I admit, I AM one of those people who unashamedly declares Jane Austen as her favorite author. I know it’s cliche, but there is a REASON so many people are such die-hard fans. Austen produced some of the most profound, satirical social commentary of her day, and her understanding of human nature allows readers/viewers to resonate with her works 200 years later.
There are a plethora of Jane Austen movie/TV adaptations, and as a connoisseur of her work, I have waded through almost every single Austen adaptation in existence, all of which I have a lot of emotions about. So here is an abbreviated chart/list of some of the best Austen adaptations I have discovered in my years of searching for the perfect Austen movie. I would love to hear your opinions on the adaptations, if you thought I did not include something that should have been included, or if you just think I’m plain wrong. Continue reading →
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy, fairy tale retelling
I’ve been on a bit of a Neil Gaiman streak since reading Neverwhere, and I’m still bummed at myself for never reading him before. But I guess that gives me time to thoroughly enjoy his books now.
Tristran Thorn has never felt like he belongs in the village of Wall. When Victoria, the girl he loves, says she will give him whatever he desires if he fetches her the falling star they saw drop to the other side of the stone wall that separates their world from the strange and magical land of Stormhold, Tristran doesn’t hesitate to agree. In order to prove his love, Tristran sets out on the journey of a lifetime, encountering hungry witches, bloodthirsty princes, and air pirates along the way, only to discover that his heritage is not as he thought it was and that maybe Victoria is not who he truly desires at all. Continue reading →
Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes
Genre: Historical fiction
This was such a frustrating mess of positives and negatives that it was difficult to decide between 2.5 and three stars. I eventually went with three stars because, despite all its issues, Ship of Brides was still an enjoyable read. Continue reading →
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
“Richard was sitting in the dark, on a ledge, on the side of a storm drain, wondering what to do, wondering how much further out of his depth he could possibly get. His life so far, he decided, had prepared him perfectly for a job in securities, for shopping at the supermarket, for watching football on the telly on the weekends, for turning on a heater if he got cold. It had magnificently failed to prepare him for a life as an un-person on the roofs and in the sewers of London, for a life in the cold and the wet and the dark.”
This is my first time reading a Neil Gaiman book and all I can say is . . . WHAT IS MY PROBLEM? WHY HAVE I WAITED SO LONG? Continue reading →
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch
Genre: Realistic fiction, YA
Dairy Queen was heart-felt and real, with a protagonist who was both hilarious, humanly flawed, and relatable.
DJ Schwenk is on the cusp of her junior year of high school, but with her dad’s hip injury, her mom’s work schedule, and her older brothers away at college on football scholarships, management of the family dairy farm has fallen solely to her. She finds herself working dawn till dusk to keep the farm afloat. It isn’t until the spoiled, rich brat Brian Nelson, quarter back of her rival town’s football team, is sent to help her work that she begins to question her lot in life and what it is that she truly wants. Continue reading →
Ten Birthdays by Kerry Wilkinson
Genre: Realistic fiction
“In those seconds, I suppose I learned that chaos doesn’t need to breed more chaos. Sometimes all it takes is the right person by your side to make everything all right in the end.”
Ten Birthdays was heart warming and unexpectedly poignant.
Poppy lost her mom on her 15th birthday. But what Poppy doesn’t know is that her mother has written her one letter for each of her next ten birthdays so that she could remain a part of her life. Each chapter follows another year in Poppy’s life, another birthday as she reflects on the previous year, and struggles with problems of growing up. Each year we wait with baited breath for the long awaited letter from her mother, filled with love, laughter, and advice on how to live life well. Continue reading →
Hunted by Megan Spooner
Genre: Fantasy, fairy tale retelling, YA
I have not read as genuinely delightful of a fairy tale retelling in years. Hunted follows in the hallowed tradition of Robin McKinley and Juliet Marillier, and I was immediately swept into the nostalgia of Spooner’s enchanted world.
Yeva, the youngest daughter of a wealthy merchant, longs for the solitude and magic of the forest, where she is free from the confines of society and can hunt as she pleases. When her father falls into financial ruin and then madness, disappearing into the forest in search of a mysterious “cunning beast,” Yeva has no choice but to follow him. When she finds a beast of nightmares looming over her father’s body in the snow, she swears vengeance on the creature who killed her father and that has now taken her captive to complete some mysterious test. Continue reading →