it? Can anyone chime in on this?

Eric rushes her again and again, which is odd as she just started. You think he would cut the new girl, on her first day, with no barista experience, a break. Seriously, I mean you saw her resume-what were you expecting?

Elinor is super controlling again and determined to make sure Marianne keeps her job and wants her friends to help. You can’t control the world Elinor. Bedsides, her boss Eric seems a bit of a jerk to me, he might just fire her.

Elinor

Is Elinor sitting on the Smoothie Shop’s couch with bare feet. Ew-that’s not your couch. That’s a public one. And why ARE YOUR SHOES off in a CAFE??

Anyways, Elinor convinces Emma and Lizzie to come by everyday and, make Marianne look good so that she can keep her job.

So here we are and I’m thinking this has like zero to do with Jane Austen. Like why even make a show based on the characters of Jane Austen when it has like nothing to do with it at all. It’s amazing when you compare this to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and see how well done that was in a modern adaptation that kept to the source material. Even Fall For You went on some other paths, but they kept the heart of the novels in there. What does any of this have to do with anything.

And why do they make Marianne so dumb and lazy. Marianne was a young rich girl, who suddenly lost everything one day, She never had to do anything as they had servants and she does’t adapt as quickly as Elinor. She also was a avid reader and a talented musician and had brains in her head.

So back to the show, not only has Elinor got the girls into it she calls up George, uh no they changed the name to something else-Garrett? I think? Anyways Knightley comes too. How long has Elionr been sitting there? Doesn’t she have a job? I mean I know she was promoted but I thought that meant more responsibilities-like dealing with the IRS, not more time to sit shoeless in a coffee shop. Still not over that.

So in the next scene Elinor is finally at work-finally. She complains about Marianne all the time not working, but hey you’ve been living in a coffee shop. She wears a t-shirt to work. I would expect a newly promoted accountant to wear something more professional, or at least not jeans-but whatever.

Lizzie interrupts her with bunches of clothes-and I ask, doesn’t she have a job she’s supposed to be working at?

Elinor listens to Lizzie as she complains no one is listening to her and actually gives good advice to her friend. They picked Lizzie to be in charge so she gets to make the decision and all have to live with it.

Knightley discusses Elinor’s “great plan” with Emma and Emma wants nothing to do with it from moment one thinks its a bad idea but wants to support her friend, that’s sweet.

Knightley talks to Emma–and hey, why isn’t he at work either, he has a job doesn’t he? I’m sorry I know I keep repeating myself, but its because of Elinor. She is always harping about Marianne not working, and in the other episodes we saw them all at their jobs-that them not doing that is a hundred times more obvious and in your face.

Kinghtley asks Emma why someone who loves love so much would be working in divorce. That’s what I’ve been asking to! Out of all the thousand professions in the world they could have given her-why the heck a divorce lawyer.

She says she is good at it even though it thoroughly depresses her. So Emma admits that is one of the reason she likes matching people up. Well if you hate it, why’d you pick that area of law.

What the heck!

Knightly complains about all disastrous dates he’s been on and all I have to say is why do we get this flashback, but no jean on jean? I really want to see that now.

I’ll just to google it.

I have to say Knightley’s reasons for why he doesn’t like the women were pretty shallow-what a jerk. One’s hair is too big, one talked too much too fast, and one mixed up her authors-okay not going to lie that last one I couldn’t deal with. If I had to talk to someone about Darles Chicken, Clom Tancy, and Sparkiles Nicks, I would go a bit cuckoo.

Emma and Knightley argue over why Emma is looking for Knightley’s match…blah, blah, blah and all I can think is that on Emma’s computer are a bunch of videos as if she is on Youtube. Well call me Elinor because I’m going to say it again Is anybody working?

And before you say well they are just meeting up at work or whatever, these scenes don’t have to be shot at the office. These all would have worked way better at a home, or a coffee shop, or park, etc.

