This is a book I picked up at Powell’s during my Portland trip and is one of my 6 things for the Everything Austen challenge (3 down 3 to go).
The Premise: This is a Choose Your Own adventure story where you are Elizabeth Bennet, and “your mission is to marry both prudently, and for love”. You start out with high Intelligence and Confidences points, low Fortune, and no Accomplishments or Connections and throughout the book, decide what path you want to take to increase these numbers.
My Thoughts/Overall: This isn’t meant to be read end to end, so it could be a really quick read or a really long one, depending on what choices you make and whether you want to keep trying once you fail. I kept trying to see where all the different paths could take me, which made the book longer, but after I got the general idea, I put the book down. Basically, you could end up with any of the heroes in every Jane Austen story, so there are a lot of familiar names and storylines intertwined with the Pride and Prejudice one. Of course, Elizabeth is meant to be with Darcy, so any other marriage tends to end up in failure, and if you know P & P, you know what decisions Elizabeth should take to marry him.
As a bit of entertainment, this book works, and there are pretty line drawings throughout to illustrate the text, but it didn’t really keep my attention the way another book would because it’s really just a clever presentation of all the Jane Austen books I already know. It’s amusing to see how the author managed to interweave all the Austen books into Pride and Prejudice so you could meet Mr. Knightley or Captain Wentworth, and she throws in some curves like falling and breaking your neck or having a scandalous affair (points where you need to go back and try again), but it’s ultimately not interesting enough to keep reading for more than a few minutes at a time. It felt like it belonged in the “coffee table” book category – meant to be picked up every so often and provide brief pleasure and then put down again.
Austenblog – thought it was very entertaining