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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Countdown to YALLWEST: Shannon Hale's Midnight in Austenland

 
So I recently found out that for the FIRST TIME EVER there is going to be a Young Adult book festival in Santa Monica. Lucky for me I live close enough to make the drive!!!
I cannot tell you how excited I am to be attending this event.
In preparation for YALLWEST I am going to spotlight various books from authors who will be there throughout the month as I countdown to YALLWEST.

Below is a list of the Day One Authors and Illustrators that will be in attendance:
(Information taken from YALLWEST Website)

*LEIGH BARDUGO (Shadow And Bone)  NYT

COE BOOTH (Kinda Like Brothers) LAT

*PSEUDONYMOUS BOSCH (Secret Series) NYT

LIBBA BRAY (Diviners) NYT, PRINTZ, LAT, TIGER BEAT 
*RACHEL COHN (Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist) NYT

ANDREA CREMER (The Inventor’s Secret) NYT

*MELISSA DE LA CRUZ (Blue Bloods) NYT

ALLY CONDIE (Matched) NYT

KIMBERLY DERTING (The Taking)

SUSAN EE (Angelfall) USA

DAN EHRENHAFT (The Last Dog On Earth) TIGER BEAT

*KAMI GARCIA (Beautiful Creatures) NYT, MORRIS

SHANNON HALE (Princess Academy) NYT, NEWBERRY

E. LOCKHART (We Were Liars) NYT, PRINTZ

RICHELLE MEAD (Vampire Academy) NYT

*LISI HARRISON (Pretenders) NYT

ELLEN HOPKINS (Crank) NYT

*ROBIN LAFEVERS (Grave Mercy) NYT

ALEXANDER LONDON (Proxy)

*MARIE LU (Legend) NYT
*TAHEREH MAFI (Shatter Me) NYT

BARNABAS MILLER (7 Souls) TIGER BEAT

G. NERI (Yummy, Knockout Games) CORETTA SCOTT KING, EISNER

MARISSA MEYER  (Cinder)

*KASS MORGAN (The 100) NYT

LAUREN OLIVER (Delirium) NYT

DANIELLE PAIGE (Dorothy Must Die) NYT

BRENDAN REICHS (Virals) NYT

VERONICA ROTH (Divergent) NYT

STEPHANIE PERKINS (Isla & The Happily Ever After) NYT

MORGAN RHODES (Falling Kingdoms) NYT

VERONICA ROSSI (Under The Never Sky) NYT

CARRIE RYAN (Forest Of Hands & Teeth) NYT

*HOLLY GOLDBERG SLOAN (Counting By 7’S) NYT

NATALIE STANDIFORD (Switched At Birthday) TIGER BEAT

*MARGARET STOHL (Beautiful Creatures) NYT, MORRIS

MAYA VAN WAGENEN (Popular) NYT

GENE LUEN YANG (Boxers & Saints) NYT, PRINTZ, NBA, EISNER, LAT

And Illustrators

*GARY ROSEN (Appleblossom The Possum)

*JOHN ROCCO (Percy Jackson)
& NICOLA YOON (Everything, Everything)



*past or present SoCal author
nyt or usa = new york times or usa today bestseller
morris, nba, printz = nominated or received
tiger beat = festival band
note: schedule is subject to change.

Our first spotlighted Author is Shannon Hale! If you are a frequent reader of Library of the Seen you will know that Shannon Hale is much beloved here. From Ever After High, to the Princess Academy Series and our new (to me) favorite from  her, the Austenland series, most everything Ms. Hale writes is golden. We start off our YALLWEST Authors countdown with a review of this illustrious author's novel Midnight in Austenland. Enjoy!





Midnight in Austenland (Austenland, #2) 
SYNOPSIS:
When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end

REVIEW:

I LOVED Midnight in Austenland just as much (and sometimes more) as I loved Austenland. 

Although at times I missed Jane, Austenland's protagonist, I found Charlotte just as heartwarming as a protagonist. She is so real, so hurt, so broken like so many of us that she is utterly relateable, even if you haven't been in her situation. I have not been through Divorce but I watched my parents go through it, I watched how it affected my mother. I have had my own heart breaks and disappointments in love. I don't think I know anyone who hasn't felt the sting that opening your heart to someone else can bring. This is what makes Charlotte such a perfectly relateable character. We can all empathize and imagine ourselves in her situation.

What makes Midnight in Austenland so outstanding is that it diverts from being a romance. Yes, romance old and new, heartache and new love are all at the heart of the novel (just as in Austenland) But the driving plot of Midnight in Austenland is murder, mystery and intrigue! Hale draws from Northanger Abbey instead of Pride and Prejudice this go around allowing our imaginations to run wild and suspect everyone involved (except for Charlotte of course) of being a shifty eyed liar with murder in their hearts. 

Midnight in Austenland is a definite page turner. Still somewhat light and a great novel to pack for vacation. I sincerely hope that there is another installment to this series. It has re-awoken my love for Austen, and I hope it does the same for you (or perhaps spark the first interest!)



WHAT TO READ (OR WATCH) NEXT 
(OR IF YOU LIKED THESE YOU SHOULD ALSO LIKE THIS NOVEL) 



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