counter create hit Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood

Availability: Ready to download

Abby McDonald gives L.A. the Jane Austen treatment in this contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility. Hallie and Grace Weston have never exactly seen life eye to eye. So when their father dies and leaves everything to his new wife, forcing the girls to pack up and leave San Francisco for a relative’s house in shiny Beverly Hills, the two sisters take to their changing lot Abby McDonald gives L.A. the Jane Austen treatment in this contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility. Hallie and Grace Weston have never exactly seen life eye to eye. So when their father dies and leaves everything to his new wife, forcing the girls to pack up and leave San Francisco for a relative’s house in shiny Beverly Hills, the two sisters take to their changing lot in typically different styles. Shy, responsible Grace manages to make friends with an upbeat, enterprising girl named Palmer but still yearns for her old life — and the maybe-almost-crush she left behind. Meanwhile, drama queen Hallie is throwing herself headlong into life — and love — in L.A., spending every second with gorgeous musician Dakota and warding off the attention of brooding vet Brandon. But is Hallie blinded by the stars in her eyes? And is Grace doomed to forever hug the sidelines?


Compare
Ads Banner

Abby McDonald gives L.A. the Jane Austen treatment in this contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility. Hallie and Grace Weston have never exactly seen life eye to eye. So when their father dies and leaves everything to his new wife, forcing the girls to pack up and leave San Francisco for a relative’s house in shiny Beverly Hills, the two sisters take to their changing lot Abby McDonald gives L.A. the Jane Austen treatment in this contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility. Hallie and Grace Weston have never exactly seen life eye to eye. So when their father dies and leaves everything to his new wife, forcing the girls to pack up and leave San Francisco for a relative’s house in shiny Beverly Hills, the two sisters take to their changing lot in typically different styles. Shy, responsible Grace manages to make friends with an upbeat, enterprising girl named Palmer but still yearns for her old life — and the maybe-almost-crush she left behind. Meanwhile, drama queen Hallie is throwing herself headlong into life — and love — in L.A., spending every second with gorgeous musician Dakota and warding off the attention of brooding vet Brandon. But is Hallie blinded by the stars in her eyes? And is Grace doomed to forever hug the sidelines?

30 review for Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood

  1. 4 out of 5

    Celeste_pewter

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC through NetGalley, in exchange for a honest review. Thanks to Candlewick! It is a universally acknowledged truth that if someone does a Jane Austen adaptation, I'm bound to read it or watch it, regardless of quality. Sometimes, this blind allegiance leads to wonderful discoveries, like the lovely Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Other times, it leads to more questionable works, like the 2010 Camille Belle Film, From Prada to Nada. Fortunately for me, Abby McDonald's Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC through NetGalley, in exchange for a honest review. Thanks to Candlewick! It is a universally acknowledged truth that if someone does a Jane Austen adaptation, I'm bound to read it or watch it, regardless of quality. Sometimes, this blind allegiance leads to wonderful discoveries, like the lovely Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Other times, it leads to more questionable works, like the 2010 Camille Belle Film, From Prada to Nada. Fortunately for me, Abby McDonald's Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood falls firmly into the former category. It's funny, clever, contains some unexpected and twists, and is a pure delight to read. *** Plot overview: After their father's untimely death, Hallie and Grace Weston are at a loss. They don't have the resources to stay in their beloved hometown of San Francisco, so together with their mom, they move into a relative's guest house in Beverly Hills. Once they've settled into the 90210, Grace settles into classes at Beverly Hills High School. She makes friends with a quirky local girl, but continues to wonder about a romance that she left behind. Hallie, determined to make a name for herself as an actress in Hollywood, throws herself into acting classes, friendships with the glossy elite of the Hills, and a new romance. *** Because Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood is an adaptation, there is always a tendency to want to refer to the source material. I'll give into that tendency, but with this disclaimer in mind: even if I hadn't known that this was an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, I would have strongly enjoyed this book on its merits. I've always found Abby McDonald asa pleasant writer to read, and this book is no different. *** Things that worked : Characterization: First and foremost, I liked the fact that Abby McDonald reversed the ages for Grace and Hallie. In S&S, Grace (or Elinor) is normally older, and Hallie (Marianne) is younger. By reversing the age, McDonald immediately got rid of some the preconceived assumptions that people automatically make with the characters - e.g. the reason that the Elinor-equivalent is more mature is strictly due to age, or the Marianne-equivalent is hysterical, is because she's younger. I also really liked the fact that Grace and Hallie are mixed-race. I'm pretty sure it's only mentioned once in the book, but the sentence jumped out at me when I read it. You don't get a lot of mixed-race heroines in teenage/contemporary fiction, so I liked that McDonald was making it a point to buck the trend. McDonald's modernization of the other characters works, as well. You can tell she actually thought about how to both connect her characters to her source material and make it relevant for today's modern reading audience - e.g. her decision to make Brandon a returned Iraq war vet - is a very clever, thoughtful choice. The same goes for having Theo (Edward) as a student of philosophy. It remains true to the source material of Edward wanting to be a minister, and also shows a clever understanding of contemporary culture. (Because let's face it: who hasn't assumed that philosophy is a "worthless" major, when you can actually learn some pretty cool things?) Setting: Transferring the setting of the book from the coasts of England to San Francisco and Los Angeles, was also an inspired choice. I know that part of the reason McDonald made the choice to set the book in these locatoins was because she lives in the L.A. area, but it's also just clever in general. In the original S&S, the Dashwood sisters move from their large home, to the more isolated Devonshire. The girls feel physically isolated and alone. By having Grace and Hallie move to chaotic LA, McDonald is subtly exploring what it's like to be emotionally isolated rather than physically isolated. It's clever, and actually forces the reader to think about how proximity to crowds doesn't necessarily mean you won't feel isolated. Plot: There are no real surprises on the main plot: if you've read S&S, you know what happens. It's written in very engaging tones, and it's fun to read. For me, it's the small touches that count - e.g. Hallie standing up for herself when her friends treat her poorly; Grace making friends and doing things like participating in alternative Hollywood tours; and Hallie even getting therapy. These touches round the story out in a way that the original didn't necessarily have. Final verdict: This is a fun, thoughtful read that I would highly recommend to Jane Austen fans, but to fans of YA and contemporary fiction in general.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Booklady

