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According To Jane by Marilyn Brant
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According To Jane

by Marilyn Brant

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
This was good but slow in parts.
  Bettyb30 | Jun 24, 2013 |
Really enjoyed this book and thought it would be a great movie.I would recommend to any friend but particularly my Austenite friends.. ( )
  alwaysbooktime | Mar 31, 2013 |
According to Jane
by Marilyn Brant

Rating: 4.5
Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Romance

In Marilyn Brant's smart, wildly inventive debut, one woman in search of herself receives advice from the ultimate expert in matters of the heart...

It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. From nowhere comes a quiet "tsk" of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there.

Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the trauma of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go, but Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham.

Still, everyone has something to learn about love -- perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond all she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending...

My Review: "Every girl wants the f**king Cinderella story..."
When Ellie Barnett first began reading Pride & Prejudice for her high school curriculum while muddling through her love-hate relationship with the aloof student, Sam Blaine, the author to many classic romances came alive in her head ... literally. As much as Ellie disliked the inconvenience of having the ghost of Jane Austen as a second conscience critiquing and persuasively advising her every choice; the two quickly became a solid force along Ellie's journey through her life's various relationships. However, when her longing to find "The One" began to slowly disintegrate as she "emerged from [her] cocoon of adolescence [and] transitioned into young adulthood", Ellie realized early on that life would not always go as intended. She must be willing to let go of what she had planned, so she could accept the life that was waiting for her.

But, sometimes that is easier said than done!
Thus, after one too many dysfunctional relationships (where she would always try to find something of Sam in each guy she dated) and watching close friends/cousins get married/have kids/settle down, Ellie tried to keep up an optimistic outlook for her future love-life and her desire to one day marry, even though Jane claimed she "would have been considered old in [her] day." To add insult to injury, the "erroneous belief that [she] had more control over [her] destiny that [she] actually [had]" was an ugly truth Ellie learned as she aged. And, with age should come maturity and a more level-headed way of thinking ... or so Ellie thought when she attempted to handle the latest curve the Universe threw her way ... crossing paths again with Sam.

This was an endearing coming-of-age tale for Ellie as she experienced the joys and hardships of life (ex. dating, break-ups, family relationships, etc.) from her high-school years to around her mid-30s -- except she had the romantic wisdom of Jane Austen in her head the whole time. Odd, but quite unique and clever! I wholeheartedly enjoyed the overall tale and became emotionally involved with Ellie's life throughout. The flow of the story and quick the passage of time with flashbacks really kept the story alive and freshly entertaining. Lots of wonderful character development (something I crave in a story) the revolved round the moral of the book: Timing -- for sometimes people are too young/naive to become too series too soon ... so things will eventually begin to happen when one is truly ready for it - which was challenging for the protagonist to grasp. For everyone who has stopped believing in happy-ever-after, check out this book -- it is a pleasing story about passion and hope!

Likes: An emotionally gripping story which oddly enough runs parallel to many single women lifestyles today as they struggle to plan out (the right?!?) future (ex. relationship struggles while hunting for "The One"). Plus, there were lots of fun 80's music montages that blended will with the characters/chapters.

Dislikes: It was strange how Ellie's pessimistic beliefs hit home ... especially for me, for I feel many women could easily relate to the same dark struggles she went through. Thus, Ellie's unenthusiastic statements kind of made me bitter along with her and when I was finished reading each night ---- so props to the story for personally affecting me that way!!

Chapter One/Paragraph One: "Almost seven years after Jane spoke to me, the August late-afternoon sun beat down on my head as I bolted from the Glen Forest Public Library. We'd been short-staffed again, with two people out on vacation and one last-minute sick call. And, while I loved my summer job--well, most of the time-- my day hadn't been the greatest, and I yearned for a calm, relaxing evening."

