When I think of Jane Eyre, I think of a dark mystery, beautiful prose, and strongly moral characters. Most of all, I think of the undercurrent of passion that burns through all of its primary characters, from the tortured Mr. Rochester to his poor mad wife, to the zealous Mr. Rivers to the unhappy and neglected Adele, and above all else, in the quietly determined Jane herself. It is very strange, therefore, to read a book based on this story that is so severely lacking in any of those elements.
This book would have been much better off if the author had abandoned the notion of basing this on Jane Eyre at all. But even taken on its own merits as a young adult novel, much of it really doesn't even make that much sense. There's just absolutely no way a girl with so little experience and interest in children would ever be entrusted to be the nanny of someone in Nico Rathburne's position, and no convincing reason (being that this is modern times) why he should not have been able to divorce his wife. And do most girls tend to ask their new employers whether he's been tested for sexually transmitted diseases? The relationship between Jane and Nico never felt genuine or loving or real, and really, very few of the characters have any life of their own either. Poor little Maddy, the whole reason why they come together in the first place, is relegated to merely a plot device, as are the other servants, the band members, Jane's siblings, etc. Nico's rock star status seems especially random and doesn't contribute to the story in any meaningful way, except as the realization of some sort of adolescent fantasy.
Jane herself is also a puzzle. There's no real reason given for her being as reserved as she is, either in her upbringing or her beliefs. Just because someone doesn't wear make-up or read gossip magazines and is bookish (though there's no actual evidence of her reading, by the way) doesn't mean she should be boring, for heaven's sake. This girl has so little about her that is interesting or unique, and what spirit she shows is lifted directly and reworked from Charlotte Bronte's own dialogue.
This doesn't mean that a contemporary take on Jane Eyre is a mistake. I think it's actually a great idea to do a modern rewrite on this story, because it's one filled with dramatic tension and romance and tragedy. But it's important that a good rewrite not only captures some spirit or ideal from its source material, but that it also catches the reader's imagination on its very own. As such, dear Reader, I sadly cannot recommend this particular version.