Blog Book Tour | “Liam Darcy, I Loathe You” (Book No. 1 of the Jane Journals series) by Heidi Jo Doxey A #contemporary inspired story based on #JaneAusten’s canon!

Posted Sunday, 24 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Liam Darcy, I Loathe You” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was keenly interested in reading this novel:

I was curious about how she came up with such a lovely new idea when the sequel Austen section is getting so full of new stories. This one has potential because of the premise and what it could inspire from it. I couldn’t wait to put in a request to be on the blog tour, which gave me the motivation to create a topic for Ms Doxey to respond to as a preliminary step towards sorting out her own inspirations to writing a novel I was about to engage in reading! I am oft curious how writers gather their thoughts about a story and when it comes to Austen Sequel authors there is *such a large net of potential* it is quite daunting at times for a Janeite like myself to sort through the offerings and find the writers who truly pay homage to the original author and the canon she left behind!

I am approaching reading Jane Austen in a rather unique fashion, because I honestly read Pride & Prejudice twice! whilst following it with a reading of only a partial amount of Jane Austen and the Unpleasantness of Scargrave Manor before I tackled Sense & Sensibility: A Latter Day Tale and this brings me full circle back inside Liam Darcy, I Loathe You! I am fully planning to be a more active participant of #AustenInAugust 2015 (I’ve just learnt has a new tag! signups start in 10 days!) however til then, I am simply happy with the stories I’ve met thus far along!

I know one day I’ll be re-reading both Jamison’s novel and Doxey’s too, as I believe I will start to pick up different nuances of inclusions I might have missed the first time round as I was not as familiar with everything contained within the originals. Evenso, for me the beauty lies in the discovery and the joy of following Jane Austen and her Janeites where the written word leads us to travel.

Blog Book Tour | “Liam Darcy, I Loathe You” (Book No. 1 of the Jane Journals  series) by Heidi Jo Doxey A #contemporary inspired story based on #JaneAusten’s canon!Liam Darcy, I Loathe You
by Heidi Jo Doxey
Source: Direct from Publisher

This brings me to another point. Why do all the guys around here call each other by their last names? It's weird, right? I mean, it's never "Hey what's up, Jack?" or 'How's it going, Sam?" Everything's Elton this, Willoughby that. This makes it extra confusing when you get a couple of brothers who by the same name. Like the Tilneys or the Kulkarnis. Whatever.

I'm just saying, it's not like all of us girls go by Bennet. That would be complete chaos.

Lizzie's family is big and crazy. Nila's best friend just moved to England. Fiona's good at school and nothing else. Alice and Vivian are two sisters who couldn't be more opposite. And Catherine reads vampire novels. What do these six girls have in common?

They all attend Pemberley Prep, where their English teacher, Ms Elliott, has just given them a year-long assignment to write down everything that happens to them - beach trips and boys to picking out ball gowns.

Quirky and cute, this is Jane Austen with a modern makeover. Set in a Northern California prep school, it's a laugh-out loud read that will reunite Austen's fans with their favourite characters and send the younger set straight to the classics to find out what happened next!

Genres: After Canons, Classical Literature, Contemporary Romance

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author:

Series: The Jane Journals,

Published by Sweetwater Books

on 12th May, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 192

Converse via:  #TheJaneJournals, #LiamDarcy OR #PemberleyPrep

#YALit and #AustenSequels

About Heidi Jo Doxey

Heidi Jo Doxey has written five books in the Tiny Talks series. She graduated from BYU with a BA in English and a minor in editing. When she’s not writing or reading, she loves riding her bike, going for walks, spending time with family and friends, and being outside. She currently lives in Utah, where she works in publishing, but she still calls the San Francisco Bay Area home.

Doxey on Pin(terest)

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Extra Bits I found quite charming:

Before you enter the novel, you are first introduced to the story via the book cover art, of which I must confess did not quite float my boat at first sight. I honestly didn’t ‘get it’ at first because it felt a bit disconnected from the story’s premise. Either that, or as a thirty-something reader I’m forgetting something that would have appealed to me as a teenager. The cover art notwithstanding as it’s the synopsis that convinced me to read the book (as it always does) I happily found a scrapbook inspired layout to the internal pages where doodles and swirls and little stars populate themselves between the text passages! It truly has the appearance of a personal diary and this is quite impressive!

