So I'm not sure if I mentioned that I have a Kindle (HA!) but one of the many awesome things about it is that it has coaxed me into reading some previously-ignored "classics." And by "classics" I mean "anything old enough to be in the public domain" -- thus, FREE.
The first foray into "I can't believe I haven't read this" was Pride and Prejudice, back around Christmastime. Now, I know I should have read SOMETHING by Jane Austen twenty years ago, and I had tried many times, but my eyes just started to bleed after that "It is a truth universally acknowledged ...." bit. However, in this case the magic of the Kindle allowed me to persevere into the second chapter and -- hey! -- it got pretty good. All the arch humor I'd heard so much about and never seen. I am on a bit of a Jane Austen Kindle Kick of late.
That turned out to be useful, because there are some recent-ish YA books capitalizing on Regency England and ol' Jane's perennial popularity, and I was happy to have the fundamental background required. Among last year's offering was Sovay, which ultimately was very silly. Sovay is of the nobility, but she shuns class boundaries (naturally) and her father and brother are sympathetic to the "egalite" of the French Revolution (naturally), so she turns to -- highway robbery. Naturally. Plus this whole bizarro subplot of male prostitutes and Illuminati and Madame Guillotine... it was a little like Angels & Demons mixed with a A Tale of Two Cities, as taught in remedial English. High-interest, low-level.Pretty stupid,
I enjoyed The Season much more -- Jane Austen as strained through Gossip Girl with a little bit of standard-issue mystery. Some glaringly anachronistic language, but otherwise fun, easy and appealing to a wide range of girls. And the thing I love most about books set in this era (or actually from this era) is that they are chock full of smoldering glances and throbbing bosoms and all the teen lust you could ask for -- with THE KISS being the ultimate consummation. Followed quickly by -- marriage! Almost like Twilight. Without all the blood and Mormonism.