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According to Jane

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful read!

"According to Jane" is the story of 15 year-old Ellie who begins hearing the voice of Jane Austen when her sophomore English class starts reading "Pride and Prejudice". Jane becomes Ellie's secret companion over the next 20 years as the novel spans Ellie's life from hig...
"According to Jane" is the story of 15 year-old Ellie who begins hearing the voice of Jane Austen when her sophomore English class starts reading "Pride and Prejudice". Jane becomes Ellie's secret companion over the next 20 years as the novel spans Ellie's life from high school to the age of thirty-four. Ellie is searching for true love (something that seemed to evade the real Jane Austen) but that doesn't stop Jane from giving Ellie advice on the men Ellie dates. Labeling men as "Wickhams" and "Darcys" and "Bingleys", "Jane" is ever ready with the same sharp wit she used in her own novels. Warm, smart, and fast paced, I absolutely loved this book and am now left eagerly awaiting Marilyn Brant's next novel.

posted by Maria_Geraci on October 12, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

According to Jane

According to Jane was an okay book. Very emotional book to read but also somewhat funny. An okay book for a free download.

posted by darkangel_1988 on October 4, 2010

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful read!

    "According to Jane" is the story of 15 year-old Ellie who begins hearing the voice of Jane Austen when her sophomore English class starts reading "Pride and Prejudice". Jane becomes Ellie's secret companion over the next 20 years as the novel spans Ellie's life from high school to the age of thirty-four. Ellie is searching for true love (something that seemed to evade the real Jane Austen) but that doesn't stop Jane from giving Ellie advice on the men Ellie dates. Labeling men as "Wickhams" and "Darcys" and "Bingleys", "Jane" is ever ready with the same sharp wit she used in her own novels. Warm, smart, and fast paced, I absolutely loved this book and am now left eagerly awaiting Marilyn Brant's next novel.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome Romance!!!!

    This was a really great love story!!! i read it in one day

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What modern young lady would not want to be advised by Jane Austen?

    Here's a new novel that tugged at my heart strings and validated my belief that if the world was run according to Jane Austen, we would be much smarter and happier. Enuff said!

    Fifteen-year old Ellie Barnett is a bookish geek. She excels at academics, but according to her caustic older sister, she is digging herself into a hole of permanent unpopularity with her scraggly hair, lack of make-up, and inattention to fashion. There is however, one boy who since kindergarten has paid her a bit more attention than she is comfortable with. Sam Blaine may be good-looking, athletic, brainy, and popular - but he is trouble - and just happens to sit behind her in English class taunting her with pokes in the back with his pencil and sexual innuendo. When she cracks open her next reading assignment, a copy of Pride and Prejudice, she begins to hear voices. Jane Austen's British voice to be exact, interjecting observations and advice, specifically warning Ellie to beware of Sam Blaine. He is her Wickham, that charming scoundrel that wooed Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and then eloped with her younger sister Lydia. Ellie does not doubt the advice, just the whole hearing voices thing really freaks her out her out. Jane Austen's spirit has somehow inhabited her mind, commenting in her acerbic early ninteenth-century sensibility on Ellie's 1980's life and romances and she does not know why.

    Over the course of twenty years, we follow Ellie through her life challenges as a single women looking for love and happiness in what Jane Austen deems to be a morally confusing world. Who of us could ever forget their own first love, the painful realization that you are being used, or the first time you were dumped? As Jane offers Ellie witty and wise advice on family conflicts, career choices, and a barrage of bad boyfriends that come and go, Ellie slowly realizes that she must learn some life lesson before she can move on. For Ellie, one painful lesson was bad-boy Sam who Jane advises to stay clear of yet she is still drawn too. As their lives keep crossing paths over the course of the years, they never seem to be at the right place at the right time to work it out. Ellie trusts and values Jane's opinion. Who better to advise her than an author who is valued for her keen judgment of human nature and romantic insights? But with Sam, she holds strong prejudices. Could she be wrong? Is he really her Wickham, or could he be her Mr. Darcy?