The first thing though that surprised me most of all were the yearbook pages, where you get to know who is who at Pemberley Prep by seeing their snapshots! It’s quite a clever inclusion to find inside a novel but it somehow ‘fit’ the theme of the book. As this is meant to be a personal journal, one thing that is always an important part of teenage life is to have your current year’s scrapbook! Not everyone can purchase one every year (and even I had to let go of one of mine) but there is something about having it that fuses you to your peers. It most likely is the only time (when it comes to signing yearbooks) that any barrier you have with your classmates during the school year evaporates as it’s like the ultimate neutral white flag! I. Kid. You. Not.

The ‘cast’ of Pemberley Prep (couldn’t you see that spun into a series?) is happily diverse, as Europeans are friends with Asians who are friends with Indians (of India). It’s a nice kaleidoscope of cultures and represents the melting pot similar to the one I grew up with myself. I oft wondered why more authors in the 80s/90s didn’t reflect the same in their stories. I hadn’t picked up on the fact these were all girl/boy academies for high school until Lizzie told me! Now wouldn’t you think I might have noticed the boys were on one side and the girls were on the opposite page? I wonder about myself at times! All my yearbooks growing up had us all mixed up together on the same pages! *le sigh*

My Review on Liam Darcy, I Loathe You:

Love the opening to this novel because it’s acutely accurate of how kids who grow up near larger cities do not oft get the chance to visit them! When I was younger if I asked one of my classmates if they went with their family to visit a neighbouring city across a bridge, guess what their reaction would be?! “You mean you crossed the bridge?!” I also liked how Lizzie is reprimanding her English teacher for reading more than just a gloss over as she knows how easily it would be to write something that would be unaware to herself that caused an offense! Took me straight back to 7th grade – whereupon I was caught up in an English journalling assignment that kept changing due to our teacher’s insanity for changing his mind on how he wanted us to approach it! Unlike Lizzie, I didn’t even bother with it after awhile, as what was the point!? How I passed 7th grade I know not, as it was a major part of my grade! Laughs.

I love how the central lead character is Lizzie because of all the Austen novels I could have started off reading, I blessedly picked Pride & Prejudice! Doxey has a clever way of giving you enough of a grounding of her Lizzie’s world to reflect upon everything you love from the original! Especially on the level of how her Mum is perceived as a vexing matchmaker and how her dear Da is attempting to give her a bit more moxie through independent thinking and self-education (i.e. they read loads of stimulating literature!)! The most delish upgrade for Mrs Bennet is the fact she’s *wedding planner!* who pins a heap on Pinterest and aches to see her daughters ‘well suited’! Now isn’t that a smashing idea for her life in the modern era?!

Doxey switches the profiles of her characters’ lives by allowing them to take turns sharing their journals with us, which is a nice touch because each of their entries gives smaller clues into their personalities. Interestingly enough, I was talking about character attributes and personalities earlier today! Nila took the assignment as a clever way to update her friend who relocated to London by writing a series of letters in the style of a journal! I loved this idea because I’m a letter-writer myself; I could see the beauty in a collection of unmailed letters sealed inside of a hand-written journal! What a treasured keepsake that would become for the friend to receive!

Can you insta-like a character for claiming the *exact same reasons!* I didn’t like Twilight!? Cara has a dear eye for books and is introspective on life; she’s hoping her year at Pemberley Prep will allow her a bit of growth and seeing how life is outside of Idaho. This entry was just ahead of their teachers contribution which I thought was quite keen! How interesting — to get the perspectives of a year from the students and the teacher who assigned the journal project! Wow. I was curious to see how this would unfold because who would learn the most and who would appreciate the project as an experience to allow them to see a different perspective!?

The drama Doxey wrote into her novel is quite accurate for teenage angst (girls hoping guys will notice them or rather hoping they can dodge each others’ presence if there is a clash between them) whilst giving us something a bit heavier to chew on such as siblings dealing with the sudden loss of their Mum or Da (as different teens are dealing with the loss of one of their parents); step-parents who are quite clueless on how to unify a family, and the regular goings-on behind trying to get ahead by the time your college apps are due to be mailed and your extra credits are super-important to prove your well-roundness. Note: I opted out of the obvious routes of most teenagers as to be frank *surviving!* high school was enough as it were! Clearly, the girls at Pemberley Prep are composites of my own dear classmates who over committed to doing ‘everything!’ and started to forget to notice a few things that were going right for them. You cannot over extend yourself past the point of seeing the joys which alight when your least expecting them to be there. This is why I appreciated how as the journalling progresses of each of the writers were starting to include a bit more than the ‘daily grind of high school’ and started becoming introspective by asking questions into the void of where all curious thoughts take up residence. You start to see how they are formulating how sometimes when you sit down to write a journal entry, what you think is going to be spilt into the journal is not exactly what ends up on the page!