    The Weston sisters are penniless when their wealthy father dies, and they go to live with rich Uncle Augie and his wife since there is no will from the dad,and the new wife takes everything including their home. The older sister is a drama queen who wants to be an actress and the younger one is organized and shy. They have issues and angst galore. The characters are fleshed out, the story is well organized and interesting. It suffers from a basic flaw below, and since I'm nitpicking the editor l The Weston sisters are penniless when their wealthy father dies, and they go to live with rich Uncle Augie and his wife since there is no will from the dad,and the new wife takes everything including their home. The older sister is a drama queen who wants to be an actress and the younger one is organized and shy. They have issues and angst galore. The characters are fleshed out, the story is well organized and interesting. It suffers from a basic flaw below, and since I'm nitpicking the editor left lounge in instead of living room a lapse in American English (I am reviewing from a hardback First Edition). ASIDE: However, the Weston sisters are minors when the story starts, and in California they cannot be disinherited; it is doubtful if the County of San Francisco under emergency housing rules would allow the two sisters to be evicted with their custodial mom from the family home until the youngest was eighteen. Their mom could also collect the father's social security for surviving minors, in addition to child support from the estate; and if she was too out of it from grief San Francisco County's child protective services would deal with the court orders and financial matters.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate Stericker

    A fun and satisfying novel about two sisters finding their way after an unexpected move to Los Angeles. Although I'm sure that knowing the source material adds another interesting layer to the story, I have never read Sense and Sensibility and found that JAGTH can stand on its own with no difficulty. The only noticeable issue is that some plot points seem very extreme by modern standards, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable to watch them develop.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily M

    A Sense and Sensibility retelling taking place in my backyard? How could I resist? All in all, many of the modernizations worked fine. The Dashwood's financial plight transfers well, the celebrity culture of Hollywood wannabes is a decent approximation of the nineteenth century British class system, and Willoughby's betrayal of Marianne could totally go down like an aspiring rockstar dating someone for publicity's sake. But there just wasn't a lot of depth. Hallie/Marianne is 100% selfish and twi A Sense and Sensibility retelling taking place in my backyard? How could I resist? All in all, many of the modernizations worked fine. The Dashwood's financial plight transfers well, the celebrity culture of Hollywood wannabes is a decent approximation of the nineteenth century British class system, and Willoughby's betrayal of Marianne could totally go down like an aspiring rockstar dating someone for publicity's sake. But there just wasn't a lot of depth. Hallie/Marianne is 100% selfish and twitty, while the original Marianne is more than just a spoiled brat. In S&S, the sisters truly love each other, and I can't understand how Grace/Elinor could even stand her sister. Edward's prior engagement to Lucy is understandable because he got entangled with her because he hadn't met Elinor yet; to have him casually go off for the summer and date Lucy after knowing Grace/Elinor makes him kindof a cad. Brandon had potential as an Iraq vet recovering from PTSD, but he never really developed. Elinor/Grace is supposedly a STEM genius, but other than a throwaway comment about how her science class is easy, we don't SEE that at all. Her personality is "sensible sister who holds her family together," but she doesn't hold her own against Hallie's dramatics. Oh, and speaking as a townie, the Malibu sections read like they were written by someone who watched a few 90's teen movies and has never actually been to Malibu Lagoon or Grom Gelato. At the end of the day, the only thing I particularly liked about it was the S&S references, but nothing in this book gave me a deeper understanding of or appreciation for the source material. On its own merits, it's just a meh contemporary YA book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I have no clue where to start. I really wanted to at the very least like this book. Hallie and Gracie loose their father. Hallie is completely distraught while Grace is trying to keep it together to keep her mother and sister from loosing it. Unfortunately their mother has set into such a deep depression that they can't to get a coherent sentence out of her. Their evil step mother strips everything away from them and they are forced to leave their home and move to L.A. Before they move Grace me I have no clue where to start. I really wanted to at the very least like this book. Hallie and Gracie loose their father. Hallie is completely distraught while Grace is trying to keep it together to keep her mother and sister from loosing it. Unfortunately their mother has set into such a deep depression that they can't to get a coherent sentence out of her. Their evil step mother strips everything away from them and they are forced to leave their home and move to L.A. Before they move Grace meets Theo and slowly falls in love. While living in L.A. Hallie falls in love and then gets her heart broken and then falls in love again. I can't stand her character. She is beyond obnoxious. All she ever did was shove her nose where it didn't belong and create drama for everyone else. Every time she tried to interfere with her sisters love life I wanted to kick her in the throat.Grace was stuck on Theo. Even when he showed up and acted all weird she couldn't help but still dream of a happily ever after with him. The sister go back to NY on a trip and get invited to a party at their step mothers house. While there, Grace has to endure hearing about Lucy's love story with her Theo. (Crushing I know). After this Grace is devastated and ready to try and move on. While trying to forget Theo Hallie and Grace receive news about Lucy eloping. I loved Sense and Sensibility and pretty much all of Jane Austen's books. I am normally a fan of rendition's from the classics but this one just didn't do it for me. I couldn't relate to the characters and just didn't like them. Maybe if the ending would have been drawn out more, it would have helped but I don't know. Hallie just drove me insane. If you feel differently let me know. On My Blog

