5:52 PM

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Posted by Ashley

This is more of a three and a half star book, but one worth rounding up to four rather than down to three. Chick-lit isn't really my thing, but I like to read a good one every now and again for a quick read that I can just enjoy without having to think too much. And of course, this one has to do with Austen, so I decided to give it a shot.

To sum it up, it was really cute. I know that's not a literary term, but it really says it all. The narrator was easy to relate to, especially in terms of her feelings about Pembrook Park - a little embarrassed to be playing dress up, but still wanting to get lost in the fantasy anyways. It was fairly predictable, although it did have a couple nice little twists at the end. I think I smiled all the way through the last couple of chapters, which is always a good sign. I probably looked like a grinning idiot to everyone else at the lunch table at work, oh well! If you want something fluffy and fun, I would highly recommend this one.

5:50 PM

The Book Theif by Markus Zusak

Posted by Ashley

I've been hearing and reading great things about this book for a long time, and I finally decided to pick it up. I probably set my expectations a little too high, because I was expecting something absolutely incredible. While reading it, I kept wondering what was so fantastic about it. Don't get me wrong, it was definitely a great read, and very worth reading. Not quite a five-star book in my opinion though.

The concept is great, and Zusak carries it out well. I also liked the use of foreshadowing, which was really almost more like telling you what will happen - but not quite all of it. Death gives away part of the ending fairly early on, but the rest of it is still a shock. I finished this in the back room at work on my lunch break, and it was all I could do to keep from sobbing - part of me wanted to put it down right there so I could finish it at home and have a good cry with it, but I couldn't bring myself to since I was so close to finishing. I did reread the last couple of sections when I got home though, but the second reading is never quite as emotional as the first. Ah well.

Overall, a book I would highly recommend - but not the best of the best.