And speaking of Pride & Prejudice …

pride and prejudiceYesterday’s realization that the historical romance I read on the weekend was written by one of writers for The Lizzie Bennett Diaries had me thinking about my love of a certain classic novel that the YouTube series was based on, so I thought it would be fun to write a post about my love of one very famous novel.

Pride & Prejudice.  

Can you believe that it wasn’t until last year that I read Jane Austen’s classic, Pride & Prejudice? I had actually attended university as an English minor and the one class that I dropped was classics in the 1800s. With HUGE books on the reading list, I knew that I just wasn’t going to have the time, so I dropped it in favour of some of the more modern 1900 classics and children’s literature.

I mean, I like to read, but back then I wasn’t such a devourer of books — especially when I still had readings to do for other classes.

It wasn’t until The Lizzie Bennett Diaries came on YouTube that I decided that I had to drop everything and read the book that started it all. And really, I wasn’t even one of the first people to watch The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. I had seen it mentioned all over Twitter and Facebook as it was playing and for some reason I assumed that it had to do with a teeny-bopper musician or something, so I just glossed over any reference. Then the lovely Anne, over at Creativity’s Corner, pointed out that I had to watch it and what was wrong with me that I wasn’t?

OK, maybe she was nicer than that, but still. I had to get on it!

Start watching The Lizzie Bennett Diaries here: 

 

pride-and-prejudice-movieAlmost immediately, I fell in love. The actors were amazing and the story kept me wanting more! I came in late in the game, so I binge-watched most of it and once I was partway through I decided I had to read the classic. And after THAT, I made sure I rented the 6-hour miniseries staring Colin Firth from the library and promptly watched it in an afternoon, falling in love all over again.

After that I was hooked.

Now, I find myself seeking out more modern day adaptations of the story in both book and film format. I still have a ways to go, but I can see myself watching and reading this classic over and over again. What is it about Mr. Darcy that keeps me coming back?

All I can think of right now is that it’s my love of romance that has me coming back to this great story. I’ve always been one to search for the romance — real romance — in a story, not the instalove garbage you see in books these days. I want people to be wooed, I want pretty dresses, I want men dressing up, I want flowers, I want butlers, I want horses, I want lakes (for men to fall in, of course), and I want love. Love, love, love.

And really, when it comes to swoon-worthy love, is there anything better than Pride & Prejudice?

Are you a fan of Pride & Prejudice? What are your favourite adaptations? 

signature-01

{Book Review} An earl and a secretary walk into a bar …

The Game and the GovernessAnother weekend, another historical romance book! Though, this past weekend’s pick, The Game and the Governess, was a little bit different from what I’m used to. There was a little bit of mystery as well!

Remember last week when I read the Christian romance about the King who left his kingdom to woo the woman he loved? This book is kind of similar, though except for a King leaving his kingdom, it’s an Earl — trading places with his secretary on a bet. The bet? The Earl must make a lady fall in love with him.

The fun part about this book was the idea of the Earl leaving his earldom for a lesser station. Also, we got to see the Earl’s secretary take station as an Earl. The two kind of made me think of Sherlock and Watson, or House and Wilson, trading places with one another. It’s not all roses being an Earl — likewise, it’s not so bad being a secretary. Both had their advantages, and both had their drawbacks.

I really enjoyed both of the main characters, the Earl of Ashby and the secretary, Mr. Turner. They both had real unique qualities to their character which made it a challenge for them to each play one another. When it came to these characters, I think I preferred the Earl — the real Earl — to the secretary, though I that’s because the Earl’s switch started to make him a little more human, whereas the secretary’s switch made him a little greedy with power. He went off and on when it came to liking the power — like I said, it comes with its perks — but I think I preferred him to be a secretary instead.

The story was a little bit slower than I was used to — that is, it took more than just a day’s worth of reading to get through — but once I had the time to really sit down and get into the characters and the story, it played out in my head like a movie. Maybe I had just been watching too much Downton Abbey (and I have to admit, whenever Danson, the valet to the Earl, came into the picture, I was immediately picturing Carson, the valet on Downton Abbey in my head), or maybe the story was just laid out that well, but I could see the scenery, the house, the bedrooms, and the characters so vividly in my head.

