Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
(Note: This review is coming from the perspective of someone who has not yet had the pleasure of reading or watching anything from the Twilight series.) – I know, how shocking, right?
In the second installment in her young adult series, The Jane Austen Diaries, author Jenni James takes up her pen and fashions a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, infused with cellphones, malls, and vampires…
What sixteen year old girl doesn’t want adventure and romance? Claire Hart, younger sister to Chloe (heroine of Pride and Popularity) and avid Twilight fan, is most anxious for her share of romance and adventures to begin. But alas, just like Catherine Morland there is no adventure or romance for Claire in her home town, so “she must seek them abroad.” Receiving an invitation to spend the summer in Seattle, Washington, Claire is beside herself with anticipation and excitement! There are two things Claire knows for certain: that vampires really doexist and that Seattle, Washington is the place to find them…
Just like with Pride and Popularity, my favorite aspect of this novel was spotting all the Northanger Abbey parallels. How ingenious of Jenni James to tie in the Twilight series with her retelling! A modern-day Catherine Morland would definitely be a Twi-hard, and just like Claire Hart, she would naively believe that Stephanie Meyer’s fictional series could be real. I loved seeing Claire experience much of what Catherine does in Northanger Abbey: she gets abducted in a fast moving vehicle, valiantly defends her favorite literature, and is unceremoniously sent home.
As much as I adore Jenni James’ writing and commend her for converging the world of Austen and vampires, I must admit to liking Pride and Popularity a bit more than Northanger Alibi. I found Claire likable and endearing, but the romance between her and Tony (Henry Tilney) sort of felt a little too teenage crush/high school romance for my taste. Whereas the romance between Chloe and Taylor (Pride and Popularity), although they were both high schoolers, felt more mature. But perhaps the main reason this novel and I didn’t click as much is because I’ve never read the Twilight series, and therefore missed or could not appreciate many of the parallels and allusions to Twilight.
Although the balance between Meyer and Austen in this novel seems slightly tipped in the Twi-hards favor, I think Ms. James created an excellent catalyst to bring Twilightfans to the world of Austenesque! Just imagine, after enjoying Northanger Alibi, readers will probably be curious aboutJane Austen and perhaps be inspired to read her novels! As for me, I am very excited for the next installment in Jenni James’ entertaining and enthralling series, Persuaded, which is due out this summer!
GIVEAWAY!!! Thanks to Amy Orton and the lovely people at Inkberry Press, I have TWO BRAND NEW AUTOGRAPHED copies of Northanger Alibi to give away!
All you have to do is leave acommenton this review. (To save your inbox from unwanted spam, please don’t leave your email address.) Just check back to see if you win! ONE copy is for a US winner and ONE copy is for an INTERNATIONAL winner. Thank you, Amy!
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