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Pacious

    A modern take on Sense and Sensibility. Hallie (Marianne Dashwood) and Grace (Elinor Dashwood) move from San Francisco to Los Angeles after the unexpected death of their recently remarried dad. Complications ensue as both girls try to adjust to their new city. Grace falls for her step-brother/uncle (Edward Ferrars) but doesn’t reveal her feelings. Hallie is saved from drowning by a mysterious guitar-playing LA insider (Willoughby) but ultimately winds up with an Iraq war veteran (Col. Brandon). A modern take on Sense and Sensibility. Hallie (Marianne Dashwood) and Grace (Elinor Dashwood) move from San Francisco to Los Angeles after the unexpected death of their recently remarried dad. Complications ensue as both girls try to adjust to their new city. Grace falls for her step-brother/uncle (Edward Ferrars) but doesn’t reveal her feelings. Hallie is saved from drowning by a mysterious guitar-playing LA insider (Willoughby) but ultimately winds up with an Iraq war veteran (Col. Brandon). Although the parallels with Sense and Sensibility are extremely apparent (and that makes it enjoyable), the rest is typical Chick Lit YA romance. The superficiality of the LA scene—shallow friends, beach party drinking, hooking up—and the complete absence of any adults with an ounce of common sense create a world that is cheap. Grace and Hallie are likeable characters with their own flaws. Grace doesn’t show emotion, Hallie shows nothing else, but the overall plot doesn’t give much more than both girls “learning” that love is, at its best, emotional and uncontestably physical (nothing is explicit, but sex is assumed). The genius of Jane Austen goes way beyond creating a good love story. Unfortunately, this contemporary take on her work just wallows in the relationships. www.goodreadingguide.com

  7. 4 out of 5

    Grace Lee

    I'm not sure how to start this review, but I know I want it to be witty yet serious but I can't accomplish that goal with all these other reviewers writing flawless literary pieces as their review! Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood was ehh. It was better than Boys, Bears, and A Serious Pair Of Hiking Boots, I'll give you that! I just wasn't loving the characters. Grace was too boring and Hallie was too winy. Usually I fall into characters and become them but again with all of McDonald's books (excep I'm not sure how to start this review, but I know I want it to be witty yet serious but I can't accomplish that goal with all these other reviewers writing flawless literary pieces as their review! Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood was ehh. It was better than Boys, Bears, and A Serious Pair Of Hiking Boots, I'll give you that! I just wasn't loving the characters. Grace was too boring and Hallie was too winy. Usually I fall into characters and become them but again with all of McDonald's books (except Sophomore Switch) I couldn't relate. I feel terrible for saying this but I just don't think she knows how girls think these days. I could not sulk over a boy for months and have my whole life revolve around them as a teenager. Maybe that's just me. Also, the girls were mixed and I don't know why she only mentioned it twice throughout the whole book. I could have made the book way more interesting! Let's turn theses tables around. Of course I love the two different perspectives, love seeing things from two different eyes. Also I was so pleased seeing everyone's future. My heart literally lifted out of my chest when Grace said she kisses him everyone moment now. Dawweeee! I'm such a sucker for young love. Overall I give it a 2.7. 2.5 was too low, 3 was too high. I don't really know.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Riggsby / allthingsequilateral

