Friday, November 21, 2014

Favourites Friday: Review of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

I've read a lot of books in my life.  I'm sure most of you have, too.  Far more than I could count.  My book journal project only started about three years ago.  Think of the countless numbers of books I've read before that!  To pay homage to the dozens of other amazing books I've read throughout the years, I've decided to write a review every Friday about one of my favourite books!  I'll tell you about when I first became interested in it, what drew me to it, and, of course, link you to an amazon page where you can pick up a copy for yourself!  This will not be limited to one genre, but simply to every inspiring book that helped me get to where I am today!

First up is: Pride and Prejudice.

Star Rating: 
Genre: Classic/Romance
Pages: 272

Now, I know a lot of people have been really crazy about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  I have a copy, and I bought it a few years ago, but I haven't read it yet!  Feel free to tell me in the comments down below if it's good or bad, but please don't spoil it for me!

In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, a country squire of no great means must marry off his five vivacious daughters.  At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are hs headstrong second daughter Elizabeth Bennet and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy -- two lovers whose pride must be humbled and prejudices dissolved before the novel can come to its splendid conclusion.

Now, that doesn't sound like a lot to go by.  Sounds like a typical romance story- two people meet each other, fall in love, and don't want to admit it, yet this book is so much more than that.  This book teaches you polite ways to decline someone's attentions if you are simply not interested, how to tell if someone is your true friend, how to know if you can trust someone [Hint: if they want you to sneak around, you probably shouldn't trust them!], and most importantly, that people in relationships need to have some sort of common interest or you will grow bored with each other.  The Bennet family is pretty large, so you get to see different perspectives from all five of the sisters: Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Mary and Kitty.  Every one of the sisters is relatable, and you will likely be able to find a character that reminds you of yourself as well as any sisters, friends, or other female relatives you have.  This is one timeless love story that ages perfectly, and can be understood and adapted in any day or time.

Personal Thoughts and Recommendations:
I have always been an avid reader.  Pride and Prejudice is one of my first novels I can remember loving enough to call a favourite.  My Grandmother had gotten me the Great Illustrated Classics version when I was 8 or 9.  I loved everything about the story, and I have reread it numerous times.  Currently, now, sitting on my shelf, are three different versions of the story: my Great Illustrated Classic, a signet classic version, and Orgullo y Prejucio (that's right, a copy in Spanish).  Why don't I have other language copies?  Probably because I wouldn't be able to read them.  This story has romance, adventure, and it allows you to step into the Victorian lifestyle in a way that is all encompassing, without feeling out of place.  I would definitely recommend a copy of this book to children, adults, everyone.  There are so many valuable life lessons in this book that are not merely the message so many novels written for girls seem to be directed towards.  It's a must read!

Author Bio:
Jane Austen lived from 1775 to 1817 in England.  Her novels are romantic fiction, and generally are set among the gentry.  Her use of irony, realism, and social commentary as well as her plots have helped her novels gain historical importance.  Austen's novels are often considered for review in academic classes.
Jane Austen also has a website dedicated to her works,

Popular Culture:Pride and Prejudice is still relevant today, and much like any good story, there have been remakes/retellings.  While Pride and Prejudice isn't overdone quite as much as Dracula, there have been several movie adaptations, various book retellings (such as the aforementioned Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), and an amazing YouTube show called The Lizzie Bennet Diaires.  I'd definitely recommend watching the BBC television series of Pride and Prejudice as well as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  It was actually The Lizzie Bennet Diaries that inspired me to read Emma, so I could know the original story before watching Emma Approved.

First two pictures were found on Pinterest, Great Illustrated Classic picture was found on the Amazon page for the book.

If you like this review, and the writing style of this quirky reviewer, please consider visiting and liking my Facebook author page: Lizzy March.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review of Alyson Grauer's On the Isle of Sound and Wonder

Genre: Steampunk/Fiction
Pages: 272

All but alone, wild but resourceful Mira dreams of life beyond the shores of her mystical island. Isolated by her father, a dark sorcerer bent on vengeance, she has only his servants, an air spirit and a misshapen cast-off, to share her company. When Dante conjures a terrible storm to wash ashore his mortal enemies, Mira must chose between her loyalties to her father and what she knows is right.

Sail the skies and soar the seas surrounding this Isle of Sound and Wonder as Alyson Grauer masterfully retells William Shakespeare’s classic, The Tempest, bedecked in the trappings of Steampunk.

Right off the bat the book does something that Shakespeare's play does not. This book contains steampunk, motive, and in depth characterization unseen in Shakespeare's own play. The characters all have wants and needs, but they are not the shallow things that are usually wished for, such as a relationship, or power. Each character has their own story and is slowly introduced to the reader with just enough information for the reader to want to know what happens to them. Almost every character has some sort of empowerment, a motive that makes them want to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. No longer is Miranda the poor innocent victim that Shakespeare made her out to be, nor Ferdinand the lovesick fool. The name changes are odd, but easy enough to connect to the original story. The story would have been capable of completely standing alone without the illusion of Shakespeare, had the names been more original. The names that are chosen and used, Mira, Ferran, Dante, are much more modern, yet eccentric, which allows for a seamless transition from traditional Shakespeare to steampunk.

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