I can’t tell what type of video they are watching but one looks like a dog on a skateboard (but it looks more like an ad), another is something in a baseball field, and the third two people on a couch.

Huhhhhhhh

Next scene is Lizzie in the park, so see-they could have done this in the park! BOOM!

Lizzie starts looking at the color book and says you are more important than my job, rent, or food-just kidding. She keeps looking at it and then just gives up.

Back at the cafe, Elizabeth and Knightley are hanging out at the cafe. And Elizabeth asks Knightley fashion advice. Now I find it odd that out of all the people in this show she hasn’t asked Emma, Emma who loves to give advice and loves fashion. Weird choice writers, weird.

Knightley thinks Mrs. Bennet’s choices are weird. He then listens to Lizzie and actually asks questions about it trying to help. Liz asks Knightly about his day and he tells her he has been doing nothing but what Emma says. Lizzie ask him why he doesn’t say no and he says its because it makes Emma feel good.

She then asks him if he ever thought about asking Emma out- and I’m like writer’s 10 points for you. It was done in a great way. Good job. Its like boom, so obvious to everyone you like each other-but Lizzie is tactful in suggesting it. It’s funny, but it actually reminds me of that scene in Emma (1996) AKA the Gywenth Paltrow version when Emma is all after all we aren’t brother and sister and Knightley is all, yes we are not brother and sister. In this Knightley is all we are friends, and Lizzie is all well friends make the best romantic relationships. It’s not the same but still a cute nod, whether intentional or not.

And then Knightley admits that he is interested in Emma. Cute.

Marianne makes a smoothie for a customer and does a really great job, but then accidentally spills it on him. Eric is all mad at her-but the customer seemed cool and it was an accident.  And it is only her second day. I don’t know-he seems extra harsh, but then again I have never worked food service so I can’t really say.

There is a cute moment where we have a horrified Marianne who feels so stupid at her mistakes and Elinor actually comforts her and shares a time about when she messed up on the job as a janitor and caused a girl to break her arm as she forgot to put up the wet floor signs. How awful! And I can’t believe she didn’t get sued for that!

Marianne tries to get her job back, but her boss is not buying it. Grant Kinghtley comes in and tries to convince the boss that Marianne is the best and should stay. Emma bosses Knightley around about how to “sell it” and they are so like in a relationship already. He really does “sell it” giving her $100 tip.

Lizzie shares how she picked the colors from the spilled smoothie on the guys sweater, and while she’s talking I noticed she looks really cute too-a blue and black gauzy shirt and her hair in a bun with front pieces curling. Finally! They had someone stepping it up on set with these outfits. You are on TV not radio, where what you wear matters.

Marianne comes bursting in excited that it worked and she has her job!

Grant tries to get his money back, but no dice.

He should just have Emma pay him back.

The cute guy Marianne spilled the drink on comes back as he thinks she is cute, and asks her out to dinner. Aw. But he’s not Colonel Brandon, so is he Willoughby?

If he is, then this show might get interesting-we have been missing a villian(s).

Hmmm

I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned…

For more Austentatious, go to I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious (2015)

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 The Smart One and the Pretty One

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to I Met Mr Darcy

For more Emma, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!

I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious (2015)

So this title of course references The Police song, even though it has nothing to do with the episodes plot.

Sorry, anytime I think of Sting and The Police I think of that scene from Footloose. But yes, the song:

I’d rather not be watching this. I have already watched two episodes and have not been impressed. I can see why it was canceled after one season.

Ouch

I know harsh, but I speak the truth. Basically, the story is that Marianne and Elinor Dashwood live together and are friends with Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse, and Grant/George Knightley. All live in modern times and are an accountant, jobless, real estate agent, divorce lawyer (!!! I know Emma, really?), and I don’t know what “Grant” does.

So we start off this episode with Marianne trying to make eggs and falls of course because she is a dumb blonde. Why do they make her that way?

Elizabeth is over and complains about the awful Darcy, who she has been emailing and she can’t stand him.

