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Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict

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  • Posted May 31, 2009

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    Fans of Ms. Austen will enjoy the second switch as an early nineteenth century aristocratic transplant tries to make it in Los Angeles.

    Jane Mansfield dreamed of escaping the confines of the Regency era aristocracy. So when she hears strange noises and wonders why Barnes the Butler has not silenced the source, she is shocked because she went to bed in 1813 and now finds herself in some place she never heard of: Los Angeles, California. Besides the eerie red digits, she looks into a mirror but what she sees reflected is not her. Worse Jane finds her abode is a dumpy apartment instead of gardens and servants.

    She explores the tiny box of a home and realizes the "occupant" Courtney Stone, like her, is (or is that was or will be) a Jane Austen fan. So far that is the only connection Jane can find. Jane is a bit frightened and knows she is spoiled but likes the music, the in door lighting and plumbing, the variety of cold and icy food , the freedom of loose clothing and especially the container holding tiny actors portraying Pride and Prejudice. She is taken aback with her attraction to Courtney Stone's friend Wes and the woman's former fiancé Frank. The biggest stunner is sex does not mean compromise and marriage so with Austen's novel to assist her in making it in this weird L.A., Jane Mansfield tries to figure out how to fit in modern American society.

    This is the opposite direction of that of CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT, in which an Internet era Southern California woman went to Austen's Regency period. RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT is a fun tale of "survival". The reactions of Courtney's friends to Jane's behavior including her diction makes the tale fun to read starting when she arrogantly informs Wes that her name is Jane Mansfield and he retorts in disbelief referring to the acting legend. Fans of Ms. Austen will enjoy the second switch as an early nineteenth century aristocratic transplant tries to make it in Los Angeles.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2009

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    A Cheeky Comedy with a Message

    In the parallel story to best selling Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Jane Mansfield a gentleman's daughter from 1813 is mysteriously transported into the body of twenty-first century Los Angelean Courtney Stone. Jane awakens with a headache, but it will take more than aromatic vinegar to solve her problems. Where is she? Her surroundings are wholly unfamiliar to the usual comforts of her parent's palatial Manor house in Somerset. Is she dreaming? She remembers a tumble off her horse Belle, but nothing after that point. She looks in the mirror and the face reflected back is not her own. How can this be? A young man named Wes arrives who calls her Courtney. Is he a servant? Who is Courtney? Ladies arrive for a visit concerned by her odd behavior. Why is she acting like a character in a Jane Austen novel?

    Jane is indeed a stranger in a strange land. As her friends, or Courtney's friends Paula, Anna and Wes, help her navigate through the technology of cell phones, CD players, washing machines and other trappings of our modern life it becomes les taxing. She relishes her privacy and independence to do as she chooses, indulging in reading the four new (to her) novels by Jane Austen that she discovers on Courtney's bookshelf - one passion/addiction that she shares in common with her over the centuries. Between Jane Austen's keen insights and the fortune teller called "the lady", she might be able to make sense of this nonsensical world she has been thrown into.The lady tells her she has work to do to put Courtney's life in order. Jane only wants to return to her former life and Charles Edgeworth, the estranged beau she left behind.

    Seeing our modern world from Jane's nineteenth century eyes was quite revealing. I do not think that I will ever look at a television screen again without remembering her first reaction to the glass box with tiny people inside talking and dancing like characters from Pride and Prejudice! These quirky insights are what Rigler excels at, and her Regency era research and knowledge of Jane Austen plays out beautifully. We truly understand Jane's reactions and sympathize with her frustrations. Not only is Rude Awakenings a comedy of lifestyle comparisons across the centuries, it supplies a very interesting look at modern courtship and romance with a bit of genteel feminisms thrown in for good measure. Interestingly, what principals and standards that Jane learned in the nineteenth century, will straighten out Courtney's mixed up twenty-first century life at home, work and in her budding romance with Wes.

    Rude Awakenings is a cheeky comedy with a message. Like Jane Austen's novel Persuasion, it helps us to look at mistakes in our past, and reminds us that "time is fleeting, and few of us are fortunate enough to notice that there is always another chance at happiness." I enjoyed the humor, fondly remembering why I became a Jane Austen Addict in the first place.

    Laurel Ann, Austenprose

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2012

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    Contemporary Time-Travel Fun

    This second Austen Addict book continues with the flip story of Jane and Courtney: Book #1 followed Courtney's new life as Jane in 1813 England and, this one, Book #2 now follows Jane's new life as Courtney in 2009 America. The concept of these books is simple . . . imagine waking up in the life of another. Yet, the twist is, this new life isn't in a time or place you're familiar with or even accustomed to. Thus, Jane trades her life of a well established family, close friends, dependable servants, stable home, prearranged future for one of a single modern lady with emotional baggage in a new world of free will "with inflexible lines between different spheres of society" (pg 215); where she must now find her own way and make her own choices.

