Tag Archives: Fanfiction

Unmarriageable: A Novel Book Review

There is more to adapting a classic novel to the modern era. In theory, transferring the characters, narrative and setting from the original novel to a new novel sounds relatively easy. But the reality is that it is easier said than done.

Soniah Kamal’s new novel Unmarriageable: A Novel, was released last month. Based on Pride and Prejudice, the book is set in Pakistan. Alys and Jena Binat come from a family of five sisters. Both are in their early 30’s and neither are married, much to their mother’s chagrin. In their world, social status, connections and money play a role in where one lands on the social hierarchy. Once upon a time, the Binats were high up on the social hierarchy. But a family squabble has forced the Binats into the middle class.

At a wedding, the Binats are introduced to a pair of young men. Fahad “Bungles” Bengla takes an instant liking to Jena, while his best friend Valentine Darsee is quick to dismiss Alys. In response, she hates on him like her life depends on it. Will these two couples end up together?

I loved this book. It has the spirit of Jane Austen’s masterpiece, but it feels new and exciting. I appreciated that Ms. Kamal did not simply translate Pride and Prejudice from early 19th century England to modern-day Pakistan. She added new layers and expanded the characters in a way that did not feel like an utter destruction of the characters that Austen fans know and love. There is also an Easter egg in regards to Austen’s own life, but I will not tell you where it is in the novel. You will have to find it.

I absolutely recommend it.

 

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Rational Creatures Book Review

When it comes to creating well written fanfiction, a good writer knows how to balance their narrative and their voice with the narrative and voice of the original work.

Christina Boyd’s new Jane Austen inspired anthology, Rational Creatures, was published back in October. Containing 16 new stories from well-respected JAFF (Jane Austen Fanfiction) writers, the focus of the stories of Austen’s female characters. The question that each story asks is if the heroines are the standard romantic heroines or strong, capable women who are able stand on their two feet in spite of the era that they live in?

I’ve been a fan of Ms. Boyd for the last few years, I enjoyed her previous anthologies, The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues. This book is well written and an easy read. I would caution, however, that this book is not for the newbie Jane Austen fan. It requires a level of knowledge that comes with multiple readings of Austen’s work and a deep knowledge of the fictional worlds that she created.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Emma, Fanfiction, Jane Eyre, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility

Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility Book Review

When rewriting a classic novel for the modern age, it takes more than merely transplanting the narratives and characters from one era to another. It is the writer’s job to ensure that the emotions of both the characters and the reader is equally transplanted.

In the Sense and Sensibility reboot, Jane if Austin: A Novel, by Hillary Manton Lodge, the Woodward sisters Jane, Celia and Margot have dealt with quite a few upheavals in their lives. First their mother dies in a car accident. Then their father is accused of a business scandal. Jane and Celia must take care of themselves and Margot, who is a few years behind her elder sisters. A few years after they have rebuilt their lives, the upheaval happens again. When the rent is raised on their tea shop in San Francisco, the sisters find a new home in Austin.

While temporarily living with a cousin, the sisters have their fair share of issues with their love lives. Celia’s relationship with Teddy ended just before she and her sisters left for Austin. Jane is infatuated with Sean Willis, an up and coming musician. Meanwhile Captain Callum Beckett, a retired Marine is watching Jane from afar while dealing with his own past.

In terms of Jane Austen fanfiction, this one is well done and extremely enjoyable. While it was still Sense and Sensibility, I felt like the author was able to weave her own voice in the story as well.

I recommend it.

 

 

 

 

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The Darcys: New Pleasures Book Review

The fanfiction genre is a genre that has never gone out of fashion. Readers and writers are always eager to know what has happened to their favorite characters after the original book ends.

The Darcys: New Pleasures is the third sequel of a series of Pride and Prejudice fanfictions by writer Linda Berdoll.  It’s been 25 years since Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy repeated their marriage vows. Their children are now young adults and going through everything that young adults go through. The problem is that Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, like all parents of children who are of similar ages, can’t exactly reconcile that their children are on the way to growing up. While this is happening, Elizabeth is dealing with a thorny medical issue and their son, to his father’s chagrin, is not only crushing on a village girl, but spending his time with his uncle Wickham’s son, who is becoming more like his father everyday.

I wanted to like this book, I really did. Taking Mr. and Mrs. Darcy 25 years into the future was an interesting choice for Ms. Berdoll to take as a writer. I also liked her previous books in the series. I can’t put my finger on it, but for some reason this book didn’t do it for me, as much as I hoped it would.

Do I recommend it? No.

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The Darcy Monologues Book Review

Among literary heroes, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice stands out. For over 200 years, he has been the literary boyfriend of many a female reader.

The Darcy Monologues, edited by Christina Boyd, is a series of short fan fictions with Fitzwilliam Darcy as the main character. Set in a variety of time periods, all of the stories are told from his point of view.

I wasn’t sure about this book initially, but I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because not only did all of the writers know the ins and outs of the character, but they were able to tell Darcy’s story in new and different ways.