    *Review to be published on Page Turners Blog on 5/31/13* 2.5 stars out of 5 I adore Jane Austen re-tellings mostly because I love the original stories, and I always look for that familiar plot rhythm and beloved characters to show up. But what I look forward to the most is the way the author is going to play with the plot points and what they will take away/add to the existing characters. Sometimes, it’s the minor characters that the authors have the most fun re-writing and I admit to enjoying it *Review to be published on Page Turners Blog on 5/31/13* 2.5 stars out of 5 I adore Jane Austen re-tellings mostly because I love the original stories, and I always look for that familiar plot rhythm and beloved characters to show up. But what I look forward to the most is the way the author is going to play with the plot points and what they will take away/add to the existing characters. Sometimes, it’s the minor characters that the authors have the most fun re-writing and I admit to enjoying it all. Unfortunately, Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood just didn't excite me the way I expected a Sense & Sensibility plotline to move me. I think, in part, it was the characters themselves. Quietly contemplative Grace and overly dramatic Hallie just seemed flat to me. And the minor characters were amusing, but also predictable. But what did translate well is the sisters love for one another and their very different approach to love interests. If you’re looking for a poolside, romantic read and love a nod to Austen, then don’t hesitate to pick up this book. I only wish that, character-wise, it had delivered a little more depth.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Kendell

    The plot of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, this book tries to do what the movie Clueless did to the book Emma. How the relationship connections were adapted to modern-day was pretty clever; however, it hurt my soul a little bit to think of Elinore and MaryAnn as Grace and Hallie of present day. I have never been part of the party scene: underage drinking, "hooking up" with people, general frivolity without thought of consequences, etc... but I'm not blind to teens that do live in that worl The plot of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, this book tries to do what the movie Clueless did to the book Emma. How the relationship connections were adapted to modern-day was pretty clever; however, it hurt my soul a little bit to think of Elinore and MaryAnn as Grace and Hallie of present day. I have never been part of the party scene: underage drinking, "hooking up" with people, general frivolity without thought of consequences, etc... but I'm not blind to teens that do live in that world, it's just not my world; I don't believe in it. A quick, fairly fun read (probably more enjoyed by teens than adult Austen admirerers) that is a pretty good representation of the general plot of Sense and Sensibility.

  10. 5 out of 5

    LibraryCin

    Hallie and Grace are sisters. Their father has just died, so they and their mother are forced to find a new place to live, so they move to L.A. to live with family there. The overly dramatic sister Hallie wants to be an actress so it excited to be in L.A. The serious sister, Grace, has to leave the boy she has fallen for. This was an ARC I obtained a couple of years ago. It has, of course, been published since, so I'm not sure what – if anything – was changed. I enjoyed this. It was light and flu Hallie and Grace are sisters. Their father has just died, so they and their mother are forced to find a new place to live, so they move to L.A. to live with family there. The overly dramatic sister Hallie wants to be an actress so it excited to be in L.A. The serious sister, Grace, has to leave the boy she has fallen for. This was an ARC I obtained a couple of years ago. It has, of course, been published since, so I'm not sure what – if anything – was changed. I enjoyed this. It was light and fluffy YA/chick lit. The book alternated viewpoints between Hallie and Grace, and given that Grace was so much more like me, I enjoyed her sections more, but Hallie did (somewhat) grow on me – or at least her storyline did!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

    This was such a cute book! In this retelling of Sense and Sensibility, McDonald updates the story to feature sisters Grace and Hallie and moves them to Hollywood. Think S&S meets Clueless. What I really loved about this book was that it was loyal to the original source but there were still enough changes to make the story refreshing and fun and not boring and predictable. This is probably my favorite S&S retelling so far and I could not put the book down. My only quip is that the title is kind o This was such a cute book! In this retelling of Sense and Sensibility, McDonald updates the story to feature sisters Grace and Hallie and moves them to Hollywood. Think S&S meets Clueless. What I really loved about this book was that it was loyal to the original source but there were still enough changes to make the story refreshing and fun and not boring and predictable. This is probably my favorite S&S retelling so far and I could not put the book down. My only quip is that the title is kind of misleading since Jane Austen is not a character in the book and the cover makes it seem more like a tween book but look beyond that and you will be pleasantly surprised!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Hawkes

    If you aren't obsessed with Jane Austen, don't read any further. However, for those of us who are obsessive, "Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood" is a fun read. If you can imagine "Sense and Sensibility" set in California with the Dashwood girls cast as biracial daughters of a flaky artist, then you can enjoy this book. It's written for a YA audience, so it moves along quickly. Literature it ain't. But it's a lot of fun to read by the pool (or in my case as a way to force myself onto my exercise bike If you aren't obsessed with Jane Austen, don't read any further. However, for those of us who are obsessive, "Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood" is a fun read. If you can imagine "Sense and Sensibility" set in California with the Dashwood girls cast as biracial daughters of a flaky artist, then you can enjoy this book. It's written for a YA audience, so it moves along quickly. Literature it ain't. But it's a lot of fun to read by the pool (or in my case as a way to force myself onto my exercise bike.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    So cute retelling of Sense and Sensibility. Although I feel like maybe they could have done a little work on the title. As usual, Brandon is one of Jane's best heroes. And Abby McDonald did a really good job of modernizing the story, especially him. I don't read a lot of S&S retellings, but this one was really well done. Bravo! So cute retelling of Sense and Sensibility. Although I feel like maybe they could have done a little work on the title. As usual, Brandon is one of Jane's best heroes. And Abby McDonald did a really good job of modernizing the story, especially him. I don't read a lot of S&S retellings, but this one was really well done. Bravo!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aubrey

