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Happy book buzz, TV disappointment
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Mmm, I love the buzz of reading a book so good that the ending makes me purr - and immediately want even more! I just finished re-reading Ysabeau Wilce's Flora's Dare, just about a month after my first reading of it, and I loved it even more this time 'round. Flora's Dare has all the exuberance and fun of the first book in the series (Flora Segunda), but with even more fast-paced adventure, sparkling worldbuilding, wonderful new characters, and a series of powerful emotional revelations that blew me away. (That perfect combination: I never would have guessed any of them ahead of time - but once they arrived, I could see all the subtle hints she'd planted earlier in the book, and even back in Book 1.) And the ending...mmmm! Needless to say, this is one of the YA fantasies that I've personally recommended for the Norton Award, and I'm whole-heartedly recommending it to everybody.

It was a good antidote, too, to my disappointment last night in a brand-new British TV show, Lost in Austen, about a 21st-century London woman who's transplanted into the novel of Pride and Prejudice with comic results. I'd heard good things about this one, and there are lots of cute bits in the first episode, but...sigh. Overall, I was really disappointed, and I won't be watching more. The writers took the lazy route of not bothering with historical plausibility in all sorts of ways (eg, the heroine arrives at the Bennets' house wearing jeans and prominent makeup, and the family accepts it without blinking an eye, just thinking that either she's eccentric, or else it's a London fashion - yeah, right...; Lizzy disappears, actually to modern London, but leaving her family with the impression that she's suddenly left, on her own, without parental permission or any respectable escort, to stay for an indefinite time with a family her parents have never met or even heard of before, in order to pursue a writing career - and they just swallow it, pass the story around to their neighbors, and treat it as being normal?!?!)...

...And the worst part of all that is that not only does it immediately break my suspension of disbelief, but it actually means that all sorts of opportunities for juicy drama and complications are actually actively avoided. Maybe it seemed like it would be too hard to fit the story into the real social morés of Jane Austen's novels? But it would have been fun to see a genuine Regency reaction to Amanda's 21st-century clothing and makeup! AND to see some shock and drama erupt over Lizzy's scandalous solo trip - almost a running away from home - combined with the need to keep it secret to avoid neighborhood gossip! And...oh well. They didn't do any of that, and I lost interest really quickly.

Oh well. Enough ranting. And now it's time to go back to my own Regency fantasy...

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