First, I want to say that I enjoyed this book. I read it in one afternoon sitting, and I had a good time. I say this now, because my criticism is a le...moreFirst, I want to say that I enjoyed this book. I read it in one afternoon sitting, and I had a good time. I say this now, because my criticism is a level of nitpick-y that I reserve for books I really did enjoy.
Jane is a retelling, modernized version of Jane Eyre. However, I am not quite sure who the intended audience is. I have read Jane Eyre, and I love retellings and adaptations, so this is right up my alley, but I think a teen would not like the repetition of reading both. It isn't SO similar that it could really replace actually reading Jane Eyre, but it is similar enough that whichever one somebody read second might end up boring.
Some of the things that are very similar could have been changed, and some of the things changed didn't really make sense to be changed. For example, the dog's name is changed from Pilot to Copilot for no other reason than I guess to be cute, or to be a little joke. It just pulled me out of the story. Jane is 19 years old in this story, aged slightly from 18 in the original(which, I admit, I had to look up). This makes sense for modern sensibilities, but Jane is also described as being one semester away from being able to graduate college. Most people I know graduated at 20 or 21, so it just seems like an odd decision to not age her the extra year or two.
Modernizing the plot makes for a few tricky bits, some that I think Ms. Lindner handled more deftly than others. I loved how she changed Jane's reasons for leaving, seeing Nico's remaining love for his wife, but the reasoning for not getting a divorce is less convincing. Having a 19 year old girl want to get married right away to a much older man is handled perhaps as well as it "could" be, but I still felt a little bit icky while reading it. I liked that Jane and Nico were sexually involved before discussion of marriage, the sex is not graphic, but important to believing the emotion they claim to have.
Maddie, the Adele character, is well written for a child, but after Nico and Jane begin their relationship, she falls out of the book. I would have loved to read more of the interactions between her and Jane in the second half of the book.
There were just enough of these fiddly bits that I wrestled with the decision to make this a three star or a four star book. (less)