Hello again, everyone. It’s Elizabeth, newly back in DC after a trip home, with a review of the e-book I read on the plane rides back and forth. I have owned a Kindle for about a year and a half, and I have really been enjoying the convenience of e-books. Recently, I got an email from Amazon recommending a book called Matches and Matrimony. I was intrigued by the description: a choose your own adventure novel inspired by Jane Austen. It was on sale for ninety-nine cents, so I figured I should at least try it out and pass it on to you and my book club if it was good. (Matches and Matrimony normally costs two dollars, and you can buy it for your e-reader here.)
It’s been years since I read a choose your own adventure story, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that this format translates really well to e-books. You click options instead of flipping back and forth, and you can save your story at multiple points. (I liked being able to do this when I was unsure what decision to make to get to the outcome I wanted.) There was also a part at the beginning of each chapter where you chose activities so that your character would gain attribute points which would then affect the character’s responses to various situations in the novel, as well as which characters liked her.
Matches and Matrimony was set up a little differently than the choose your own adventure stories that I remember. You are told at the beginning that there are nine different endings to unlock (endings correspond to which of Jane Austen’s heroes your heroine ends up marrying.) The challenge of unlocking all nine endings made me approach the story a different way each time, which ultimately made the book much more entertaining. It really helped me pass the time on the plane.
I was particularly impressed by the way that the plot managed to interweave and combine characters from almost all of Jane Austen’s novels. The text, while definitely shorter, is very faithful to the original, so readers familiar with Austen will recognize many passages that follow the books, especially Pride and Prejudice, word for word. I feel confident that Jane Austen fans will enjoy this e-book. I would also say that this e-book gives you a lot of entertainment hours for a very low price, so I can recommend it to anyone who is travelling or just on a tight budget. I give this e-book four stars, because I definitely enjoyed it and read it several times. ★★★★