    I've read this book in a day. It's soooo amazing! I love it

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Kind of cute. A couple of issues: one is that the author is British, but trying to write American teenagers, so the tone is a little off. Among other things, we don't have Agas, and we don't call those things "cookers." A lot of this could have been smoothed out if the editing had been better. Besides the Aga cooker, I would have like to have seen a little less of the word "saunter." And the choice to spell out things like "twenty four seven" and "nineteen fifty two" was odd. Another thing is tha Kind of cute. A couple of issues: one is that the author is British, but trying to write American teenagers, so the tone is a little off. Among other things, we don't have Agas, and we don't call those things "cookers." A lot of this could have been smoothed out if the editing had been better. Besides the Aga cooker, I would have like to have seen a little less of the word "saunter." And the choice to spell out things like "twenty four seven" and "nineteen fifty two" was odd. Another thing is that the author makes a point to mention early in the book that the main characters are mixed-race, but then never really mentions it again. Seemed like a way to claim credit for writing diverse character without actually examining what it might mean to these characters.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sofia Blasucci

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought the book was okay. I think it moved very slow and all of the characters were very dramatic and they made a big deal about everything. For example when Dakota and Hallie broke up, Hallie wouldn’t leave th couch for weeks and was always in a bad mood. When Grace and Hallie’s dad died Hallie made a big deal abou his wife speaking at the funeral because she didn’t believe they were family. I thought the book had a good message and and showed different perspectives to the stories.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becca Curtis

    Meh. Although interesting as an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility instead of Pride and Prejudice, this was not my favorite. It felt ... a little plastic - stereotypical characters, and WAY too much emphasis was on the "Marianne" sister. Some major plot elements were glossed over, but it was a good attempt. Quick read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    A very well done 1-for-1 transpose of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility to today. And, as we get into the socio-economic issues of life at various levels in New York and Los Angeles, we see not much has changed as characters chase both love and economic security. My favorite part was the epilogue in which everyone gets the exact karma they deserve.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Gibson

    This modern-day YA take on Sense & Sensibility is witty, funny and has much to recommend it. Although it sometimes ventures into caricature, the characters are well developed and the plot moves along quickly. Fans of Jane Austen will appreciate some of the in-jokes regarding character names and circumstances. But it stands alone as a YA romance that should appeal to fans of the genre. This modern-day YA take on Sense & Sensibility is witty, funny and has much to recommend it. Although it sometimes ventures into caricature, the characters are well developed and the plot moves along quickly. Fans of Jane Austen will appreciate some of the in-jokes regarding character names and circumstances. But it stands alone as a YA romance that should appeal to fans of the genre.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Bellm

    I love modern takes on Jane Austen. This was a fresh take on Sense and Sensibility. It was pretty easy to follow the classic-inspired plot. My only real beef is the amount of drinking and partying for the under-age characters.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ema

    But this was a GREAT opportunity to look at classism and...there was none of that.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Cute take on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Enjoyable for a light read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    3.5 stars

