Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood by Abby McDonald

Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood by Abby McDonald

Release Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Abby McDonald gives L.A. the Jane Austen treatment in this contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility.

Hallie and Grace Weston have never exactly seen life eye to eye. So when their father dies and leaves everything to his new wife, forcing the girls to pack up and leave San Francisco for a relative’s house in shiny Beverly Hills, the two sisters take to their changing lot in typically different styles. Shy, responsible Grace manages to make friends with an upbeat, enterprising girl named Palmer but still yearns for her old life — and the maybe-almost-crush she left behind. Meanwhile, drama queen Hallie is throwing herself headlong into life — and love — in L.A., spending every second with gorgeous musician Dakota and warding off the attention of brooding vet Brandon. But is Hallie blinded by the stars in her eyes? And is Grace doomed to forever hug the sidelines?

I really enjoyed Abby McDonald's Getting Over Garrett Delaney, so I jumped at the chance to review this one. It's got the typical McDonald touch to it: character growth, guys, and a story everyone will love.

I actually didn't realise that this was a retelling of Sense and Sensibility until after I read the book. I didn't see too much similarity while reading the book, but now that I look back at it (I've only watched the movie) I can see the total mainframe of the classic embedded into this modern update. I thought that it's quite genius as it has it's own twists, yet stays truthful to the original.

I loved Grace's character and I felt that I could really connect to her. This book is split into parts and I thought that Grace owned the first part because most of the story here was in her court. We could really see how all the events at the start impacted her, and her attitude towards her sister and her mother, as well as her step-mother and Theo.
Theo was super cute! I loved the way he handled his nephew, I loved the interactions between him and Grace – the whole time I was like DYING – and thought that he just generally had a sweet, wholesome nature to him. I really don't know who could possibly hate his character!
Hallie's character on the other hand... I just couldn't understand her. I love theatre as well, so I thought that I would be able to connect with her, but she was just so whiny and overdramatic that it made it impossible to really enjoy her story. She ignores the one guy who really does care for her, just like in Sense and Sensibility, which really put me on an edge. GRR. Frustrating, but still, her story had TONS of drama to keep me interested.

I loved the change in setting as well! San Francisco is where the book starts and as the title suggests, the girls head out to LA to live with their relative and his hilariously perky wife. There they meet people who shape and impact their lives changing relationships, breaking hearts and creating smiles.
I found that the setting of LA was also crucial for Hallie's character. The whole scene of Beverly Hills with the cameras, the drama, the rich families and party scene really created this huge backdrop that carried out the events that changes her character and really brings out a lot of the emotions in this story.

Abby McDonald has done it again with this latest addition! Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood promises giggles and tears with every turn of the story. I love this author and her books, and am looking forward to the next contemporary that she writes. Loved it!

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1 comment:

  1. I love Austen retellings though S&S is never my favorite inspiration. Still I like McDonald's writing enough that I would like to check this one out if my library has it.


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