    Having already enjoyed Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, I was prepared for the comical ciaos that ensues after Jane wakes up in her new life. Unlike Jane, who suffers a horrible fall off her horse Belle, our modern Courtney fatally knocks her head on the bottom of a swimming pool; easily convincing those surrounding her that she's suffering from amnesia. Now Jane not only has to learn the strange futuristic ins and outs from her friends, but she also has to hide her on-going awe of her new modern surroundings while immersing herself in electronics and L.A.'s culture. I found myself enjoying seeing the world through Jane's eyes. Expect a lot of detailed descriptions since the names of modern devices doesn't quickly come to Jane, so it became almost a game in guessing just what she would discover next. Unfortunately, it could be a little too descriptive at times, but never too annoying to throw off continuing with the story.

    I also enjoyed the many personal lessons Jane learned during her awakening as Courtney. From everyone deserving a second chance in life to decreasing some of her previous airs/essence of arrogance by questioning if earning an honest labor was undignified for herself. Jane really comes out of her protected Regency-style shell throughout Rude Awakenings and does A LOT of internal debate about herself and what good, if any, she's doing in the future world. "Why did I have to inherit such a disordered life?" (pg 170) was a thought Jane kept going back to, but eventually she learns the past has little consequence on her future choices and she decides to focus on the present and enjoy/accept her helpful friends, all the clever twenty-first-century devices, and her splendid book collection.

    I'm still undecided as to which book out of the two was my favorite, since each was highly enjoyable and had its funny moments, but I feel Rude Awakenings was a little more well rounded overall. Yet, after finishing both, I felt a little sorry for the main characters since if you step back from the story itself, Jane/Courtney was never really happy with their own lives and they needed to be placed in another existence to fully develop a different point of view and acceptance. So, they never really solved their own situations, just worked on someone else troubles by walking in a different pair of shoes. Must be nice to escape all together, but would it be worth giving up everything you've ever known for a different life? These ladies were given that chance, but in the end, they were stuck with it as well. Sure the book claims "there is nothing nobler than to give up one's life in service for another" (pg 108) but switching bodies is a high

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    Just as good as Confessions

    As a Jane Austen addict myself, I enjoy and appreciate the references. A great, easy rainy day read.

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  • Posted October 26, 2010

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    cute

    Apparently there's a, well, not really a prequel, but, I guess what I'm trying to say is that this book is a continuation of another-- Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. Being the rebel that I am, I read the second one first. Actually, my parents gave me the second one for my birthday, and I had no idea...

    Wow, sorry for the babbling! I guess my point is that I just finished reading this one and it was cute. I didn't have to have read the first one first, I could keep up with the events in the book without the prequel. The first one is about a 21st century independent woman, Courtney Stone, going back in time to the Regency Era, and this one that I read concerns the woman she kicks out of her body, Jane Mansfield, who leaves 1813 and enters the leftover 2009 body.

    There's the usual amazement at the "carriages without horses" and the ignorance about how to use a phone, but it's told in Jane Austen language, so the reader really feels as though she's inside Jane Mansfield's head (well, actually Courtney Stone's head, since Jane is inhabiting Courtney's body...wow that's confusing...). The characters that surround Jane are amusing; the punkish type Paula with pink and blue striped hair and Frank, the two-timing flirt who claims to want "Courtney" back. I liked Deepa, too, but sometimes I felt their relationship went beyond friendship and I almost felt as though Jane would have to deal with a lesbian crush as well...which would have definitely put a twist on the story!

    While this book will never be in the same caliber as actual Jane Austen novels, it was entertaining enough to keep me on the couch reading. I enjoyed the storyline and though it sounds like it could be confusing, it's not. The style is flowing and concise and really shows Jane's confusion and awe in this fast-paced technical world. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood makes a movie out of either or both of these books. Hollywood, if you're listening, call me, I'll write the screenplay. ;)

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

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    Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict--- Enjoyable Read!!

    I totally enjoyed the Laurie Viera Rigler's 2nd book in the Jane Austen Addict Series. I loved the first novel and it is a keeper in my library and so is this one. The characters are fun and plan to give this book to friends as gifts! Can't wait for Rigler's next novel- hopefully it has something to do with Jane Austen's characters......YEs, I am a jane austen addict!! :)

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

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    Cute Spin Off

    I have read both Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict. While I did enjoy this book, I prefer Confessions over the two. I have often thought of what Jane would think of our modern society and this definitely gives you a good idea! Its a fun and easy read. This book didn't sweep me away like Confessions did, but I still recommend Rude Awakenings if you like Jane Austen or any of the many spin offs.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    A must-read intriguing comedy!!

