25 April 2011

Review: Jane by April Lindner

Cover of Jane by April Lindner Title: Jane
Author: April Lindner
Publication Date: 11 October 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown BYR
Source: Library
Summary (courtesy of goodreads.com):
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.
I wrote on Goodreads that I wasn't going to review this book, because the things I wanted to say about it were just too unkind.  But now that it's been two weeks and I still can't get thoughts about this book to quit circling through my head, I figure I may as well put them out there and hopefully put the book to rest.

The only redeemable quality this book boasts is that it's based on a copy of Jane Eyre.  Meaning it has a built-in plot that the author was smart enough not to ravage too horribly.  And the modern twist - nannies and rock stars instead of governesses and - wait, what exactly did Mr. Rochester do? - actually had some merit.  Unfortunately, every other aspect of this book is complete and utter garbage.

Everything in this book is forced.  The characters are forced.  The relationships are forced.  The writing is forced.  And the dialogue?  Unbearably unbelievable and unrealistic.  Case in point, who on earth would ever be wooed by the following profession of love:
'I'll let you go if that's what you really want,' he said.  He looked up at me from the bench, his gray eyes bottomless and warm.  'But I wish you would come back and rest your head right here.'  He patted his chest. 'And let me love you the way you deserve.'
Umm, barf.  That is what I would do if a man said that to me.  Forget putting my head on his chest.  I would cover it in vomit.  It honestly seems like Lindner didn't even try to come up with convincing dialogue.  Unless she and the people she associates with actually talk like this.  In which case, keep them far, far away from me.

Now, we all know I didn't actually read Jane Eyre, and you may think that means I'm judging this book too harshly.  But I read did the SparkNotes.  And even those were more heartfelt than this book.


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