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The Dangers of Reading Jane Austen

The Dangers of Reading Jane Austen

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The Dangers of Reading Jane Austen

4.5/5 (22 Bewertungen)
86 Seiten
1 Stunde
Sep 22, 2020


Hannah Graham started reading Jane Austen at a very impressionable age. Like everybody else, she fell madly in love with Mr. Darcy. Suddenly, every dark-haired stranger who pretty much ignored her became a possible soulmate. She’s in her Senior year at Wolf’s Hunt College, studying English, and all of that analytical learning hasn’t seemed to break her habit: if he’s pretentious, standoffish, and “deep,” she wants him.
That’s why she doesn’t have time for the charming and friendly Skylar Waye, who seems to flirt as easily as breathe. Everybody knows that kind of guy isn’t the true love. He’s too flighty and unserious. But when Skylar starts focusing his charisma on Hannah in a big way, she finds herself wondering why she’s so reluctant to trust happiness when it comes along…
Suddenly, Skylar sweeps Hannah off her feet and carries her away into a simple, compassionate love story she never expected. But like so many things about her love life, is Hannah still imagining things? Is Skylar really falling for her, too? Or is she just another victim to his charm? Jump in to this tale of love, danger, and books to find out who the real bad guy is.

Sep 22, 2020

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The Dangers of Reading Jane Austen - Riley Smith

Prologue: Prom Sucked

Four years before Skylar Waye ever paid any attention to me, I was a high school senior sitting in a limo rented by the rich lawyer parents of one of my friends.

I didn’t have a date. Scratch that: I was technically going with my friend Natali, who clearly stated at the start of the evening, We’re just friends. Please don’t touch me at any point. I am willing to discuss hand-holding during dancing, but besides that, let’s keep this casual.

Natali was a very serious kind of person. I assured them I wouldn’t try any funny business.

So there I was, with my definitely platonic date, crammed into a car with a bunch of my high school friends. And I couldn’t help but feel like… something was very wrong. This didn’t feel like what I was supposed to be doing. I guess that wasn’t a weird feeling for me in high school — in fact, feeling weird had just started to feel normal. But that’s how a lot of high schoolers feel. It’s not special to think you’re special.

Kids were getting drunk, ready to have the night of their lives that they’d never tell anyone about for various scandalous or embarrassing reasons. A few of us weren’t drinking. Any time I came back home from hanging out with friends, my mom would be waiting up for me, no matter how late it was, and she’d smell my breath. It wasn’t worth the risk of having to deal with her morality lectures if she caught even a hint of devil juice.

Not that she called it devil juice. She wasn’t quite that bad. But she was close. A couple of times I tried to ask her why it was okay for Dad to drink himself asleep on Saturdays but I couldn’t have half a beer with my friends at night in one of our houses. She acted like she didn’t hear the question, or worse, like it was an admission of guilt on my part. So I avoided it completely.

I’m probably making it sound like I spent all of my high school days mooning about, wearing black, and complaining. If so, good, because that was pretty much it. One of these days, once I’m even more mature, I’ll probably regret it. Or I’ll laugh at myself about it. Honestly, I’m already laughing about it. I wore black, purple, and dark blue, like I wanted to look like a huge bruise, and I did my eyeliner so thick it never really came all the way off no matter how hard I scrubbed with makeup remover. My eyes always stayed faintly rimmed with gray.

The way I did my hair makes me laugh the most. I blow-dried it, straightened the hell out of it, then teased and hair-sprayed it until it stood tall like a rat’s nest mixed with a deflated bee hive. If I wanted it to look like a mess, I should’ve saved myself the time and kept my bedhead. But I was trying to look like the girls who dated my favorite bands. And in that virtuous pursuit, I would spare no expense of time or allowance.

For my prom look, my hair was less teased, but still straightened to oblivion. It took years for me to shampoo the heat damage out of my poor locks. Plus I’ve dyed it so many times, I don’t remember the original color. Dirty blonde? My eyebrows look blonde.

In high school, it was — you guessed it! — black. I had on bright red lipstick, a rare concession of my color scheme to the concerns of the evening, but my eyes were heavily rimmed in black with black glitter eyeshadow. I call the look vampire raccoon.

I didn’t have a boyfriend all through high school. Sometimes when I was feeling sad, I thought it was my fault. When I was feeling okay, I realized I just wasn’t interested in any of the boys at our school. My friends were constantly complaining about them anyway. They didn’t text back, they said mean things, if you fooled around they’d brag about it with their friends, and if you didn’t fool around, they’d lie about it anyway! It all sounded pretty awful.

So I didn’t have any illusions about what prom would hold for me. I’d been cajoled into going at all by two of my friends, Bethany and Angela. As soon as their boyfriends showed up, they both stopped paying attention to me entirely. It’s like I wasn’t even there, but I wasn’t surprised. I was pretty used to being the ignored third wheel.

I was fine talking with Natali. And by fine, I mean the teenage definition: utterly filled with angst and agitation. I felt very tragic, encased in the prison of my intelligence. I took it for granted that I was smarter than all my friends merely because I read something other than sparkly vampire books.

(Now that I look back on it, I think, Damn. I should’ve just read the book. It would’ve been fun, and I would’ve had something to talk about with other teenage girls)

As we sat in the limo and tried not to let any of the couples roll onto us as they made out or flirted, Natali asked me about what I was going to do next year. Before I could answer, they answered the question for themselves: I’m going to Columbia. I’m going to do a double major in performance art and astrophysics.

Ooh. Big hit to my ego. I wasn’t going Ivy League. I was going to a pretty nice liberal arts college in the Midwest called Wolf’s Hunt, who gave generous scholarships to kids whose parents made what my parents made. I was excited as all hell. It was far away, and I figured if I could run far enough away, maybe I’d find something. I didn’t know what. But something.

But I wasn’t feeling generous about it. I’d dreamed about going to Stanford and getting a law degree. I don’t think I particularly liked law or had any affinity for it. It just sounded like the highest status I could grab and shove in everybody’s face.

With a sneer that would have made an angry

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  • (5/5)
    Awesome romantic short story! I almost wish it was longer. Loved it. Great vocabulary, especially using sarcasm, irony and satire. Great job!