    Laurie Viera Rigler has skillfully written an imaginative story portraying the humorous contrast in lifestyles between 19th and 21st century women. The tale begins as Jane Mansfield, a member of Regency England's aristocracy, awakens in the body of modern-day, Los Angeleno Courtney Stone. Finding herself in bewildering surroundings among mind-boggling modern conveniences, she goes from one comical situation to the next. Her experiences with such things as an alarm clock, tv and cell phone are simply hilarious. In spite of being confused and sometimes afraid, she begins to learn our present-day customs and gets excited by the many opportunities. A romance completes this thoroughly enjoyable story. Ms. Rigler is a brilliant storyteller who utterly captivated me from the very first page. Her descriptions of modern-day belongings with Jane's 19th century diction and vocabulary were laugh-out-loud funny. As delightful as this book was, it did impart plenty of timeless wisdom. We must learn to live in the moment, striving to move forward, rather than dwell in the past. Also, it's important to learn about ourselves and others before we jump to conclusions. I absolutely loved this creative, entertaining book and I highly recommend it!!
    This is the parallel story to "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict", where Courtney Stone awakens in 19th century England in the body of Jane Mansfield!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2009

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    Worthy and Delightful Sequel

    Sequels or prequels can be a tricky thing. When the first book is well received, readers have an expectation that the next book will be just as good, perhaps even better. An author venturing into such territory takes a great risk. Laurie Viera Rigler took an even bigger risk as her primary demographic is Jane Austen fans. As one myself, we can be a demanding, unforgiving bunch with very high expectations. After all, any author willing to take characters (and beloved ones, at that) that Ms. Austen created herself, or make Ms. Austen directly or indirectly the subject of their book must be prepared to be compared to Ms. Austen in some fashion.

    I adored Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. I will say that I am a somewhat obsessive freak over time travel - - the idea, stories about it - - and you have read my profile, you know that I have a fascination with Jane Austen fan fic and sequels. Confessions (and Rude Awakenings) fit both molds for me. Ms. Viera Rigler made a wonderfully relatable heroine - - Courtney - - and her details of Regency life were a delight to read.

    I was thrilled to hear of a follow up novel and Ms. Viera Rigler does not disappoint. Rude Awakenings is a fun romp of a read - - joining Jane Mansfield, who manages to find herself in Courtney's body, while Courtney s ostensibly in hers. The problem - - and fascination - - being that Jane is from 1813 England and is now in present-day Los Angeles. Her shock, awe and fear over our daily necessities like cars, televisions, phones and electricity is humorous and humbling. Of particular joy to me was Jane's thrill over finding out not only the author's name of her favorite book (Pride & Prejudice) but that she had written five more completed novels during her lifetime. Not only did Jane have to navigate a thoroughly modern world she had no experience with but also had to pick up Courtney's life with her friends, co-workers, a job, problems with her mother and a recently broken engagement.

    Rude Awakenings was a worthy follow-up to Confessions, answering questions posed and left unanswered in the first book. Readers should be pleased not only with Jane's dilemma but also with a bit of further information given about Courtney as well as more character development for Jane herself.

    This book was so good, such a fun read, that I raced through it in about two and a half days (and weekdays, while working). I would recommend it for all Jane Austen fans, fans of the Regency era or other historical fiction and especially anyone who has read Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

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    Waste of Time and Money

    I love my Austen and a good body switching/time travel story, but this book was a complete waste of time and a disappointment. The leading lady of the story was lame and unlikeable. Plus, I understand how my time works so it was boring to have described to me every day activies, such as driving and using a phone. The story barely makes sense and had to have a hackneyed fortune teller device to explain what was going on. Perhaps the concept would have worked better on the screen rather than in print. I didn't like one thing about this book and regret spending my money and my time on it.

    And would it hurt someone to please write an original story? I'm so tired of all these Austen knock offs and reimaginings. P&P& Zombies was funny but all the supposed sequels to Pride & Prejudice, how is this fan fiction even getting published?

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  • Posted July 12, 2009

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    How This Regency Miss Awakened Rudely in Modern Day LA

    Having traveled back to the Regency era in Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Courtney Stone is now living Jane Mansfield's life. It happened like this: One evening, the very American, extremely modern Courtney is grieving over the end of her engagement to a cad and the betrayal of her best male friend, Wes. The next morning she wakes up in Regency England in the body of a tall, elegant woman whose relationship with her mother can best be described as rotten. Confessions ended with Courtney falling in love with Jane's beau, Mr. Edgeworth, and overcoming the inconvenience of living without indoor plumbing or electricity. But if Courtney has taken over Jane Mansfield's body and life, what became of her regency counterpart?

    In Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict the reader discovers that poor Jane Mansfield has been transported into Courtney's shorter, curvier body after a fall from a horse and has landed smack dab in a modern apartment in Los Angeles. Horror of horrors, nothing that Jane has ever known is recognizable in this strange environment, nothing except for <em>Pride and Prejudice. The 1995 A&E version is playing on television as Jane examines her strange surroundings. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are mere illusions but Jane confuses their ethereal transmissions for the real thing. She is rapturous when she comes across Jane Austen's novels on Courtney's bookshelves, happily discovering that more were published than the two she'd known about. The books provide her with her first emotional security blanket, for up to that moment everything Jane has seen, heard, and touched in this new world has been surreal and mind-boggling. As Jane says to a fortune teller who helps her sort out her confusion, "If I am not asleep, how can I be anything but awake?"

    One imagines that Courtney had a much easier time adjusting to the past, for she'd been a Jane Austen addict, and had had the opportunity to study the regency era in history books and novels. Poor Jane Mansfield had no such knowledge about 2009, for who in 1813 could have forecast the invention of microwave ovens ... read the rest of the review at http://www.editurl.com/sp

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