aka YA Literature

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another One Crosses Over!

I know this books came out a long while ago, but I was somewhat leery of Ms. Hale's first attempt at adult fiction after my disappointment with her, Book of a Thousand Days. However, after stumbling across this book on the shelf the other day, I decided to give it a go. Although I personally enjoyed this book, I definitely wouldn't recommend it for most teens.

Austenland tells the story of Jane Hayes, a young single woman who is completely obsessed with Colin Firth's portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the BBC's version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. To cure herself of her addiction, Jane vacations at a historic Regency house in rural England, which creates romantic fantasies based on the plots of Ms. Austen's works. It is here that Jane must either overcome her obsession or else succumb to her deepest fantasies in hopes of finding true love.

Austenland is quite unlike Hale's fantasy works, the Princess Academy and Goose Girl series; Austenland instead falls into the vast category of "chick lit". The target audience for this books is definitely going to be the 20-30 year old woman, who is extremely familiar with Ms. Austin's works.

However, what struck me as most odd is the simplicity of Austenland. In fact, this got me pondering why so many of the Adult books I've read lately have been at a much lower reading level than most of the Young Adult fictions out there! Why are so many teen books both longer and more complex than books geared towards adults? Is it that adults have busier lives, and publishers assume they have less time to read? Or maybe there's a general belief that teens need more of a "challenge"?!?! Any thoughts on the topic?

1 comment:

Holly said...

I really enjoyed Austenland when I read it, but youa re right, it is a simplistic read. I thought perhaps it was because Shannon Hale is used to writing for teens.