The only drawback that I could really find from this story is the point of view. It was narrated by an outside character, it seemed, so the scene would flip from the earl, to the secretary, to the governess, and to other characters throughout the story. There were times I had to flip back to be sure of who I was actually reading — especially when it came to the Earl and the secretary. When the governess, for example, talked of the Earl, she was actually talking of the secretary, so it was a little confusing at times.

Other than that, though, it was a really fun story to work through. There was a lot of emotion going on, a bit of mystery when it came to the history of the governess, and a lot of romance, too. I loved the whole Trading Places aspect of it and really looked forward to reading when I had the chance. The romance was a little bit slow, but I kind of liked that. It also wasn’t instalove or anything like that — the secretary, er, the Earl, that is, really had to work for it!

In the end I’d have to say the whole thing was brilliant.

Marvelous.

Thank you to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and NetGalley for the review copy of this book! 

(Added: I just read over the synopsis of the story and saw that it was written by one of the writers who did The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, one of my favourite YouTube stories! When I think about that, I see so many similarities between the Earl of Ashby and Mr. Darcy. So much fun.)

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

Have you ever wanted to trade places with someone? Have you EVER traded places with someone? What was it like? 

signature-01

{Book Review} My mixed feelings when it came to going away for university

roomiesWhen I decided to go to university, I had a few options. Both were quite obvious:

Live at home, or stay on campus. 

I was (and still am) quite the shy person so the thought of leaving home and staying somewhere foreign terrified me. One of my brothers did it and he loved it, while my other brother lived at home and went to a closer university. Based on both of their personalities, they chose well. But not only am I shy, I’m also quite reserved. I like quiet, I like alone time, I like being able to sit by myself with my music playing, rather than being surrounded by tons of people.

That’s pretty much why I decided to go to university close to home. It was only a half hour commute, which was fine. But I still can’t get over the fact that I might have been missing out on something because of that lingering fear that I wasn’t cut out to live on campus.

You never know until you try, right?

I think that’s why I loved reading Roomies so much. And it’s not even a book about actually living on campus. Instead, it’s a book about two people who get their roommate assignments for university at the beginning of summer and decide to start emailing one another. A friendship forms and the book pretty much ends very similar to the end of Gayle Forman’s Just One Day, with the opening of a door. I loved the openness of that, the fact that these two people pretty much communicated with one another across the country, never meeting. There’s something magical about wondering what happened next.

One of the benefits of having two authors for a book like this is the fact that, as a reader, I was constantly wondering how they went about writing the book. Did they go by letters to construct the story, emailing back and forth, then filling in the gaps? Did they each take a main character and write a chapter? I was so curious because each of the girls seemed so well fleshed out and I could relate to each of them in some way or another. It was neat seeing the two girls navigate life before university because it is such a big step in life. What happens to your friendships? Your relationship with your boyfriend? Your parents? Your family?

I feel like both authors really did the book justice with all of those questions. I was both smiling and tearing up at the end because it was just such a sweet story. It was such a real story. There were real scenarious that had me wondering, “Did they really just write that?” And I loved every minute of it.

On top of that, there was also prominent parents on both sides — and they played a very important role in the story! It was nice to see that the girls didn’t come from perfect families and that they both had their own problems to work through before they left home. Not only did the girls have to work through their own inner dilemmas and their outside relationships before they went to university but, perfect family or not, they still had issues right inside the home to deal with. One dealt with a mom who made less-than-favourable choices, and the other dealt with living with a big family and wondering how to separate from it.

I think this is one of the reasons that I’ve been trying to completely avoid Goodreads for any indication that other people didn’t like a book before I start and while I am reading — I don’t want anything to taint my opinion. It was fun for me to read it and think back to almost fifteen years ago when I was put forth with the decision of what to do for university. It brought back some good memories — and maybe even a few regrets.

A perfect light read for the summer!

Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada and NetGalley for the review copy of this book! 

goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47

What did you do for university? Did you stay at home or stay on campus? Do you regret your decision, or are you still happy with it? 

signature-01