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According To Jane

According To Jane

3.8 47
by Marilyn Brant

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In Marilyn Brant's smart, wildly inventive debut, one woman in search of herself receives advice from the ultimate expert in matters of the heart. . .

It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. From nowhere comes a quiet "tsk" of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the


In Marilyn Brant's smart, wildly inventive debut, one woman in search of herself receives advice from the ultimate expert in matters of the heart. . .

It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. From nowhere comes a quiet "tsk" of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there.

Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go--sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham.

Still, everyone has something to learn about love--perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending. . .

"A warm, witty and charmingly original story." --Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author

"An engaging read for all who have been through the long, dark, dating wars, and still believe there's sunshine, and a Mr. Darcy, at the end of the tunnel." --Cathy Lamb, author of Henry's Sisters

"This is a must-read for Austen lovers as well as for all who believe in the possibility of a happily-ever-after ending." --Holly Chamberlin, author of One Week In December

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5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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According to Jane 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Maria_Geraci More than 1 year ago
"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.
PanolaJD More than 1 year ago
"Every girl wants the f**king Cinderella story..." Rating: 4.5 When Ellie Barnett first began reading Pride & Prejudice for her high school curriculum while muddling through her love-hate relationship with the aloof student, Sam Blaine, the author to many classic romances came alive in her head ... literally. As much as Ellie disliked the inconvenience of having the ghost of Jane Austen as a second conscience critiquing and persuasively advising her every choice; the two quickly became a solid force along Ellie's journey through her life's various relationships. However, when her longing to find "The One" began to slowly disintegrate as she "emerged from [her] cocoon of adolescence [and] transitioned into young adulthood", Ellie realized early on that life would not always go as intended. She must be willing to let go of what she had planned, so she could accept the life that was waiting for her. But, sometimes that is easier said than done! Thus, after one too many dysfunctional relationships (where she would always try to find something of Sam in each guy she dated) and watching close friends/cousins get married/have kids/settle down, Ellie tried to keep up an optimistic outlook for her future love-life and her desire to one day marry, even though Jane claimed she "would have been considered old in [her] day." To add insult to injury, the "erroneous belief that [she] had more control over [her] destiny that [she] actually [had]" was an ugly truth Ellie learned as she aged. And, with age should come maturity and a more level-headed way of thinking ... or so Ellie thought when she attempted to handle the latest curve the Universe threw her way ... crossing paths again with Sam. This was an endearing coming-of-age tale for Ellie as she experienced the joys and hardships of life (ex. dating, break-ups, family relationships, etc.) from her high-school years to around her mid-30s -- except she had the romantic wisdom of Jane Austen in her head the whole time. Odd, but quite unique and clever! I wholeheartedly enjoyed the overall tale and became emotionally involved with Ellie's life throughout. The flow of the story and quick the passage of time with flashbacks really kept the story alive and freshly entertaining. Lots of wonderful character development (something I crave in a story) the revolved round the moral of the book: Timing -- for sometimes people are too young/naive to become too series too soon ... so things will eventually begin to happen when one is truly ready for it - which was challenging for the protagonist to grasp. For everyone who has stopped believing in happy-ever-after, check out this book -- it is a pleasing story about passion and hope! Likes: An emotionally gripping story which oddly enough runs parallel to many single women lifestyles today as they struggle to plan out (the right?!?) future (ex. relationship struggles while hunting for "The One"). Plus, there were lots of fun 80's music montages that blended will with the characters/chapters. Dislikes: It was strange how Ellie's pessimistic beliefs hit home ... especially for me, for I feel many women could easily relate to the same dark struggles she went through. Thus, Ellie's unenthusiastic statements kind of made me bitter along with her and when I was finished reading each night ---- so props to the story for personally affecting me that way!!
darkangel_1988 More than 1 year ago
According to Jane was an okay book. Very emotional book to read but also somewhat funny. An okay book for a free download.
Laurel_Ann More than 1 year ago
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