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rosie

    This review can also be found on my blog: www.lifearmywifestyle.com Grace, 16, and Hallie, 18, are sisters living in San Francisco with their tortured, artist mother. A few years before the start of the novel, Grace and Hallie’s father leave them for a woman he works with, Portia, a rich, over privileged, trust-fund baby. After getting married to Portia and having a son, 9 months after the wedding, the girls’ father suddenly dies leaving them even more angry and alone. Conveniently for Portia, t This review can also be found on my blog: www.lifearmywifestyle.com Grace, 16, and Hallie, 18, are sisters living in San Francisco with their tortured, artist mother. A few years before the start of the novel, Grace and Hallie’s father leave them for a woman he works with, Portia, a rich, over privileged, trust-fund baby. After getting married to Portia and having a son, 9 months after the wedding, the girls’ father suddenly dies leaving them even more angry and alone. Conveniently for Portia, there was no up-to-date living-will and Hallie and Grace are left with nothing, not even the deed to the house that they are living in with their mother. Left without a home and little money to their names, Hallie, Grace, and their mother move to L.A., to live in Hollywood with their rich older cousin and his very young wife. Hallie is happy to move to Hollywood to start her acting career, but Grace is furious and worried about the move. Not only is she leaving her childhood house behind, but she’s also leaving her new friend (and crush,) Theo, who happens to be Portia’s brother. After moving to Hollywood, Hallie makes a few high-profile friends and begins to date a guy in a band. Grace, on the other hand, isn’t as outgoing as Hallie, and has a harder time adjusting to her new life, especially since she isn’t able to see Theo as much anymore. Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood by Abby McDonald is a contemporary version of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Since I have never read Sense and Sensibility, I can not comment on how similar and/or different the two books are, but I can say that I really enjoyed this book. Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood is everything I love about Young Adult Literature. It is cute, fun, and made me want to read Sense an Sensibility. I originally wanted to read Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood because of its title and its cover. As I have said before, I have a bad habit of judging books by their covers. This cover makes me think of The Lying Game TV series on ABC family, which was adapted from the books by Sara Shepard. The title intrigued me because it alluded to a Jane Austen adaption and even though I haven’t read anything by her, I still find myself drawn to her work. I really enjoyed all aspects of this book. I was immediately sucked into the lives of Grace and Hallie and could barely put the book down; I read the first half in less than a day. I really enjoyed Grace and Hallie’s friendship and their ups and downs of sisterhood. They fought a lot, but when it came down to the big problems, they were there for each other. I also loved their relationship with Amber, the young woman their “Uncle” married. She made me laugh during the scenes with her “children” (tiny dogs.) She was also so kind and generous towards the girls, as if they had been best friends all their lives. Right before Christmas, Amber takes Grace and Hallie to New York for a pre-Christmas shopping trip. They stay at a fancy hotel, the penthouse of course, and go to all of the famous New York movie-based spots including: Serendipity (the coffee shop) and the Central Park ice skating rink. I have had a dream to go to Serendipity, ever since seeing the movie. I loved this part of the novel because I could picture these locations and picture myself there too. Throughout the entire book, I was rooting for Theo and Grace to get together. Grace’s crush on Theo is adorable and I felt like Grace was a friend that I wanted to see happy. Her crush is so innocent and child-like, the way a true first love should be. Although it’s weird that he is sort-of her step-uncle, they are not related by blood. If her father were alive, it could have been an issue, but since he is deceased, I didn’t see a problem with it. I love reading about the rich and famous; it’s like book candy for the Hollywood obsessed. Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood is the perfect read for any Hollywood lover. This novel would be great for any reader that has read, and enjoyed, the series A-List by Zoey Dean and the L.A. Candy trilogy by Lauren Conrad. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    [Originally posted on the blog] Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood was exactly the kind of novel I was craving when I picked it up - fun, light, sweet. I'd consider this a great read for the beach or the pool this summer. Plus, it totally gets bonus points for being based on Sense and Sensibility, one of the two Jane Austen novels I've actually read. One of the things that instantly made me want to read this novel is that it was about sisters Hallie and Grace Weston. I love reading about sisters, sinc [Originally posted on the blog] Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood was exactly the kind of novel I was craving when I picked it up - fun, light, sweet. I'd consider this a great read for the beach or the pool this summer. Plus, it totally gets bonus points for being based on Sense and Sensibility, one of the two Jane Austen novels I've actually read. One of the things that instantly made me want to read this novel is that it was about sisters Hallie and Grace Weston. I love reading about sisters, since I have two of my own. The resemblance between Hallie and Grace's relationship and that of mine with my own siblings was uncanny, though their personalities were exaggerations of ours. Dramatic, personable Hallie and quiet, responsible Grace definitely clash a lot over their differences in this book. But it was a fact that, even if they got angry or "hated" each other, there was always the deep, underlying devotion and loyalty that they shared. I definitely identified more with Grace, as we share many traits in common. She's the model sibling, the one who is more likely to stay at home than to go out to a party. She's also the one who holds it all together when her dad dies, a responsibility that is a lot for someone her age. I identified a lot with being loaded with responsibilities not really meant for me, but I identified even more with her when she experiences a moment of regret because she never took a step, or a risk, or a chance. Eventually, she realizes a few things and comes to terms with what she needs to do to get on with her life, and I think it was handled really well. Both the sisters experience romantic entanglements in this novel. I find it particularly intriguing that there's a definite contrast. One runs headlong into a romantic relationship, and pours her heart and soul into feeling every single feeling. The other, on the other hand, is too scared to take the next step - and ends up torturing herself over the regret she feels over that choice. It's fun to get to experience the spectrum of emotions with them both, and I love how each of their relationships winds up in the end. The special part of Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood is that both Hallie and Grace gain all sorts of experiences that change who they are forever. As teens, all of us went through moments that defined us or branded us for the rest of our lives, and it is the same for these two. The authenticity with which this is done in this novel is really spot on, though the element of living in Hollywood, running with an affluent crowd (that's Hallie) and living with an uncle and his wife who spoil them silly does add a bit of fancifulness. All in all, Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood is definitely one of the more enjoyable books I've read this year. The writing was well-done, the story was fun to read and the characters are accessible and understandable. I really liked it, and would definitely recommend it to fellow contemporary YA fans looking for a fun spring/summer read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Liza Wiemer

