According to E.M. Dadlez, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Oklahoma, there are only two types of Jane Austen fans: Pride and Prejudice/Emma fans or Persuasion/Sense and Sensibility fans. We’re not surprised. Fans of Jane Austen (Janeites, or sometimes Austenites) are some of the most loyal and passionate of any author. There are Jane Austen board games, tea bags, clothing, finger puppets, coffee mugs… if you want it, you can get it. In fact, the only thing you can’t really get a Pride and Prejudice version of is recommended readalikes for young readers. We’ve looked. The best we could come up with is recommended reads for those interested in the fandom of Jane Austen. If that’s your speed, you might enjoy some of the following books:
- The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
What do a laborer, a young widow, a local doctor, and a movie star all have in common? They all love the work of Jane Austen. When the last heir to her estate dies, leaving her little cottage and over 3000 books and heirlooms likely to be lost, it is up to them to come together to preserve her final home. Reviewers of the book admit that the cast of characters is large, but worth learning for this wonderful fictional story. Readers who enjoy this book might be interested in the actual Jane Austen Society (of North America).
- Austenland by Shannon Hale
Jane Hayes is a 32-year-old fangirl. She’s so obsessed with the idea of Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that she can’t find anyone that lives up to her expectations; real men just don’t cut it. Her elderly great-aunt has just the thing, though: a trip to Austenland, a full-fledged Regency-era resort for Austen obsessives. Where better to meet her own Mr. Darcy than a place made just for him? But when the trip comes to its natural end, will she be able to leave her fantasies behind? Readers who can’t get enough of this story can check out the major motion picture adaptation, produced by Stephenie Meyer. There’s also a novel sequel, Midnight in Austenland, loosely based on Northanger Abbey.
Want more like Pride and Prejudice? Teens and adults hungering for their own Mr. Darcy might try some of these titles:
- Pride by Ibi Aanu Zoboi
Zuri Benitez is proud of a lot of things. She’s proud of her family, her Afro-Latino roots, and Brooklyn. Her large Haitian-Dominican family has lived in Brooklyn forever so she immediately hates the Darcy family with a fierce passion. With their expensive mini mansion across the street and their tinted-window SUV in the road, they’re gentrification personified. Their teenage sons are somehow even worse. Ainsley seems tolerable, but Darius is judgemental and arrogant. Even when her older sister starts to fall for Ainsley, she refuses to budge. That is, until they’re forced to find some common ground and settle into an unexpected, but not unpleasant, understanding. With college on the horizon and four sisters constantly fighting for her attention, Zuri must fight to find her place in the changing landscape or lose it completely.
- Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
The Binat family has been destroyed by a scandal, decimating their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages for any of their five daughters. When an invitation to a large wedding arrives, Mrs. Binat is convinced that their luck is about to change. She prepares their daughters in order to catch the eye of any of the rich, eligible bachelors that are sure to be there… and it works. Jena, the eldest daughter, captures the attention of the wildly successful and single Fahad “Bungles” Bingla. His friend, Valentine Darsee, is not so impressed. As the days pass, the family waits to see if Fahad’s interest will turn into a marriage proposal. Meanwhile, Alys begins to realize that Valentine might not be as obnoxious as she first thought.
- Heartstone by Elle Katherine White
Who could have guessed that Pride and Prejudice needed dragons? Not us. Well, not all of us. Somehow, Elle Katherine White manages to tell a completely faithful retelling while casually adding dragon riders, warrior women, goblins, and other familiar fantastical creatures. Aliza Bentaine would do anything to protect her home from the invading gryphons; she’s already lost a sister and she refuses to lose anyone else. When a band of Riders is hired, she believes her troubles might be coming to an end. Now all she has to do is learn to get along with the headstrong dragonrider, Alastair Daired. Luckily for readers, this is the first book in a trilogy.
This blog is created by Hannah and Ella in conjunction with the These Books Made Me podcast, a Prince George’s County Memorial Library System production. Check out the corresponding episode on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you normally listen to podcasts.