I am with her, they make him too jerky-seriously I hate him.

I know, I know

This series killed me okay. It made me utter what never should be uttered and then I died. It is a ghost of my former self that is writing this.

An angry ghost

And I’m sure if Jane was around, she sure wouldn’t appreciate what you writers did!

Elizabeth gets a call about a house and it is Collins looking for a realtor. Remember in the last episode he had his date where he tried to pump Elinor.

See Hook agrees with me.

Elinor, the accountant, has to deal with a tough client, who’s angry that she has to pay so much. I actually like this part of the episode because that’s what I have to deal with sometimes at work. It feels very real and it isn’t silly or stupid like a lot of other parts of these shows.

What I wish I could say to some people.

Poor Elinor, that sucks.

Yes, Elinor I know exactly how you feel.

She’s complaining to Knightley, I find that interesting. I like that he has taken that friendship role with all the girls. Plus in Sense and Sensibility, Elinor and Colonel Brandon talk quite a bit (as everyone feels the need to confide in her) so it kind of meshes that with this. Good job TV show, there are two things you are doing right.

But will it last?

For the thousandth time

Elinor has a promotion, woohoo!

Meanwhile, Marianne is shopping online and Emma hires her as the receptionist at her firm. Marianne is thrilled to be around hot lawyers, but down about that she has to be there at 8.

So Elinor’s promotion, she doesn’t get much time to settle in. Not only does she have to start her new job that afternoon, the IRS is coming and she has to deal with them. I know the show is trying to add drama, but I really don’t think that is how it works. I don’t think they would just “throw you in”. And certainly not throw you to the IRS, I mean I think she could defintely complain about that to HR.

An IRS agent is coming and all I can think of it it kinda makes me think of Parks and Rec when Ben comes and Leslie’s all mad about it and then they fall for each other-I just have a feeling Edward Ferrars is to be the IRS agent.

But seriously, you have a giant IRS dilemmea with your firm and you are going to promote someone from lower to take care of it. I mean I get they are probably trying to set up a fall guy, but wouldn’t you want someone who knows to take care of it and make sure all is good?

Woohoo, gold star theIRS agent is Edward Ferrars-did I call it or what?

Edward is like really cool and collected…I never pictured him that way since he was so controlled by his mama.

Majorly

Anyways, the two hit it off and he acts really sweet and gets command of the situation and calm a freaking, babbling Elinor down.

Interesting, a very different portrayal…

Hmmm…I don’t know of I like it.

All the girls meet up and Emma complains about Darcy, And oh my gosh he is so awful. No wonder this TV show was canceled. Like can we just sock him in the face. Please leave.

I know, I know-I said the dreaded words again-but I’m already dead inside from watching this.

Marianne offers to get revenge by mixing up his messages, but then she will get fired, so I’m not sure that is a good revenge idea.

So not fun…

So Elinor and Edward are eating breakfast and hanging out-telling stories and it is pretty cute. I like their interactions.

Good job!

Elizabeth meets with Collins to discuss “houses” but its a total date. Like seriously Lizzie, he has you meet at a restaurant for DINNER!!!

Liz is all business and Collin is all let me try and get info because I want to date you. The vibe is as strong as a 7th grader spraying himself with AXE for the first time-super ob.

Emma is working and Darcy is throwing a full on B.F.

Ugh I hate him. Like I want to STOP WATCHING. If I could I would throw my fist into the TV and punch him in the face. UUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

I hate you, I hate this series, I hate the writers…

Back to Liz and Collins, nothing is getting done and Collins is all yeah she’s into me.

Uh no.

Emma and Darcy fight some more-ugh

Marianne is too dumb to know the difference between a fax machine and a copy machine. Although, I have to admit that happens a lot at the library.

So Liz goes to Elinor’s home and she’s all “glad you are home” So Liz lives with her? I thought in the first episode Elinor was all “it’s my apartment Marianne” and going on and on and on about how it was her home and she wasn’t sure she wants to share with her and she has everything just how she likes it, blah blah blah. But if Liz lives there too, shouldn’t she have a say in her home? And shouldn’t she have spoken to her about Marianne living there? This makes no sense within the context of the first episode, but I guess it explains why all the girls are there all the time. I thought they were just limited on sets, I mean Collin takes Liz out to the same place he took Elinor. Which does work for his character.

Liz complains-and Elinor knows why he is flirting-but doesn’t tell her. Bad friend.

See Hook agrees with me.

Finally she spills and Liz is so angry- and she’s right, she been wasting her time getting her chained yanked while he is just goofing around pretending to buy. I’d be so angry.

Forget you!

Marianne is on the hate Darcy train as well after dealing with him.

You jerk!

Marinne tears a message for him, hmm…

Darcy is all blah, blah Emma I’m an angry stupid prick and I want you to do all this work even though I’ve complained that this is my area of expertise and I don’y want you touching it. I can’t find a file and its all your fault ad I hate how they make him.

I hate this

Do I have to finish this series, because I don’t want to. Why did they make Darcy so awful, he was not that awful in he book.

Ugh!

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Or TV show in this case.

Emma is angry and justifiably. She should report him to HR. He should not treat her that way.

Liz is walking and Collin surprises her. They meet to discuss her dropping him. And he’s infuriating . Liz is pretty nice, I think I would have been more upset.

Marianne and Emma are walking and eating. Marianne left Darcy fake messages to the movie theater and weather station. She tells him, sorry the numbers came in too fast, maybe try a few combinations. It’s pretty funny, but Emma warns her he could her fired for it.

Marianne does’t care as it is only a temp job. Marianne shares some backstory on her family, and the writer’s got it right, thank goodness. When their dad died, Elinor took over taking care of everything, and making sure things were done-causing her to quickly grow up and adopt the “sensible persona”. And how her mom just let Marianne be herself, she’s always been the one taken care of versus taking care of others like Elinor.

Edward and Elinor grow closer together, and they are very cute. I like it! More Edward please and less Darcy.

I think a thousand fangirls died over that statement.

Darcy starts acting like a human being and actually tells a not really apology which makes me still want to punch him.

WHAT!!!!

They have a loooooooooooooong way to go to fix him.

I am NOT happy!

Collins stops by Elinor to see Liz. He wants her to show him a house as he has settled on an idea of what he wants. Liz gets mad an tells him he needs boundaries. True dat. Good job Liz-stick to your guns.

Collin leaves and calls her on the phone to set an appointment.

Ugh! This dude!

For more Austentatious, go to Big Girls Don’t Cry: Austentatious (2015)

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 The Smart One and the Pretty One

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to I Met Mr Darcy

For more Emma, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!

The Smart One and the Pretty One

The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik

So I read this book years ago when my friend gave it to me. I kind of forgot about it, but then it came back to the front of my mind when I read The Dashwood Sisters Tell All. 

I meant to do a review of of it then, but then was distracted by other things-you know life.

But lately I have been watching Austentatious, and the character of Marianne made me think of this book again, so I figured why not review it?

The Nickerson sisters have always been known as the “smart” one and the “pretty” one. Ava Nickerson is the older sister, the smart one. She does everything right, is an attorney, pays bills on time, cares little about what she wears or her hairdos.

Elinor Dashwood

Lauren is the pretty one-drop dead gorgeous and a fashionista. She always has a boyfriend, going with her emotions, etc.

She isn’t very financially secure-she in a lot of debt as her credit cards are all maxed out.

Lauren screws up at work as she was trying to seduce a rich guy, only to find out he’s married. She loses her job and is a loss at what to do, or how to achieve her dream of owning her own shop. The creditors are at the door, when she gets news that her mother has been diagnosed with cancer. She packs up all her stuff and heads home.

See ya!

