Before I say anything about this book, I will admit it feels a bit weird to be writing a “review” of a Jane Austen novel, especially considering my last one was about a book that was published less than a month before I read it. But I do appreciate the variety of genres I have on my bookshelves, and as any writer knows, reading widely is the best way to learn to write better. In any case, part of me wishes someone recommended this book to me long before I finally decided to pick it up, so if you needed a sign to take a break from YA Fantasy to appreciate Pride and Prejudice, this is it.
My rating (based on how well I enjoyed the book, not how much I appreciate it): ★★★☆☆
Now, I realize three stars isn’t all that impressive, but stay with me. Was I a little disappointed? Did it take me two months to finish because I kept getting bored and going back to my Harry Potter audio books? Was it hard to read in general? Yes, yes, and yes. But honestly? All of that made me appreciate the book a little bit more.
Yes, I was disappointed that *the* Pride and Prejudice was literally just a couple love stories that would have been a lot shorter if the characters all just had phones. But on the other hand, the fact that Jane Austen just wrote about a couple love stories that were happening at the same time and became one of the most famous authors in literary history is quite iconic. And anyway, I don’t mean to sound like I’m not a sucker for a good love story. Of course, I always prefer love stories that take place in Ketterdam, but I suppose there is only so much I can ask of a novel written in the 19th century.
Speaking of it being written in the 19th century, it was hard to read. It definitely would have been half the length if it were written in modern English, but on the other hand, part of the fun of reading a book like this is getting to know the language. Also, once you realize that in 19th century England, this was how they talked about hot gossip, it gets so much more entertaining. And once you do get used to the language, parts of it are hilarious. I mean, Elizabeth Bennet is a bada**! This girl takes no sh*t from anyone, including men, and I was honestly living for it. Part of the reason I’m drawn to fantasy is because of the amount of strong female characters, and, well—Jane Austen did not disappoint in this category.
Why did I keep getting bored? I think part of it was getting tired of deciphering the language, but if this happens to you, power through. It’s worth it. But another part of why I just didn’t find this to be a page turner was that I knew what was going to happen. Of course, if you’ve seen the movie, you really do know, but you don’t need to go looking for spoilers to predict who is going to end up together by the end of the book. The predictability of it combined with the fact that this really just wasn’t my thing were enough to knock off two stars, but all that said, I am glad I read this book.
If nothing else, Pride and Prejudice is just a well written book that aspiring writers can take plenty of lessons from. Nobody writes dialogue like Jane Austen, and even if I knew where the plot was going, I definitely didn’t predict how it was going to get there. In all honesty, it was truly just a fun story. *SMALL SPOILER* Nobody dies, nobody even almost dies, and it all ends happily ever after. And if there’s any kind of story that 2020 needs, it’s one that ends happily ever after.