    What an unexpected, uplifting, and urbane debut novel! To paraphrase Jane Austen's character Lady Catherine, Marilyn Brant has given us a treasure. Granted that there are hundreds of Jane Austen inspired novels written over the years, this totally unique and original concept of Austen's ghost inhabiting and advising a modern young woman is brilliant. The play of early nineteenth-century social mores against twentieth-century culture is so droll that I laughed-out-loud several times in total recognition. Like Austen, Brant excels at characterization offering a heroine in Ellie Barnett that I could totally identify with, and a hero in Sam that is so endearingly flawed that any woman worthy of her worn out VHS copy of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries will be happy to swoon over. Subtly powerful and amusingly acerbic, you will be gently reproved into agreeing in the power of love to transform us all.

    Laurel Ann, Austenprose

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    One of my favorites!

    One of my favorites!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Great Book

    I loved this book. At times I felt like the Jane Austen part was added after the whole story had already been written. It was a great book even without Jane, but if it hadn't had Jane in it, I wouldn't have found it in the first place. I'm a huge Jane Austen fan and the author included her in a way that showed respect and admiration. The story stands on its own. It's humorous and full of great characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    According to Me...A Must Read

    Honestly, Ellie was one of the most identifiable characters I have ever read. Could be because I am a child of the eighties (the Bon Jovi references did not go unnoticed!!). A time when we, as a society, were just beginning to really break away from the stereotypical, ‘marriage right out of high school’ pitfall. A time when girls were really beginning to explore their options. College and a career were, for the first time, common. And Ellie is representative of that. I was hooked in the first few pages as Ellie sat in her high school English class, Sam Blaine picking on (flirting with) her. I felt as if I was sitting a row over, watching myself all those years ago. (Exact number of years will not be divulged) As I’ve said many times, this is Marilyn’s gift. Her realism. And when Ellie hears the disembodied voice of Jane Austen? Well, a smile tugged at the corner of my mouth because I knew I was beginning a great story. I was not disappointed. As we zap in and out of Ellie’s life from the time she is fifteen to her mid-thirties, we see how having an invisible Jane Austen could have benefited our own selves during those years. I’m sure Jane would have had more than a bit to say and more than a few tsks for me as I dated most of the losers in the tri-state area. Again, that’s the beauty of Marilyn’s writing, we see ourselves in her protagonists. I wouldn't dream of giving anything away, but I will say, the ending had me reaching for a tissue, but not for the reasons you may think. Nostalgia is a feeling not as easily tapped into for a writer as say, happiness or sadness. But as I read the last few pages, I reflected not only on Ellie’s past, but my own. I found myself not lamenting my regrets, but longing for the days when I would have done things a bit different if I had my own Jane. So, thank you, Marilyn Brant, once again, for the wonderful journey.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Jane Would Love This!

    Author Marilyn Brant worked as an elementary school teacher, a library staff member, a freelance magazine writer and a national book reviewer before becoming a full-time novelist. According to Jane is her first novel, which won the prestigious 2007 RWA Golden Heart Award. Her next, not yet titled, novel is set for release in 2010. Marilyn resides in Illinois with her husband and son.
    One day in sophomore English class, Ellie Barnett's teacher assigns Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice, and Ellie's world is never the same. Ever since that fateful day, the one and only Jane Austin has taken up residence in Ellie's head, her ghost guiding Ellie through some of the most difficult times in her life, serving as her voice of reason and a friend she can trust. As years of boyfriends come and go, Jane remains a constant, along with another not so cherished person, Sam Blaine. Sam, the cute bad boy in high school, has been a source of torment in Ellie's life. Through her college years and after, Ellie has found herself running into him at the worst possible moments. Ellie can't deny her attraction to Sam, any more than she can deny Jane her say. Could it be possible that even Jane Austin has something to learn about love? Jane claims he is her Mr. Wickham, but could he really be her Mr. Darcy?
    Admittedly, I thought this was a peculiar premise for a book, but after reading it, in fact after page one, I can't think of enough positive adjectives to throw at it that could possibly give it justice. Told in first-person, this book jumps past and present smoothly, with an equal mix of sweet, funny, and heart-breaking. And, may I add, several 'ahh' moments. I find this equally suited for young adults as I do for romance lovers, but would categorize it as literature with romantic elements. The plot flowed well without any dead spots. The secondary characters were endearing and the setting perfect. Mostly, Jane Austin fans will revel in this modern day unique twist on a classic, as well as learning interesting facts about Jane herself. There is just enough mystery of 'why' to keep you guessing, and the ending is thoroughly satisfying. This was a truly, irrevocably inspiring novel.

    Kelly Moran,
    Author and Reviewer

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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