Back in Los Angeles, at her parent’s home, Lauren was looking through a “junk” drawer, and she finds a contract her mother and her mother’s best friend made a long time ago. The contract was signed by the mothers, and their seven year old children, that if by 30 the two were single, than a marriage will be done between Russell Markowitz and Ava.

As Lauren grows tired of her big sister’s financial lectures, budgeting, taxes, etc-she hunts Russell down to set them up. Russell is charming, handsome, twice-divorced, and runs a clothing company.

Not exactly marriage material…but that doesn’t stop Lauren. She’s sure that this is the best plan to loosen up her sister and get her perfect match.

So I didn’t like this book…

Ava is the responsible one who learns that she doesn’t just have to be “smart”, but can care about her appearance as well. She has been afraid to make a commitment to any guy, and finally starts opening her heart.

That wouldn’t be so bad, except the guy she picks is Russell, a jerk who cares about himself and the woman he can turn Ava into.

Yeah, he gives her a bunch of clothes and starts dictating her life and choices and how things will be worn.

And while Ava falls hard for him, there is no indication he really cares for her at all.

And for a book that is supposed to be about sisters, it seems more concentrated on the older sister’s storyline than equally showing them. Spontaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants Lauren pretty much stays the same: focused on her clothes and appearance. She does try to help her mother out with chemo, but still is irresponsible, bad at managing her time, etc. She never really learns about not spending too much, or the value of saving; just has one remorseful purchase. It was as if nothing changed her.

Ugh, I just can’t stand how all these modern adaptions portray Sense and Sensibility. People always make the Marianne character so dumb! In Austen’s portrayal she isn’t an airhead but young!!!! young, impressionable, romantic girl. Not a dunce!

She’s like most teenage girls-young, naive, romantic, think they know it all. So please, please, stop making her so dumb.

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!

For more Sense and Sensibility variations, go to Big Girls Don’t Cry: Austentatious (2015)

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements

Book Club Picks: Julie

So Happy Mother’s Day All!

I have never done a mother’s day post before, why? I don’t know. I must have been too busy celebrating my mom.

I had wanted to review The Mother Keeper on Mother’s Day, I thought it would be cute-but I didn’t want to put off my book club pick reviews that long. I thought I would have them all finished and be caught up by now.

I knooooooooooooow!!! I am so behind. I don’t know what happened. I have no excuse.

What’s happening?

So I decided that I would kill two birds with one stone. For Mother’s Day I will honor my mother with a review of one of her favorite books, which is also the next Book Club Pick up for review-her choice of course. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, book club reviews? Never fear-I can give a brief recap.

So as you all know I started a book club, because you know me and books…

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time, as I mentioned above, the book club member-my mother chose:

Julie by Catherine Marshall

I would also recommend this as a Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers

So this book was written by Catherine Marshall, of the Christy fame. She based the book on her own life, including the poetry she wrote when she was a young girl, and the Johnstown Flood.

Julie comes from a family of five, the Wallaces-mother, father, Julie, a sister Anne-Marie, and a younger brother, Tim. Her father was a Minster in the South, but for some reason unknown to her and her siblings, has quit the ministry and a stable good-paying job to in Depression ridden American to use his wife’s small inheritance to purchase a newspaper,The Sentinel, in Alderton, Pennsylvania.

What’s going on?

Have any of you seen North and South? I love that miniseries (and plan on reviewing it sometime). But the reason I bring it up is that in that series the Dad quits the church and moves them from the South to the factory-filled North. And we are all on the edge of our seat trying to figure out what happened, and it takes quite some time until they reveal it.

It’s the same here. The left the beautiful South to go to North, the town of Alderton, controlled by Yoder Iron and Steel (based on Carnegie Steel). They are shocked when they see the cut up land and the haze and soot.  And boy when they reveal what happened to make the dad leave, it’s a doozy. Worth reading defintely.

Wow

Julie was hurt and upset that they left her senior year to start all over again somewhere new, and completely confused as to why. The trip doesn’t start off with the best of origins as their car overheats and they get covered in mud.

