Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jane (YA/Adult)

Jane. April Lindner. 2010. Little Brown. 373 pages. 


The chairs in the lobby of Discriminating Nannies, Inc., were less comfortable than they looked. I sat stiffly in the one nearest the exit, where, feeling like an impostor in my gray herringbone suit from Goodwill, I could watch the competition come and go. 

As flawed as Jane is, I still found it giddy-making. April Lindner's novel, Jane, is a retelling of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Jane's "Mr. Rochester" is rock star, Nico Rathburn. This "bad boy" rocker has been on the right track for a few years now. He even has custody of his daughter, Maddy, which is why he needs a nanny. But not just any one will do. Jane Moore is chosen because she's clueless and classy. She's not one to read entertainment magazines, tabloids, and the like. She's more into art and classical music than most of her peers. She's good; she's honorable; she's boring. Or that is how she sees herself at least. But there is something about her that Nico can't quite resist.

I liked this one. I really, really liked it. The premise was great. I loved the decision to make Mr. Rochester a rock star struggling with his past and wanting a better future; a man who wants to redefine himself. The scenes between the two--which Linder did take some liberties with, by the way, worked for the most part. I found some of them to be giddy-making even. There were so many things that worked with this one. Was it perfect? No. Does it have to be? No!

What didn't quite work for me was the fashion of the novel. I get that Jane is plain. That she isn't really "of" the modern world. But I had a hard time believing her wardrobe all the same. (And even how she tried to style Maddy and Nico in a few scenes.)

I would definitely recommend this one.

Other reviews: Angieville, Steph Su, An Addicted Book Reader, Janicu's Book Blog, Elliott Review,

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

4 comments:

heidenkind 8:44 PM  

I felt the exact same way. This book was so fun to read, even though Jane feels like she's a Victorian time traveler and her wardrobe--don't even get me started. It was still good, though! :)

Nina B. 9:25 PM  

I have been teetering on getting this book for the longest time! I just looked it up again in the bookstore today and it's funny how after that I would see your review. Nice review by the way. Thank you for this one :D

Brush Up On Your Reading

brandyreneebruce 9:24 PM  

This sounds so great! I'm going to have to get this one.

Becky 8:01 PM  

Heindenkind, I'm glad you enjoyed this one! It was so satisfying in a way. But there were some fashion descriptions that made me cringe :)

Nina, I think it's worth a try. You might just be surprised! I'm glad my library had it :)

Brandyreneebruce, I hope you enjoy it!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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