Posted in Book Reviews

Highlight: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’m so excited to get back into blogging and reviewing again! Here’s a review on the classic of all classics–I hope to review some more familiar and unfamiliar books soon!

Around this time last year I wrote a review for Jane Austen’s gothic satire novel, Northanger Abbey. This year, I’m writing a review for Jane Austen’s most popular and beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice. The theme for the 2019 JASP (Jane Austen Summer Program) that I just attended last week was Pride and Prejudice & Its Afterlives. Throughout the conference, we deeply discussed how Pride and Prejudice has affected our culture and why it remains as popular today as it was back in the early 1800s.

In preparation for this JASP, I read Pride and Prejudice for the second time. I read it for the first time back in high school when I first started reading Austen’s works. To be honest, although I loved the 1995 BBC miniseries with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, the book itself wasn’t one of my favorites. Nothing really stood out to me the first time I read it and I hadn’t thought about it deeply since.

I was excited to reread Pride and Prejudice (or P&P), but I wasn’t necessarily expecting to get anything new out of it. I’m not really sure what I was thinking because this is JANE AUSTEN we’re talking about. Of COURSE I’m going to see something I’d never seen before. That’s how brilliant her works are.

I say all this in order to establish that the purpose of this review isn’t to let you know how great P&P is or how amazing Austen is. Thousands of people have done that before me. In this review, I just wanted to share what I got from a second reading of P&P and how there’s always more layers to peel back in an Austen novel.

Click here to read the rest of my review!

Contributor Reviewer

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Posted in Book Reviews

Highlight: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

It’s been a while since I posted a book review on Literature Approved with all the traveling I’ve done this summer, but I finally sat down and wrote one of a book I read earlier this summer. Enjoy!

I read this book for my own personal pleasure and was not required to write a review. Therefore, all comments and opinions are entirely my own.

Synopsis

An ordinary young woman with no particular beauty, intellect or talents, no money and no sad backstory doesn’t have a lot going for her. But when family friends ask her to stay in Bath with them for several weeks, her life is about to become much more exciting. As Catherine makes new friends, attends balls and falls in love, she realizes that people are not all as genuine as she is. A Jane Austen novel with the clear-cut writing style and relatable characters we all love, yet markedly different from the others.

Review:

In mid-June I attended my first JASP (Jane Austen Summer Program), which has been hosted an hour away from where I live for the past 6 years. The theme this summer was Northanger Abbey and Frankenstein as 2018 is the 200th anniversary of each novel. I had read 5 of Jane Austen’s 7 novels and I’ll admit, I wasn’t eager to start reading Northanger Abbey. I had heard from many Jane Austen fans that this was their least favorite Austen novel and I had put off reading it for years because of that.

Check out the full review here!

Contributor Reviewer

Posted in Book Reviews

Second Five Books of 2016

Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.

-Jane Eyre

You can find books 1-5 of 2016 here!

*SPOILER!* I may include some of the book’s plot/content in my reviews for them, so if you haven’t read one or more of these yet and want to read it without spoilers, then you can just skip down. *

6. A Line in the Sand by Sherry Garland – Another Dear America. 🙂 You would think that I’ve read all of them, but nope, there are still plenty more I need to check off my list. This one was about the fight at the Alamo. I loved the look into Texan history and the presence of danger the author gave us of the Mexicans marching forward. Not one of my favorite Dear Americas, but certainly a unique one.

Continue reading “Second Five Books of 2016”

Posted in Book Reviews

First Five Books of 2015

My goal this year, or New Year’s Resolution you could say, is to read 40 books in 2015. Last year, my goal was 30 books and I finished Emma by Jane Austen December 31st, right before the end of 2014! My hope is to build my way up and finish 50 books in 2016. I was 7 books short of 50 in 2013 and hope not to fall so sadly short this time around! So far I have read 23 books this year. That means I have to read 16 books in 4 months, before 2015 ends!! It will be hard, but I know I can do it!

Since I am reading so much, I thought I might give you the list of books I’ve read and what I thought of each of them. Here are the first five I finished in January-March:

*SPOILER!* I may include some of the book’s plot/content in my reviews for them, so if you haven’t read one or more of these yet and want to read it without spoilers, then you can just skip down. *

  1. * The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This is a book that a friend gave to me for my birthday last year. She wanted me to read it because it was one of her favorites. I’ll just start by saying it was a looong book, BUT–it was well worth it! I love historical fiction and the World War II era fascinates me and to read about a girl who loves books just as much as I do, if not more? What more could I ask for? This book gave me a completely different perspective on Nazi Germany. Not all the Germans were as bad as Hitler and the Nazis. Many were victims just as much as the British, French, Austrians, etc., around Europe were. This book also showed me what everyday life was like in Nazi Germany. Growing up with Liesel, the main character, was an amazing experience. Unfortunately, there was one detriment to this book. It had a lot of language. It bothered me a lot and would have prevented me from finishing it if it hadn’t been recommended so highly (and I’m very glad I did finish it!). Although it was at times hard to stand, the language fit the setting around it, considering they led some pretty awful lives. Not that that is an excuse, but I suppose they did say a lot of bad words back then (as they do now :\).
  2. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – This book I read for school. I loved the first chapter…but I didn’t love it so much after that. His poetical way of writing was beautiful and inspiring, but the overall story was not very…happy. In fact, it’s a rather depressing book. I did, however, enjoy discovering the character of Hester Prynne’s little girl, Pearl, a lot. The book somewhat portrays her as a devil-child since she was born out of wedlock, but we readers know the truth. She’s just a stubborn, selfish toddler. Having watched Jonathan grow up, I know what toddlers are like and how children at her age think. She’s no more “devilish” than any other stubborn child, really. However, she was really clever and perceptive for her age and loved her mother (in her own way) very much, which intrigued me.
  3. * The Death of My Country by Maxine Trottier (part of the Dear Canada series) – This book is about the French and Indian War, particularly when the British take over Quebec City in the mid-1700s. Having been born in Quebec myself (and because the French and Indian War has always fascinated me), I loved learning more about my province and its history. It was interesting to see how the British took over the French’s city and started turning Canada into the mostly English country it is today. At one point, the main character writes in her diary that Quebec is no longer French, but English now that the British have invaded. In a way, she was right, but in another way, she was wrong. Quebec today is still very much French, but the rest of Canada is very much English.
  4. Look to the Hills by Patricia C. McKissak (part of the Dear America series) – This book is about a black girl who is a companion to a French girl who sails across the Atlantic and moves to Niagara in search for her missing brother. In this book, the main character discovers that no matter how close she and her mistress are and how kind she is to her, she will never really be independent and free while she is her companion. This book showed a different perspective on slaves while still emphasizing the need for their freedom.
  5. Mandie and the Medicine Man by Lois Gladys Leppard (part of the Mandie mystery series) – I love the Mandie series and this was another great mystery with Mandie and her friends, both white and Cherokee, searching for the group of people tearing down their new hospital.

Well, that’s all for now!

* (Books that I absolutely recommend to anyone have a * next to them!)