They are rescued by Randolph Munro Wilkerson, English Aristocrat, here in America to run the Hunting and Fishing Club. I know that might sound a little strange, but this is he 1930s when limited income royals were marrying the “gilded” heiresses.

Julie is completely mortified that she has this handsome stranger meeting a muddy mess.

When they get to their home and office, the family is shocked to discover that they are all to be the newspaper staff. Writing, editing, cleaning, collecting subscriptions, collecting ad space, etc. The hardest thing will be having to convince people who are already “trimming the fat” that a newspaper is something they need to spend money on.

This will not be easy

One day, a man, Dean Fleming, comes in to ask them to print some handbills for him and offers his services, free, everyday. Julie doesn’t like him as he knew that her father left the ministry and spoke to him about God and faith. She thinks he is going to use his volunteer time to try and force his philosophy on her father and them.

For the thousandth time

Julie starts school and makes some friends. She even likes the minister, Reverend Spencer Meloy, who I don’t like. He cares about social change and is avid about helping the steelworkers, unionizing, aiding the new immigrants by getting them better housing-etc. But to me it rings false. I think he is concerned about these issues, but I feel like he does it for the glory of himself, a complete contrast to Dean who cares about a lot of the same things but has a humble spirit. Dean continuously is there for the family, winning over everyone and becoming a part of the Wallaces.

So the Hunting and Fishing Club has this giant earthen dam, and from the very first moment Julie saw it she has felt weird about it. There is something dark and ominous about it. Now some of you might remember when there was that big scare with the Oroville Dam two years ago and everybody had to evacuate? My family had to be evacuated as we were in the potential danger zone and we went to Las Vegas to wait it out. Before that, I never knew that the Oroville Dam was an earthen dam either. When reading this book, it made me view things differently and brought back all the emotion and things we went through then.

So the Wallace family tries to adapt to their new surroundings and life. Julie helps out with the newspaper, along with navigating normal teenage issues-dating, school, etc. She still has a crush on Randolph, but doesn’t really see anything happening there.

Times get tougher and tougher, as Yoder steel lays people off and it looks like the newspaper is going to go bankrupt, and then what will the Wallaces do?

But thankfully, Dean comes through and the Wallace’s hang on. But times are tough and more and more people lose their jobs, which means less subscriptions. Mr. Wallace has been hit with bouts of depression, Mrs. Wallace saying that it was a malaria attack rising up again from when he spent a few months in the South. On these days, Dean always comes. He doesn’t call or get called, he just knows and comes to help him.

Dean is a powerful character who’s has an amazing relationship with Christ. He comes to help the Wallaces, praying for them nonstop and aiding them both spiritually and physically. Too bad the Hales didn’t have a Dean to aid them.

Flooding happens and the Wallace’s get scared, but the rest if the town is unfazed as it happens every season. The water is a little higher than normal, but flooding is just a part of Alderton. It is so horrible the National Guard is called in and keeps people from going into Alderton. Mr. Wallace is hit hard and becomes bed bound again as he worries about damage to the newspaper office.

When the water recedes and they can get to the town, they discover that the newspaper office is safe, the printing press ad paper managed to be just barely out of harms way. With her dad too ill, Julie picks up the slack and loves it.  Her stories get published, and even her poems later on.

Wow!

While writing the flood story Julie wonders about the Dam. She calls to interview them, but no dice.

I got this!

Spencer creates an aid helping organization to try and help the workers in the Lowlands (immigrants, minorities, etc.) This book presents the hard issues as they discuss who should take the blame for he damage? Who’s responsibility is it to help the people? The church? The town? Yoder Steel? The Federal Government?

Hmmm

Julie joins the crusade and learns about how Yoder treats their employees. They have a baseball team, fire department, library, night classes for the workers, etc. But they also have high rents, a company store that is bought on credit, and essentially “own” their employees. If you have ever read The Jungle (one of my favorite books) it is pretty much the same thing.