The beauty of feeling a bit lost in who is whom (in reference to Austen’s characters) is the blessing of Doxey to give us a bit of a guide towards that end in the Appendix! *I love Appendixes!* Yes, I just said that and I don’t feel like a geek admitting it either — as that would mean I’m a bit geeky reading the Author’s Notes & the Editor Notes (inside ARCs!). Mind you, the references are a bit ‘lost on me’ as I only have a direct thread of knowledge for Pride! For those of you approaching this after reading the other lovelies, I am sure you will understand ‘all of the subtext!’.

As an outside reader, I continued to stay caught in the tides of where the girls were leading the story — including how Jane ended up flummoxing her sister Lizzie by accepting Caroline’s invitation that had just a slight smidge of ulterior motives behind it! See!? I’m flexing my Pride! knowledge by winking out all the references to the Bennett sisters! Seriously though – I was happily entrenched in this contemporary styling because it’s wholly true to it’s own rhythm. Doxey created this environment where the teacher’s journal is nearly surpassing her student’s curious entries by those of her own heart’s wonderment about romance! It’s a vacuum of space where anything can happen and where first impressions can either lead you astray or right your sails appropriately!

The best part for me is to be so fully consumed by the text of this novel in a narrative voice I believe gives merit and homage to Jane Austen; is the fact that if your having an especially difficult holiday weekend it’s the absolute perfect companion! You can dig inside the chapters, eagerly reading the entries and trying to root out the subtle facts your absorbing as you go along! I loved the pace, and the doodling truly does add to the character of the ‘book’ within the journal or is it the ‘journal’ within the book!?

Why I felt Heidi Jo Doxey gave us a wicked good Austen Sequel:

For one thing, it’s like I entered a TARDIS and travelled back to my high school years and somehow picked up the fashionable language! I have no idea how/why the words I choose to use for this review floated out of the cosmos and landed as effortlessly than if I were still in high school myself! lol I credit this to Doxey for nailing the dialogue and the short-handed expressions that the generation behind me is certain to self-identify with as they read the novel!

Originally, I thought this novel was going to be over the course of the year — however, I think it was the intention of Doxey to lengthen out the story a bit further than bridging a year of context into one volume! Therefore, I am presuming the No.2 in sequence will be October!? This novel takes place during *September!* and what a September it turnt out to being! If I run with this newly thought of theory of mine that would be approx. nine novels for a full year (September to May) of Pemberley Prep journalling!

This is such a quickened fun read, I could seriously nearly expect Ms Austen herself to appreciate the levity within it’s pages! I was curious if Doxey gave a bit of a nod to Austen appreciating her own contemporaries ‘lighter/fluffier’ reads by having one of the Pemberley Prep girls addictive to vampires?!

Doxey has definitely tapped into the 21st Century’s focus on texting rather than calling each other on the phone to update on such trivialities as who noticed whom and who is happy to be dating whomever’s brother or some such! The focus on technology intermixed with the humour of how the girls’ are sharing their lives is what makes this novel quite endearing to me! I liked how they each had their own character arc to develop and how each of them had such a different personality – not an easy feat when the whole of the novel is read through journal entries! Yet, Doxey has sorted out a way to keep their personalities separate whilst entertaining us at the same time! And, isn’t that why we love Jane Austen!? Because she took real-life situations and comedic randomness to fuse together a story that would knit a mirrored perception of her own reality!?

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media Be sure to follow the rest of the blog tour:

Be sure to visit the Author’s Guest Post before you click through!

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Reader Interactive Question:
As this novel expands on the backstories of ALL the Austen novels, which novel by Austen is your favourite and which characters would you love to see re-envisioned by an Austen Sequels author?!

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{SOURCES: Book Cover Art for “Liam, Darcy I Loathe You”, author photo, author biography, book synopsis, blog tour badge and the badge for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media were provided by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media and used with permission. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Photo Credit: Heidi Jo Doxey. Personal photograph of the author’s boxed set of Austen novels from her personal library and used with permission of the author Heidi Jo Doxey. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Tweeets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 24 May, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, After the Canon, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Jane Austen Sequel, Modern Day, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Sequel Authors, Spin-Off Authors, Story in Diary-Style Format, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Young Adult Fiction

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