Favorite { Scene, Character or Setting }: Character
Sam Blaine = SOB/Sam "the Obnoxious" Blaine, "S-A-M was shorthand for D-A-N-G-E-R", sinfully cute, annoying-as-hell, Mr. Cool, exuded experience, loved games, smart, intense, arrogant, smug, snotty teen, tall, dark-haired, cool blue eyes, "since kindergarten poked [Ellie] in the back with his pencil top and angered [her] with pesky comments", spent all 12 grades of school with Ellie and since they were kids together - they shared an intimate/personal history, studied to be a doctor, addicted to Top 40, "morphed into a rare combination of good-looking, athletic, brainy & popular", Jane considered him an insufferable, despicable man with intolerable rudeness. All in all, I loved Sam - he always kept Ellie on her toes!!!

More reviews at http://bookstoburyyourselfin.blogspot.com ( )
  Panola | Jul 27, 2012 |
The premise of this book is intriguing to any Austen fan: a modern woman getting relationship advice from Jane herself. Unfortunately the premise never comes to blossoms in the actual story. Sure enough, Ellie Barnett hears Jane in her head from when she's fifteen years old. It's just that that having an extra voice in her head doesn't affect heroine's choices in any way. In fact, you could lift all Austen stuff out of the book and the story would stay exactly the same. The author should have ditched Austen and give the romance more substance instead. I just didn't believe that Ellie and her hero knew anything about each other by the end. Carrying a torch for a high school crush over two decades and not getting reacquainted before "I love you's" seems a bit far off.

Plot was pretty basic and writing was OK. I didn't care much for the marriage-obsessed heroine and the hero felt flat. I guess it just wasn't my kind of book. ( )
  julienne_preacher | Feb 17, 2012 |
Sophmore year in High School- Ellie loves Jason and hates Sam. Over the next twenty years- Ellie loves Brent, Andrei, Dominic, Tim, etc and she still hates Sam. Why does Sam still matter?

Ever since Ellie read Pride and Prejudice in tenth grade she categorizes the men in her life into two categories- The Mr. Darcys and the Wickhams, but it is not always easy to know which is which until it is too late. As time goes by, she may have to admit there is more than two catgories of men! She also has the voice of Jane Austen in head directing her to stay away from certain men. Should she listen to the voice of Jane?

Cute story, but I was expecting more Persuasion and less P&P since the cover of the book says "According to Jane- Sometimes love takes a little persuasion"; still it was a quick light read that kept my attention. I would recommend as a fun read to JA fans! ( )
  Shuffy2 | Dec 18, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
“It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett’s teacher is assigning Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. From nowhere comes a quiet ‘tsk’ of displeasure. The target? Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who’s teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author’s ghost has taken up residence in Ellie’s mind and seems determined to stay there.”

Thus commences the back blurb on Marilyn Brant’s According to Jane, a book that lies somewhat uneasily, for this reader at least, between a tween/teen coming-of-age novel, a more adult coming-of-age novel (sometimes disparagingly referred to as “chick-lit”), and a novel that Janeites would find interesting.

Some readers will find According to Jane an entertaining read as Ellie struggles to decide which of her lovers is The One. She also wrestles with her position in the family as a middle child with substantial sibling issues with her older sister. The story flashes back and forth to Ellie’s experiences with various boyfriends and lovers at various times in her life and her continuing encounters with Sam. Could Jane Austen be wrong after all? Could Sam really be Mr. Darcy? According to Jane is likely to appeal most to young women readers of 21+ with a mild interest in Jane Austen; but I think it fails both its younger and its Jane-Adamant readers.

 
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Epigraph
Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love a little now and then.
---Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)
Dedication
For Jeff, Joe and Andrew
~Incredibly Good Guys~
&
In memory of
Margaret Weigel (1921-2007) and Kim Hintz (1967-2004)
~Inspirations~
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I always thought Homer painted his character Odysseus as a real slow learner with that whole twenty-year-journey thing.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758234619, Paperback)

It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". From nowhere comes a quiet 'tsk' of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there. Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go - sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham. Still, everyone has something to learn about love - perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:51 -0400)

Entirely unbidden, Jane Austen's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie Barnett's mind, and seems determined to stay there. Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own. On the subject of Sam Blaine, Jane's quite insistent--stay away ; he's your Mr. Wickham! Still, everyone has something to learn about love--perhaps even Jane herself.… (more)

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