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Friday, November 12, 2010

Review: Jane by April Lindner

Written by April Lindner
Release Date: October 2010
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ARC Provided by the Publisher -- Thank You!

Rated 4 out of 5 stars

Summary (Courtesy of Barnes and Noble):
Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance.
But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?
An irresistible romance interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.
This was a very enjoyable book. I really liked being able to see the classic story of Jane Eyre in a modern setting: something easier for someone of my generation to relate to without sounding forced or hokey. The characters were very real and believable, though I sometimes found myself getting frustrated with the two main characters (much like someone would get frustrated with real people). Full review after the jump. WARNING: SPOILERS!
I love it when a classic story can be brought into a modern context the way that April Lindner has done here with Jane. Nothing was lost from the original tale of Jane Eyre in this adaptation, and she successfully translated the story into the world we live in without messing up the original brilliance.

Lindner's version of Jane is smart, understated and loving. She cares so much for little Maddy so quickly, and in spite of her abused and neglected upbringing, she cares deeply for her family. That is something I can personally relate to. I did get a little perturbed with her at a few points, but it wasn't because of the writing, but her choices. And who am I to judge anyone for their choices, even a fictional character? There were a few times I wanted to grab Jane by the shoulders and say, "Open your eyes, you dummy! He's in love with you!" but it wouldn't be true to her somewhat self-depreciating nature to believe that the moody, rich and sexy Nico Rathburn could ever be in love with her. As for Mr. Rathburn, he was kind of a jerk, but still interesting and lovable. My heart broke a little for both of these characters at some point or another.

It can be really difficult to make an older story like Jane Eyre make sense in today's world, but Lindner really pulled it off. I would have really liked to see a little more of the happily-ever-after at the end, but all in all, I was satisfied with the way the story turned out. Who knows, maybe Lindner left us with possibilities so she can follow up. I, for one, would love to revisit Jane and Nico as they start their lives together and deal with the pressures of celebrity, family and building their marriage. I think this book is definitely worth checking out for anyone who loves a classic love story.

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