Things continue and graduation is looming along with Julie’s senior economic project. She’s unsure what to do it on until she hears her dad is visiting Tom McKeever Jr, (the Senior being the one who owns it) and she tags along hoping to get some answers on the Dam.

Julie finds out that the Dam was bought by private businessmen, which means that since it is not government owned there is no one fact-checking up on it-but it is up to the owners to decide what to do with it and make sure repairs are done, etc. The lake covers 450 acres and has 500 million tons of water. The spillways were fenced off (not good!!!) as the lake above stocked with fish.

Julie writes her paper and her father writes an editorial, that while isn’t outright saying there is a problem, it isn’t going to be something Yoder Steel will love.

A little while after the story is published, Mr. Wallace gets invited out to Tom McKeever, Senior’s private railroad car, a high honor. He brings Julie along to the meeting full of rich food and belongings, extremely posh-a complete contrast to how everyone done below is living. McKeever didn’t like the story and wants the Wallace’s to back off.

julie writes a story on the labor issue but her father won’t print it as it is too one sided. She angrily sends it to The New York Times and forgets all about it as she becomes intangled in love trapizoid with Rev. Spencer Meloy, Randolph, and high schooler Graham Gilliam. But the NY Times calls her a they are publishing the article.

Now this is where the book gets really good. Once I started reading and hit this part, I could not stop.

They start writing articles in The Sentinel, and Yoder Steel does not like it. It’s the Wallace’a against everybody as Yoder Steel tries to destroy them by killing their dog, harassing them, attacking the presses, attacking Julie, threatening others so they drop their subscriptions, etc. Everyone has to make a moral choice on who they will side with. As for the Wallaces, will they stay firm in their beliefs, or fall under Yoder Steel?

Besides that storm, an actual rainstorm is coming their way. And then the real bomb of the book is released.

“Life and death for everyone in Alderton that day hung on such small decisions as to where they would be in the early afternoon.” pg. 324

BOOOM!!! When I got to that line I was crazed to find out how it all ended.

Then the Dam breaks and all hell breaks loose.

Reading this part is amazing, the total destruction only takes a few minutes and she counts them one by one as to what happens. It was so frightening to read that and think that could have been us two years ago if the water went over the lip of the dam. With all the heavy rain and full rivers, we are still jittery. I leave a week’s worth of clothes in my trunk just in case we have to evacuate again.

So what makes this an Non-Austen Read for Austen Readers?

First, the story is about a young romantic, reminiscent of Catherine from Northanger Abbey or Marianne Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility. She loves to read-along with writing poetry and stories. She dates some of her schoolmates, but they just don’t bring up that feeling of romance she’s encountered in books and wants in real life (partly has to do with the fact she fell hard for the English Lord). By the end of the book her life experiences have matured her-keeping some of the same romantic soul, but like Catherine and Marianne, has learned to temper it. 

Julie gets a proposal from the Reverend Spencer Meloy, who I don’t like, and it is an awful proposal. Basically “we think alike and like the same things, lets get married.” Not quite as bad as Mr. Collins or Mr. Darcy but still bad.

Like Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility the Wallace family goes through numerous changes that they have no real control over. While the Wallace family is much poorer than the Elliots and the Dashwoods, these girls can relate as they have to trim the fat, adjust their life, and have others see them as not marriageable material from their lack of finances. 

Rev. Spencer Meloy reminds me of Mr. Elton and Mr. Collins as to me I felt he wasn’t really being a minister for Godbut instead was looking to lift himself and his interests. Like these two men, he focuses on what he wants and believes, only. He also proposes badly as he reads women wrongly-thinking Julie is just as interested in him as he is in her because of a “look she gave”, ugh gag.

Ugh, this guy!

But like I said, this was a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it!