I recommend it.

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Mr. Darcy, Vampyre Book Review

One of the recent trends in publishing is the merger of a classic novel with the supernatural. While some of these narratives succeed, others don’t quite reach the mark.

In Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, by respected Austen author Amanda Grange, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzilliam Darcy are newlyweds. Instead of traveling to the usual honeymoon spot, Mr. Darcy takes Elizabeth on a strange tour through the continent. While they appear to be as happy as passionate as any pair of newlyweds, the marriage has not been consummated and Darcy appears to have a secret. Will Darcy’s secret be reveled and will he and Elizabeth have that happy ever after?

I have been a fan of Amanda Grange for a few years, her novels of the diaries of the Austen heroes are well written and engaging. The problem is that this book is not one of my favorite Amanda Grange books. I found myself fighting to finish the book.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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You Might Be A Once Upon A Time Fan If….

You might be a Once Upon A Time fan if…..

  • Unless there is a dire emergency, Sunday night at 8PM, you are home, watching OUAT.
  • You ship one of the following relationships: Rumbelle, Captain Swan, Snowing, etc.
  • You have read or written Once Upon A Time fanfiction.
  • You look at the previous Disney adaptations of the fairy tales with new eyes.
  • You wait with baited breath for the footage and the interviews from comic-con.

 

 

  • You  have a new appreciation for Lost (if you don’t have one already).
  • You thank Adam and Eddy for writing strong, smart, capable female characters.
  • You follow the actors on the various social media platforms.
  • And finally, you are counting down the days until September 27th, when season 5 premieres.

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Filed under Fairy Tales, Fanfiction, Feminism, Once Upon A Time, Television, You Might Be A Fan If....

You Might Be A Janeite If……

You might be a Janeite if…..

  • You being many a sentence with “It is a universally acknowledged….”
  • As a single person, your dates are compared to the following
    • If the date was good (and your female and/or straight): Captain Wentworth, Edmund Bertram, Fitzwilliam Darcy, etc
    • If your date was bad (and your female and/or straight) : Mr. Elliot, Henry Crawford, Mr. Collins, Mr. Wickham,
    • If your date was good (and your male and/or straight): Anne Elliot, Fanny Price, Elizabeth Bennet, etc.
    • If your date was bad (and your male and/or straight): Elizabeth Elliot, Mariah Bertram, Caroline Bingley, Mary Bennet etc
  • You frequently drop references to Austen characters and story lines in your every day conversations: i.e.- when sharing the details of a bad date with a friend: He was such a Mr. Collins. I wanted to puke.
  • You compare your parents to the parents in Austen and thank your lucky stars that your parents are not like them.
  • You want to see, have seen or own one of the following because more than one Austen actor is on the cast list. This is regardless of whether it is a period piece, if it is related to Jane Austen or how the reviewers reacted.
    • The Kings Speech
    • Love Actually
    • Gambit
    • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    • Possession
    • Harry Potter
    • A Little Chaos
    • Daniel Deronda
    • Summer In February
    • Captain America
    • Much Ado About Nothing
    • Nanny McPhee
    • Effie Gray
    • Brideshead Revisisted
    • Jungbug
    • Bridget Jones Diary
  • You own more than one copy of her novels (I have three physical different copies of Pride and Prejudice, well four if you count the digital copy).
  • You have attended or plan on attending one or more of JASNA Annual General Meetings.
  • You drool over period costumes, especially regency era clothes.
  • The top of your travel bucket list includes Chawton and Lyme Park.
  • You spend way too much time on youtube watching Austen related videos, thinking of songs that would make good videos, writing Jane Austen related fanfiction or killing time by looking up Jane Austen related products on etsy.
  • You still think Colin Firth is one of the hottest guys you’ve ever seen.
  • You own more than one filmed adaptation of the books.
  • And finally, you have a group of friends who are just as crazy about Jane and her books as you are.

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Filed under Books, Emma, Fanfiction, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, You Might Be A Fan If....

Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife Book Review

It is universally acknowledged that Jane Austen never married during her lifetime and ended her stories with the traditional happily ever after. It is therefore, in the eye and the imagination of the reader to create the post cannon life of her characters, in and out of the bedroom.

Inspired by the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, Linda Berdoll continues on with the story of Pride and Prejudice. Over the course of approximately 10 years and three books, starting with Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife , Ms. Berdoll imagines what the married life of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy would look like.

The responses to her books have been mixed. I know some of my fellow Janeites did not like her books. But for me, I enjoyed them. The writer in me has sometimes asked about the lives of the characters after the wedding vows are complete. Ms. Berdoll answers that question in a way that, for the most part, is true to the characters as we know them. I will be blunt that it is at the end of the day, a fanfiction. A published fanfiction, but a fanfiction nevertheless.

Would I recommend it and did I enjoy it? I would recommend it and I did enjoy it, but that does not mean that this book and the two sequels that follow are everyone’s cup of tea.

 

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Unexpected, A Modern Pride And Prejudice Fanfiction

*-I adore Jane’s novels, but I cannot claim her characters as my own.

