Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lucky Seven Book Review #6: JANE by April Lindner

I've been on a reading binge lately, and I've been lucky enough to have read seven excellent books that you definitely should bump to the top of your TBR list. (And five of them are from debut authors!) Here's a brief recommendation of the sixth of the seven, and happy reading!


Jane (April Lindner)
(Little, Brown; Oct. 2010)

Summary from Goodreads: 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?

Thanks to the best high school English teacher in the known universe (hey, Ms. Lewis!) I fell in love with poor, plain Jane Eyre. This modern retelling of Jane's story manages to not only capture the essence of the first (a very specific atmosphere and tone, no easy feat), but to also bring it to modern times.

In JANE EYRE, there was a gorgeous subtlety to the interactions between Jane and Mr. Rochester as their relationship progressed, and Lindner kept that subtlety in the modern version. Of course, there were some changes to the story, but they all felt in tune with the original, too, and helped JANE stand on its own merit.

All readers, familiar with the original or not, can appreciate how Team Jane this book is. Yes, it's a love story, but it's primarily a story about a quiet girl with unfortunate life circumstances who tackles every setback with grace and inner strength.

It may sound silly, but Jane Moore has principles and integrity and a wicked independent streak, and to maintain those standards, she makes heartbreaking decisions. But she's also warm and caring, and willing to give her whole heart to people who earn that privilege. (If Jane were real, I'd totally want to be her friend.)

JANE is her story, and it's one well worth reading.

The verdict? Yes. Whether or not you're a fan of the original, pick this one up and become immersed in a great novel. It came out in 2010, so I was a little late to the party, but I'm so glad I went!

Fingers crossed this ARC
will be at BEA! I'll stand in line
for this one!
Bonus! First off, JANE is April Lindner's first novel, so she's an honorary FNC member. Secondly, she's an English professor at a local university, so yayyyy awesome Philly-area authors! And last but not least.... her second book is called CATHERINE. Yep, a modern retelling of the most torturously awful/epic romance ever, WUTHERING HEIGHTS. If she pulls that one off as well as she did with JANE, I'm an April Lindner fan for life!

Further evidence: Check out these reviews from The Book Butterfly and Forever YA!

Check out the other books in the Lucky Seven!
Book one: THE GIRLS OF NO RETURN by Erin Saldin
Book three: UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi
Book four: WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE by Sarah Dessen
Book five: GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers

Stay tuned for the final book of the Lucky Seven: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green!


  1. I loved this book! I admit, I haven't read the original (I know, for shame). I could tell at times it was a retelling, how a few plot aspects felt forced by the need to stay true to the original material. But that is a very minor nitpick! I stayed up late two nights in a row to read this, I couldn't put it down.

  2. That sounds like a brave approach to retell Jane Eyre!
    Wagging Tales

  3. Hmm, I'm skeptical, but willing to give it a try. Looking forward to hearing about The Fault In Our Stars!

  4. @Stephsco - So glad you loved it too!

    @Charmaine - Totally brave, but I think it worked!

    @ivanova - Definitely try it out - I hope you'll like it. TFIOS review to come soon!

  5. Heard about this book and wasn't sure whether to risk it or not. We love the original JANE EYRE so much! But your review is promising, so we may have to check this out. :) What we're most curious about is how the issue of Bertha is handled... ;)

  6. I am so glad you liked it! I admit that I was skeptical at first as I am a fan of the original. My friend told me about it as she knew the author and my book preferences
    . The story moved fast and was extremely compelling. It captured the essence of the original, while managing to update the story to today. This is a book I definitly recommend to many!


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