Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict
(Austen Addict Book # 2)
by Laurie Viera Rigler

Genre: Time-Travel | Contemporary Romance

Received book from Crazy Book Tours

Jane Mansfield has long wished to escape the confines of life as a gentleman's daughter in 1813 England.  But awakening in the urban madness of twenty-first-century L.A. - in the body of Courtney Stone - is not what she has in mind.  With no knowledge of Courtney's life, let alone her world, Jane is in over her head.  What is Jane to make of carriages that run without horses, lights that glow without candles, and people who talk to the air while holding a small object against their ears?  Granted, she does enjoy the shiny glass box in which tiny people act out her favorite book, Price and Prejudice.  And she savors her first taste of privacy, independence, even the chance to earn her own money.  Bot when Courtney's romantic entanglements become her own, Jane realizes that the machines of the twenty-first-century are much easier to master than its rules of love.  Can a girl from Regency England survive in a world in which flirting and kissing and even the sexual act raise no matrimonial expectations?

This second Austen Addict book continues with the flip story of Jane and Courtney: Book #1 followed Courtney's new life as Jane in 1813 England and, this one, Book #2 now follows Jane's new life as Courtney in 2009 America.  The concept of these books is simple . . . imagine waking up in the life of another. Yet, the twist is, this new life isn't in a time or place you're familiar with or even accustomed to.  Thus, Jane trades her life of a well established family, close friends, dependable servants, stable home, prearranged future for one of a single modern lady with emotional baggage in a new world of free will "with inflexible lines between different spheres of society" (pg 215); where she must now find her own way and make her own choices. 

Having already enjoyed Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, I was prepared for the comical ciaos that ensues after Jane wakes up in her new life.  Unlike Jane, who suffers a horrible fall off her horse Belle, our modern Courtney fatally knocks her head on the bottom of a swimming pool; easily convincing those surrounding her that she's suffering from amnesia.  Now Jane not only has to learn the strange futuristic ins and outs from her friends, but she also has to hide her on-going awe of her new modern surroundings while immersing herself in electronics and L.A.'s culture.  I found myself enjoying seeing the world through Jane's eyes.  Expect a lot of detailed descriptions since the names of modern devices doesn't quickly come to Jane, so it became almost a game in guessing just what she would discover next.  Unfortunately, it could be a little too descriptive at times, but never too annoying to throw off continuing with the story.  

I also enjoyed the many personal lessons Jane learned during her awakening as Courtney. From everyone deserving a second chance in life to decreasing some of her previous airs/essence of arrogance by questioning if earning an honest labor was undignified for herself.  Jane really comes out of her protected Regency-style shell throughout Rude Awakenings and does A LOT of internal debate about herself and what good, if any, she's doing in the future world.  "Why did I have to inherit such a disordered life?" (pg 170)  was a thought Jane kept going back to, but  eventually she learns the past has little consequence on her future choices and she decides to focus on the present and enjoy/accept her helpful friends, all the clever twenty-first-century devices, and her splendid book collection.

I'm still undecided as to which book out of the two was my favorite, since each was highly enjoyable and had its funny moments, but I feel Rude Awakenings was a little more well rounded overall.  Yet, after finishing both, I felt a little sorry for the main characters since if you step back from the story itself, Jane/Courtney was never really happy with their own lives and they needed to be placed in another existence to fully develop a different point of view and acceptance.  So, they never really solved their own situations, just worked on someone else troubles by walking in a different pair of shoes.  Must be nice to escape all together, but would it be worth giving up everything you've ever known for a different life?  These ladies were given that chance, but in the end, they were stuck with it as well.  Sure the book claims "there is nothing nobler than to give up one's life in service for another" (pg 108) but  switching bodies is a high price to pay.  I'm glad our ladies ended up happy, but Jane also come off as  truly alone and always withholding secrets from those close to her throughout much of the book as well.

All in all, if you're looking for a funny romantic book that will make you smile, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict will satisfy your desire.  Enjoy!

Likes:  All the characters throughout the story were very believable and easy to like, especially Wes.

Dislikes:  The description of modern devices by Jane got a little out of control and tedious at times.


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