*-Please take a moment to review, I really appreciate them.

*-This fanfiction is a modern Pride and Prejudice fanfiction that was originally posted on fanfiction.net

 Unexpected

 She walked toward him, in between her parents, her white satin dress illuminating her beautiful body.

 He could feel his heart wanting to explode out of his chest; he didn’t think this day would ever come.

 Her dark eyes met his with a shy smile, his Elizabeth was never shy.

 The ceremony and the preceding party went by in a blink of an eye. Now he lay in their honeymoon suite, anticipating his first night as a married man.

 “Hello, Will” she entered the room, he felt as if his words had disappeared.

 “Are you going to just lay there or do you want to kiss me?”.

 Taking her face in his hands, he kissed her; she eagerly returned his kiss.

 Whatever was left of their clothes was quickly discarded.

 The next morning, he found her side of the bed empty and saw the light in the bathroom.

 “Lizzy” he called out.

 He was shocked when she finally left the bathroom.

 “Who were you referring to?” Standing in the doorway was not Elizabeth, but Caroline.

 “Did you honestly think she would ever return your love?”.

 Will woke up in a cold sweat, it was the third time this week he had the dream. He didn’t want to admit it in the beginning, but he was in love with Elizabeth Bennet.

He watched her play the piano with his cousin; she got on easily with Richard. The green eyed monster instantly found its way into his thoughts, what if she had found another man?

There was nothing else he could do, he had to propose.

He knocked on the door on the small house at Hunsford Parsonage where she was staying with her cousin, William Collins.

It was now or never, he told himself.

She opened the door and propriety be damned.

He kissed her.

Then he broke the kiss and burst out “Marry me!”.

Before she could respond, he continued “I am in love with you, from nearly the first moment we met. I have struggled against my feelings, but my struggles have only intensified my feelings. I beg of you, marry me and end my suffering”.

She looked at him for a moment, and he hoped that she would say yes.

“Uhm well, I am flattered, honestly I am and I am grateful. But to be honest, I never expected anything out of you and your opinion of me, as we both know, is not the greatest. I do apologize and I am flattered that you came all of this way, but I cannot marry you”.

“May I ask why?” his face became cold, angry and unyielding.

“Why, you ask?” she became as angry as his “You say you love me, you want to marry me and yet you insult me?”.

“I thought” he sneered “you would be grateful, after all a woman such as yourself, coming from the family that you come from, you might never have the opportunity again”.

“Speaking of family” she countered back “my sister is miserable because your friend broke her heart. He just left without saying anything and then the next time we hear from him, he’s in page six with his new supermodel girlfriend? Do you think I would honestly marry you, knowing that you took away Jane’s happiness? My sister means the world to me”.

“Your sister cared nothing for Charlie”.

“So you admit, you broke them up?”.

“It was what was best for him”.

“Speaking of his own best interests, in whose was it when you denied George the money your father promised him? Was it because he is the son of a servant or because you’re too cheap to give him what was promised”.

“What may I ask is your interest in him?”.

“He works two jobs; he spent a month on my couch before he could a find an apartment. He could have had a decent life; instead you deny him what should have been his. I am interested because he is my friend, I have seen what he has gone through, because of you!!!”.

“This is what you think of me?” there was no disguising the bitterness in his voice “I thank you for forcing the rose colored glasses from my eyes. What I have done might have been forgotten, had you be able to look beyond your pride and see that we might have had a decent future together. Do you think I would flatter you as other men would, with pretty words and pretty trinkets? I am not ashamed of my feelings, they were normal. Do you think, had we married, that I would enjoy your family?”.

Her anger had reached a breaking point, instead of punching him, as she long to do, she replied “You are wrong, William Darcy, if you think the pitiable excuse of a marriage proposal would have encouraged me to accept you. Maybe I would have, if you would have showed any concern or compassion for anyone beyond yourself”.

She saw the look in his eyes change, her remarks hit him hard.

“There is no way you could have proposed that could have made me accept”.

He was more than surprised; he was shocked that how violent her denial of his proposal was.

“From the moment we met, I knew you were the most arrogant, conceited selfish man I had ever laid eyes on. You look down on everyone you meet and refuse to consider even trying to get to know others before you judge them. I had only known you for a month when I knew you were the last man I would ever marry!!!”.

After a moment, his response was “I understand and I am sorry for the pain I have caused. Enjoy the rest of your day”

With that, he left Hunsford, determined to leave Rosings as soon as possible. Replaying what had just happened would do no good; his only hope was to move on with his life.

As he fingered the keys to his car, he found the box in his pocket that contained his mother’s engagement ring. It had been saved since her death, to be given to the woman who would become the next Mrs. Darcy.

Elizabeth Bennet would have been his first and only choice. But that was not meant to be. Hours later, he returned to his London townhouse. Pouring himself a glass of brandy and turning on the local news, he hoped that time and the brandy would heal his wounds and maybe if he was lucky, he would meet another woman who would say yes to his love and marriage proposal.

 

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