CeCeSG More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to read this book.  I am an Austen fan and after reading the reviews I thought this book would be a sure hit.  Like the characters in this book I was so wrong about so much. I understand what the author was attempting to do, and I will say that Ellie seems to be a very close portrayal of so many women today. This book is a realistic look at the journey  for romantic love that many  of us go through- and that is about where the positives end for me. Honestly, there so many more things I disliked about this book than that I enjoyed.  First, was anyone else annoyed by all the drinking and driving? There were times that Ellie tried to make it clear that she waited until she was "clear headed" to drive again, but several where it was not clear.  It seems we are to buy into the perception that Ellie is some good girl geek.  Yet there is nothing geeky about her.  Ok, she's smart, got good grades, didn't get along with her older popular sister and younger brother.  Other than that, she's just ... average.  "Jane" tells her over and over at certain points in her life that she is above average, but honestly, that was hard to buy. As for Ellie and "Jane" (I can't think of this entity as even a fictional portrayal of Jane Austen), I honestly didn't like either of them.  Ellie in turns seemed weak, stupid, demanding, and shrewish.  I could not figure out why any man would be eager to marry here.  Through out the book she is  demanding commitment from man after man, sometimes after the first romantic ( and I use that term VERY loosely here) occasion.  As for "Jane", she did not come off as witty or wise.  She was annoying, judgmental, snobby, critical, and generally unlikable.  If this person were talking in my head I think i would seriously consider extreme measure to rid myself of them.  The entire book as I read, it did not seem that "Jane" was a seperate entity from Ellie, but really a part of her psyche for which she should receive professional help.  The other characters were very flat .  It would have been nice to get to know Sam more, he was featured so prominently in the book and yet in the end I felt I knew him not at all.  Feeling as though he was a stranger made the ending feel very odd, and rushed.  It went against the realism of the rest of the book.  The book felt as though the author was trying to create these big, surprising and romantic moments, but that was a dismal failure. There was nothing surprising or romantic about any of it.  The only thing big here was my disappointment in the attempt. Nook Pages:259 .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Jill_Thomas More than 1 year ago
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.
Mimi77 More than 1 year ago
This was a really great love story!!! i read it in one day
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the mid 1980s in suburban Chicago, fifteen years old sophomore Ellie Barnett takes Mrs. Leverson's English Lit class where they are reading Pride and Prejudice. When Sam Blaine makes a move on Ellie, she hears a warning voice in her head. Jane Austen cautions her that Sam is her Wickham. The voice remains with Ellie over the years as boyfriends come and go; but Jane remains advising her on relationships especially how to elude those sexy bad boys. The worst of the lot in Jane's mind is Sam who intermittently seems to always be there sniffing at Ellie. She, in turn, knows she is attracted to him and always has since high school lit. However, Ellie begins to think of Sam as her Darcy and decides perhaps even the great Jane Austen needs mentoring on love. Just when you think Jane Austen could not appear in anything new, a refreshing reincarnation occurs as Marilyn Brant provides an engaging modern day take on the writer. Ellie is a terrific lead character as she adapts to the voice in her head while Sam is her nemesis. Although the abrupt scene shifts can be somewhat jarring, readers will thoroughly enjoy this fun contemporary romance that also provides insight into Jane Austen and her characters. Harriet Klausner
AuthorKellyMoran More than 1 year ago
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
RunningShoeGirl More than 1 year ago
I've always been a big fan of Jane and not so much of modern adaptations. This is not an adaptation. This is about a modern girl/woman with a mental relationship with Jane Austen. There is a lot of relationship issues and some sex but considering its a modern book...this should not be a big deal. I enjoyed it. I did wish for a tablespoon more at the end. I consider that a good sign.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I really enjoyed Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match. It was a sweet book and I really enjoyed the story.  This novel was so different, it was like a different writer. I personally don't enjoy sex scenes and skip through them. This book had a lot of those scenes, which was disappointing after reading her other book that didn't go there. Aside from those scenes, the book's story line was just okay. Although she wraps it up in a pretty bow in the end, I was not a fan of the major love interest. He was a jerk and a pervert in the beginning. I am not a feminist, women-rule kind of person, but I also hate to see women stick with men who treat them horribly. A guy who tries to fondle you in public, especially when you are not inviting it, is not the kind of guy  that interests me.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
? Tr :,*/. Avm.
Aprilnow More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this ebook about a young woman who is hearing JA in her head. This book follows her life and advice JA gives her about the men in her life.
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