For more Book Club Picks, go to Book Club Picks: The Mother Keeper

For more Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers, go to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: The Glassblower

For more Christian novels, go to Book Club Pick: Far Side of the Sea

For more on The Great Depression, go to I Don’t Want the Money: It Happened One Night (1934)

For more bible verses, go to Book Club Picks: Desperate Pastors’ Wives

Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: The Glassblower

So this is something I started a while back. Sometimes you want more Austen books after you have read all her books. There are variations on her stories, but sometimes you don’t want to read the same story. You want Austen-like works, but what to read or watch?

That’s why I started this series. I will review books that have the things we love about the Austen novels, but in something fresher than a retelling.

The Glassblower (Glassblower Saga #1) by Petra Durst-Benning

The story is set in Lauscha, Germany-glassmaking capital of the world.

Joost Steinmann’s family has been the glassmaking business for years. When his wife passed he took it on himself to raise his three daughters: Johanna, Ruth, and Marie.

One day is a day like any other, but when the girls go to try and wake him for work-he’s dead.

After they bury their father and have a wake, they find themselves unsure what to do next. How will they survive in the turn of the century as three women? Especially, in a glassmaking village in a culture where women do not make glass.

So a family of three sisters who’s father dies and they find themselves at a crossroads and not quite sure what to do-especially as they have no money. So when I read that it instantly made me think of:

The eldest daughter, Johanna, is logical, sensible, business-orientated, and good at figures. As the eldest she budgets, shops, goes to the town nearby and bargains with wholesalers and shopkeepers. Her response to their dad’s death, other than heartbreak, is to immediately look for work-reading that made me think of:

Elinor Dashwood

Unlike Elinor, Johanna is stubborn, determined, and a bit hot-headed. She starts in the Heimer foundry-but after criticizing the way the glassblowing shop is run, she loses her job. She leaves to the city working for Strobel, the wholesaler and shopkeeper. She learns a lot from him, and grows from country girl to shop assistant. She does well, but her employer is an odd man with dark passions and plans for his protege.

The second daughter Ruth, has aways longed to be in choir, or out on the town, or be with boys-but her father kept them away. She is a romantic, dreaming of a Prince to sweep her off her feet.This made me think of:

Marianne Dashwood

Ruth decides to go husband hunting, looking for a rich man to take care of her. While working at the Heimer glassblowing business, she sets her sights on the unwedded son, Thomas Heimer. Thomas is not interested in getting married, but Ruth won’t settle for anything less-she tries to play the game to get what she wants, will she win? Or lose?

The youngest girl, Marie, is a dreamer who loves to read, draw, and paint. She also is interested in a “male” oriented profession, glassblowing. This made me think of:

Margaret Dashwood

Marie loves working in the Heimer factory as she loves to paint and design the glass. With both her sisters essentially moved out, Marie begins to fool around in her father’s workshop. After some instruction from their next-door neighbor, and very close family friend, she begins creating beautiful Christmas ornaments. But will her secret stay secret and she’ll be able to continue creating, or will it be discovered that a woman is glassblowing and she’ll be shunned from her community?

Hmm…I don’t know!

So you can already see why it is a Non-Austen Read for Austen Readers as the setup has similarities to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. however, this is not a copy of that book.

I found this incredibly well-written as it captures your attention. The characters felt very real and it was a great story, one I didn’t want to put down.

It dealt with the reality of women living in a time where they were vulnerable without men and without many options.

I liked how the story was about the three sisters trying to work together, but that they also didn’t always gets along-very real. I hate when they have these absolutely perfect families. Johanna worries about everyone, but at the same time can boss them about and not listen to what they are saying. Ruth can become self-absorbed, but she is there if they need them. Marie likes solitary and quiet, but at the same time will put herself through anything for her sisters.

The book deals with serious issues, like rape, spousal abuse, child abuse, etc.

Wow!

It also shows the culture and history of the beautiful glassblowing region.

This is actually the Christmas Tree Topper my family has.

I would strongly recommend checking it out!

For more non-Austen reads for Austen readers, Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: Suitors and Sabotage

For more stories on sisters, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!