    An authentic retelling of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood follows the original plot, but with a modern twist. This was my first Abby McDonald novel and her writing and character development was definitely strong and captivating. Every SENSE AND SENSIBILITY fan knows the story, so I can't imagine that it was an easy task for McDonald to make this novel sound fresh and interesting. But I liked the way McDonald changed the reason why the main characters Hallie and Grace Weston An authentic retelling of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood follows the original plot, but with a modern twist. This was my first Abby McDonald novel and her writing and character development was definitely strong and captivating. Every SENSE AND SENSIBILITY fan knows the story, so I can't imagine that it was an easy task for McDonald to make this novel sound fresh and interesting. But I liked the way McDonald changed the reason why the main characters Hallie and Grace Weston ended up being destitute when their father dies. I appreciated how Hallie didn't dive into a relationship and held back while her sister Grace dived in. I think this book shows that there is a way to find balance. Brandon was probably one of my favorite characters and his silent and respectful attraction to Grace is appealing. I'm not exactly sure why he likes her so much, especially when she's so unpleasant to him. Is it physical? Her passion for life? Perhaps both. Even as he watches Grace make a fool of herself over the fame-grabbing rising star singer Dakota, Brandon is patient. In the end, their connection deepens and they find they're both really good for each other, understand each other through the different types of losses that they've experience in their lives. The fake attitudes, user friendships, over-the-top parties and nightclubs portrayed in this novel is what you would expect from Hollywood. But McDonald shows another side with the compassion of the Weston's relative who takes them in. Yes, there's still lots and lots of money, but these characters are more relatable with their acts of kindness. They're not clamoring to get ahead or to show off to anyone. They use their wealth to be generous, not to prove that they're something they're not or that their worth is based on materialistic things. The pairings: Hallie and Theo. (Hallie's in HS, Theo is getting ready for college and wants to study philosophy.) Theo and Lucy. (Lucy is a nanny from England and is definitely not respected by Theo's wealthy family.) Grace and Dakota. (The rising star musician that Grace falls madly in love with.) Grace and Brandon. (Brandon served our country and watched some of his friends die. Grace mistakes him as a stalker - it's a crazy, lol moment.) Things that I loved: 1. The different ethnic backgrounds brought out in this novel. 2. Theo's gentle patience with his nephew. 3. San Francisco! 4. Brandon and his passion for photography. 5. Hallie and her strong sense of identity and inner strength when faced with circumstances beyond her control. 6. The ending of the novel and the glimpse into the futures of each of the characters. Thank you, Candlewick, for providing a review copy of this novel to me. Review posted on my blog: http://www.whorublog.com/?p=2150

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rabiah

    Originally posted at: http://iliveforreading.blogspot.sg/20... I really enjoyed Abby McDonald's Getting Over Garrett Delaney, so I jumped at the chance to review this one. It's got the typical McDonald touch to it: character growth, guys, and a story everyone will love. I actually didn't realise that this was a retelling of Sense and Sensibility until after I read the book. I didn't see too much similarity while reading the book, but now that I look back at it (I've only watched the movie) I can s Originally posted at: http://iliveforreading.blogspot.sg/20... I really enjoyed Abby McDonald's Getting Over Garrett Delaney, so I jumped at the chance to review this one. It's got the typical McDonald touch to it: character growth, guys, and a story everyone will love. I actually didn't realise that this was a retelling of Sense and Sensibility until after I read the book. I didn't see too much similarity while reading the book, but now that I look back at it (I've only watched the movie) I can see the total mainframe of the classic embedded into this modern update. I thought that it's quite genius as it has it's own twists, yet stays truthful to the original. I loved Grace's character and I felt that I could really connect to her. This book is split into parts and I thought that Grace owned the first part because most of the story here was in her court. We could really see how all the events at the start impacted her, and her attitude towards her sister and her mother, as well as her step-mother and Theo. Theo was super cute! I loved the way he handled his nephew, I loved the interactions between him and Grace – the whole time I was like DYING – and thought that he just generally had a sweet, wholesome nature to him. I really don't know who could possibly hate his character! Hallie's character on the other hand... I just couldn't understand her. I love theatre as well, so I thought that I would be able to connect with her, but she was just so whiny and overdramatic that it made it impossible to really enjoy her story. She ignores the one guy who really does care for her, just like in Sense and Sensibility, which really put me on an edge. GRR. Frustrating, but still, her story had TONS of drama to keep me interested. I loved the change in setting as well! San Francisco is where the book starts and as the title suggests, the girls head out to LA to live with their relative and his hilariously perky wife. There they meet people who shape and impact their lives changing relationships, breaking hearts and creating smiles. I found that the setting of LA was also crucial for Hallie's character. The whole scene of Beverly Hills with the cameras, the drama, the rich families and party scene really created this huge backdrop that carried out the events that changes her character and really brings out a lot of the emotions in this story. Abby McDonald has done it again with this latest addition! Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood promises giggles and tears with every turn of the story. I love this author and her books, and am looking forward to the next contemporary that she writes. Loved it!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz at Midnight Bloom Reads

