Mundie Moms

Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Published by: Bloomsbury USA
To Be Released on: January 31st, 2011
Source: Book from publisher to review
5 stars: I LOVED It!
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Series: Austenland #2

When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end? -quoted from Goodreads

Everything I love about Shannon Hale's writing is evident with her newest release. Midnight in Austenland is witty, charming, has the right amount of romance, a strong female lead character and a murder mystery to be solved. I loved being back at Pembrook Park. The setting really sets the tone for the book, and though it's a great ode to Jane Austen's works, this time it was more fitting for her novels, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park. Shannon Hale does suburb job at creating a unique story based on these two classics.

Shannon Hale is an author who's works I've come to love whether if it's children, teen or adults. There's something about her writing that's light hearted, inviting and always leaves me feeling satisfied and wanting more all at the same time. Reading this book was no different. I was totally surprised with how much I loved Charlotte, the main character. She's a successful, independent single mom who's dealing with a broken marriage, trying to mend her heart and in doing so sets off to do something for herself, which leads her to Pembrook Park. Though I couldn't relate to dealing with a broken marriage, Shannon wrote her in such a way I felt like I understood where she was coming from, her need to do what she does, and her drive to stay true to herself and her children. I even understood her hesitation with the romance that takes place in the book, which is so Jane Austen like. I loved it. Charlotte's inner monologue during one of these moments is hilarious! It's adding that little bit of humor into scenes I would least except it to be in, that I love about Shannon's writing.

I really enjoyed Austenland, but I LOVED Midnight in Austenland. Shannon's writing was tighter and the plot line was so well done. There were plenty of exciting plot twists that kept me on my toes, the way the murder mystery wrapped into the story was fabulous, and the romance was of course sigh worthy! This is truly one of those delightful reads you can sit down and enjoy in one sitting. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from YA reads and just get lost in a book that appeals to my adult side. Shannon does a brilliant job at staying true to Austen's books as well as creating a story that's completely unique to her own writing style. This is a book I think Austen fans will love! You'll find everything you adore about Jane Austen's writing and more in Midnight in Austenland.


Thank you to Bloomsbury, I have 2 published copies to giveaway!!!!

To enter, please fill out the form below:
- 1 entry per person
- US residents only
- You must be 13 yrs & older to enter (under must have a parent/guardian's permission to enter)
- The giveaway will end on 2/13/12

Don't miss Shannon's launch party THIS Saturday! Find out all the info HERE

Mundane Monday #121

Happy Mundane!! Here's a lovely little scene between Jem & Tessa. This was taken from the original teaser Cassie posted back in October. *sigh* What a great scene....

He curled his fingers around her hand, where it lay on his arm. His own scorched her skin, hot as fire. And then he turned her, and drew her toward him.

They stood face to face, chest to chest. His breath stirred her hair. She felt the fever rising off him like mist off the Thames; sensed the pounding of the blood through his skin, saw with a strange clarity the pulse at his neck, the light on the pale curls of his hair where it lay against his paler throat. Prickles of heat ran up and down her skin, bewildering her. This was Jem — her friend, steady and reliable as a heartbeat. Jem did not set her skin on fire or make the blood rush fast inside her veins until she was dizzy.

Did he?

“Tessa,” he said. She looked up at him. There was nothing steady or reliable about his expression. His silver eyes were dark, his cheeks flushed. As she raised her face, he brought his down, his mouth slanting across hers, and even as she froze in surprise they were kissing.

- Clockwork Prince

Artwork by Kara-Lija found on Deviantart