Being brutally honest about books

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sense & Sensibility (The Austen Project) by Joanna Trollope

Sense & Sensibility 
 Date finished: 21 May 2014

Sense & Sensibility is my favourite of the Jane Austen novels. (I've read all of her works and I'm only sixteen. Just putting it out there.) I just love the contrast between Elinor and Marianne, and the bitch that is Lucy Steele, and the awkwardness when Elinor thinks Edward has married Lucy. I read the original three years ago - 200 years after it was published! - and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also enjoyed Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (which is a hilarious adaption) and this modern version, which I read in two days.

What I love about this version is that the plot and the characters are more or less the same as the original, but it takes place in the modern world. Only it's a different world to the one I live in, as there are still aristocrats, and the rich have nothing better to do than marry, have children, and renovate huge houses. Even though this setting was foreign to me, I was still able to grasp how Elinor felt, as she is definitely the character the most like me (apart from Mags, of course).

Even though I already knew the plot, I still wanted to know how things would turn out, which is a very difficult thing for an author to do. I knew what was coming, most of the time, but where it mattered I was left guessing as to how that plot point would happen. I don't know if that makes sense, but even though I knew the story, this novel still had me hooked.

As for characters, Elinor and Margaret were the only ones I could relate to (although the others were fantastic too!). They're more sensible and realistic and down-to-earth. I absolutely adore them. It's funny that although my interests are more similar to Marianne's, personality-wise, I'm much more like Elinor. Marianne is a bit too theatrical, but I guess that's the point - she's sensibility, while Elinor is sense. Fanny and John Dashwood, Mrs Ferrars, the Steeles, and Mary Middleton were the characters you love to hate. They're meant to be selfish snobs, and you really feel for the Dashwood sisters when they have to deal with them. Sometimes I wish I were a character in a book, but I wouldn't want to have to have anything to do with those rich bitches.

The main thing that annoyed me about this book was the editing. There are lots of commas that are place after the quotation mark when they should go before it, which really pissed me off. Because it kept happening throughout the whole book. This is a published book - you'd think someone would check for correct punctuation! (Sorry, I'm a grammar nazi. Rant over.)
The writing was, for the most part, excellent. Although there were too many adverbs in places (hint: instead of writing "she held the guitar embracingly", try "she embraced the guitar"), and too many adverbs does annoy me and distract me from the story. If you can write the sentence without using an adverb, do so.

I would recommend this book to any Jane Austen fan, and anyone who likes a bit of drama. It's definitely worth the two days it took to read it.
I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

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