Just wanted to do a quick shout-out to everyone else who participated, and to the some people who still are, and even for the ones that didn't because I know they're dedicated to reading to!
Today I participated in the 24 Hour Readathon for only 6+ hours (unfortunately), but it was very nice just being able to relax and read for once. I managed to finish three books and start a fourth, a total of who-knows-how-many pages, but I'm estimating about 800 pages. (I'm a fast, at times skimming reader, so it definitely does not mean a word less if you only read 50 pages!) I would have posted earlier but wasn't near a computer, so I decided to save all the good stuff for last. Or at least I thought they were good. I was so glad I did that mass reservation at the library! :)
My 3-sentence Summary: Poor Jane has never been in a successful relationship, mainly because she's been caught up by one of the greatest men (or the greatest, in my opinion) of all time: Mr. Darcy. When her wealthy, but removed, relative dies, Jane receives an all expenses paid, unrefundable trip to Austenland, a three-week retreat area where rich men and women come to play their role as characters in the time of Pride and Prejudice. Will Jane be able to find love beneath the facade?
My 3-sentence Summary: Lady Saren is bricked up, literally, in a tower for defying her father's wishes to marry her off to a rich and powerful man. Dashti, her recently titled maid, consents to being locked up with Saren but soon events take a turn for the worse and they're forced to find safety elsewhere. And that's where a whole new adventure begins, an adventure full of love, friendship, courage, and sisters.
Bottom Line for BOTH Shannon Hale books: I might be a little biased in my ratings because I have loved Shannon Hale ever since I read Goose Girl in elementary school. Granted, these two books do not have a lot of sexual content in them, though they're both about love, but that's partly what I like about them; they remind me of fairy tales, where love is about people and feelings instead of sexual attraction.I did like Book of a Thousand Days better partly because it was less about sexual tension than Austenland. To me, Shannon Hale's books have always = love + strong heroine. And there's the other reason I liked Book of a Thousand Days better, because I felt like it had a stronger, more courageous and independent heroine.
I have to mention that I loved the idea behind both books. Of course, I adore Pride and Prejudice, and it was cute to see how Lizzy and Mr. Darcy 's romance could play out in a 20th-century renactment of sorts in Austenland. Book of a Thousand Days was also a interesting one, set in a different time in a different place, with kahns and kingdoms. The journal aspect of it was adorable, with little sketches and all, and reminded me of my very small, childhood days.
To sum it up, the two main reasons why I rated Book of a Thousand Days over Austenland: 1) fairy tale appeal, while Austenland wasn't quite up to par on the young (thanks, Mary) adult level; 2) stronger, more admirable heroine. Overall, two very cute, enjoyable books that you should curl up on a cozy couch with!
My 3-Sentence Summary: Who knew pictures could do so much? When a privately snapped, widely distributed photo turns everything Audrey knew upside-down, she has to pick up the pieces and rediscover who she is. But along the way, Audrey also discovers that everyone else is also not just what they appear in a picture, that they also have a side waiting for her to discover.
Bottom Line: I didn't even know how to summarize or describe this book. It's a crazy mix of drama, drama, drama, with a dribbling of lies and masks and a sprinkling of teenage fun. It's about parents, sex, growing up, everything. I love how Laura Ruby manages to capture those feelings, and the reasons that Good Girls isn't getting a better score are beause: 1) the flashbacks wer a little confusing at times. I'd think it would be the present, but then, when it ended, I'd be like "what?"; 2) I just felt Audrey was a conflicting character, a nerd but one that wants to fool around? But those weren't main problems that detracted from my reading experience, and I definitely enjoyed Good Girls. It redefines the meaning of "good" in fishnets and bold lipstick. ;)
And the last book I didn't get to finish was Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson, which I'll post a review of soon!