    Abby McDonald gives Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility a cute Hollywood spin in her latest YA novel! I wouldn't say Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood is my favourite book by Abby McDonald, but I did find it entertaining to watch the two Weston sisters navigate their way through sunny L.A. while dealing with their grief and anger against their father for leaving them with absolutely nothing after he suddenly dies. Grace, Hallie and their mom are forced out of their home by their mean and selfish ste Abby McDonald gives Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility a cute Hollywood spin in her latest YA novel! I wouldn't say Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood is my favourite book by Abby McDonald, but I did find it entertaining to watch the two Weston sisters navigate their way through sunny L.A. while dealing with their grief and anger against their father for leaving them with absolutely nothing after he suddenly dies. Grace, Hallie and their mom are forced out of their home by their mean and selfish stepmother, leaving them all to rely on the kindness of a relative who lives in Beverly Hills. Grace and Hallie may love each other as sisters, but their personalities couldn't be any more polar opposite. Hallie is a major Drama Queen (yes, with capital letters), but not one of the mean girl types. She loves being the center of attention and sees their move to Beverly Hills as the perfect opportunity to take the next step from theater classes to auditions. Grace has never been as outgoing as her sister. She's the smart, responsible one with a sensible head on her shoulders, but she regrets not expressing her feelings to her friend Theo before moving away. While Grace pines away for Theo, Hallie has two potential love interests in Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood. Rest assure though, there's no love triangle. Hallie immediately finds herself falling for gorgeous musician Dakota, whose band is sure to be recognized by a record label soon. Brandon is their new next-door neighbour. He's a quiet, young war veteran who cares for Hallie, even though she's oblivious to his feelings. The novel is told from the duel perspectives of Grace and Hallie, but I surprisingly did prefer reading from Hallie's point of view more than Grace. Hallie's personality could have easily lead more into the being annoying zone, but she brought vibrancy to the pages with her over the top actions, and I liked seeing her learn from her mistakes. While Grace is a much more relatable character, her emotions are so much more subdued in comparison that I found her chapters a bit slower for me to read. Drama, friendship, romance, and heartbreak... What's not to like about Abby McDonald's Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    This book is a retelling of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, romantic fiction about the very opposite Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Elinor is governed by her head, and Marianne by her heart. In Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood, we meet Grace and Hallie Weston. Grace, 16, is a sensible and somewhat stoic realist, while Hallie, 18, is emotional and impulsive. As the story opens, their father has just died - intestate - of a heart attack, leaving them at the mercy of their young and greed This book is a retelling of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, romantic fiction about the very opposite Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Elinor is governed by her head, and Marianne by her heart. In Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood, we meet Grace and Hallie Weston. Grace, 16, is a sensible and somewhat stoic realist, while Hallie, 18, is emotional and impulsive. As the story opens, their father has just died - intestate - of a heart attack, leaving them at the mercy of their young and greedy stepmother, Portia. About to be evicted, they find salvation in an offer of housing with their mother’s wealthy cousin, and so they leave San Francisco and head to Beverly Hills. There, Hallie has no interest in Brandon, the brooding and introspective neighbor, but instead starts up a relationship with glamorous Dakota, an aspiring rock star. Meanwhile, Grace struggles with her secret feelings for Theo, who just happens to be the brother of her evil stepmother. Discussion: This retelling follows the original story arc pretty closely. It is updated of course, and adds a couple of twists, such as Hallie and Grace being half black because of a Nigerian mother. (So what’s up with the cover, you may ask? I wonder the same!) The good guy who Hallie rejects at first, Brandon, is an Iraqi war vet, which also adds a nice contemporary element. Setting the story in Hollywood allows the author an easy target to replicate Austen’s focus on the shallowness of the upper classes, and to provide a showcase for Hallie’s emotionalism (with her aspirations to act). Evaluation: This is a fun take-off that will appeal to fans of this genre. It is perfectly suitable for tweens: like Austen, the author keeps things pretty chaste, although Grace suspects Hallie is sleeping with Dakota. A postscript tells how everyone ended up, which would make a perfect ending to a movie version, as the credits role by...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mandi

    As Sense and Sensibility is probably my favorite Austen work, I'll admit, I'm a sucker for the modern re-writes. The interesting part of this story is that Hallie (the Marianne equivalent) is actually a character you feel warrants a high-five to the face and Grace (the Elinore equivalent) is one you just want to light a fire under her butt every time the petulant fear kicks in--which is often. In this retelling Hallie is emotionally obnoxious, shallow, and very self centered. Almost to the point As Sense and Sensibility is probably my favorite Austen work, I'll admit, I'm a sucker for the modern re-writes. The interesting part of this story is that Hallie (the Marianne equivalent) is actually a character you feel warrants a high-five to the face and Grace (the Elinore equivalent) is one you just want to light a fire under her butt every time the petulant fear kicks in--which is often. In this retelling Hallie is emotionally obnoxious, shallow, and very self centered. Almost to the point where you really want to hate her. Grace is either a) scared or b) passive to everything in her life that you wonder how she's not discovered that "No-Man is an island" with her high IQ. Weirdly enough, I enjoyed this retelling. Though obnoxious as it maybe, I did become invested in these characters, but the plot had few too many minor holes in it that ventured away from Austen's original story but the main events remained. Sadly, the human condition of the characters wasn't there at all, forcing all the characters to fall into categories of "the emotional train wrecks", "backstabbers", "the social climbers", or "the elitists". Even the guys Theo (Edward Ferris) and Brandon (Col. Brandon) were very passive men. With the character of Edward, it's expected, but Brandon? No. This book will be loved by some and annoy others. If you love Austen, read this. If highly emotional projectile vomiting is not your thing, take a bye pass on this one. I gave it a four star rating because I didn't "love" it. I was entertained and curious how the author was going to make certain inevitable things happen but I finished it in a two sittings feeling unsatisfied by the story's own predictability. I wish some authors would make the story their own at times--deviating from safe and take a walk on the wild side. I think Jane would approve.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.