Friday, July 13, 2007


Shannon Hale is the author of five award-winning young adult novels, including the bestselling Newbery Honor book Princess Academy. She applied the "Page 69 Test" to Austenland, her first book for adults, and reported the following:
This test works quite well, actually! Page 69 is its own, separate little entry. Interspersed throughout the book are snippets about the main characters past boyfriends, and page 69 gives us Boyfriend #3:

Dave Atters, age 16

She really liked this one, the power forward on the high school varsity team and the beginning of her unhealthy infatuation with basketball. She giggled and sighed and dreamed. He said jump, and she leaped. But when he parked his spoiled boy convertible in front of her house after a date and thrust his hand up her skirt, she pushed him away. When she wouldn’t relent, he ordered her out of the car. At school, he acted as though they’d never met.

Years later, she considered seeing a therapist about this one until she realized that Dave “Fancy Hands” Atters wasn’t the guy holding her back — the blame really lay with Fitzwilliam “I love you against my better judgment” Darcy. Besides, there’d been the night of Homecoming when she and Molly had spray-painted SHE-MALE on the side of Dave’s convertible. That had been fairly therapeutic.

The failure of each boyfriend leads Jane to lean more and more on her obsession with the fictional character Mr. Darcy, and eventually to Pembrook Park, an Austen-themed resort, where balls, park walks, and madness ensues. Tallyho!
Read more about Austenland -- including an excerpt --at Shannon Hale's website.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue