Friday, May 25, 2018

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Date of publication: September 2017

If you could change your story, would you?

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is directionless. Then an old acquaintance, the glamorous and capricious Kiran Thrash, blows back into Jane’s life and invites her to a gala at the Thrashes’ extravagant island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.”

What Jane doesn’t know is that at Tu Reviens her story will change; the house will offer her five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But every choice comes with a price. She might fall in love, she might lose her life, she might come face-to-face with herself. At Tu Reviens, anything is possible

I had heard a lot of mixed things about Jane, Unlimited.  It has been likened to a "choose your own adventure" type story.  So, I was intrigued enough to give it a shot.  In the book, Jane is alone after the death of her aunt MagnoliaShe had made a promise to go to Tru Tevians if she was ever invited by the family.  After running into Kiran, she receives and invitation to the house and their grand gala.  Once there strange things begin happening.

I wanted to love this book, but it really fell flat for me.  I think the author had a great concept, but it got lost in the poor execution.   About 20% into the story, Jane is given five separate choices/directions to take.  Each one will give her a different outcome to the day.  I was on board until the third choice.  I think five choices was just way too many.  I found myself getting really bored and hoping the book would end.  The first two were interesting and normal but the last three were strange and didn't fit.  I would have liked it more had all of the choices were devoid of magical elements.    Each storyline  does have some elements from the other storylines that you can see how they pay out in the alternates.  One thing I should point out is the characters don't know they are in an alternate story-line. 

The ending leaves it up to the reader to decide which ending was the best for Jane.  However, since Jane doesn't know she has lived through four other endings, you are left wondering if she would have been happy with the ending the book leaves you with.  I don't think I would really recommend this one.  It's not a bad concept, it's just poorly executed and boring.


Alyssa Nelson said...

I've been on the fence about reading this because of the mixed reviews. It sounds very strange and would definitely need a very talented writer to pull it off--it sounds like it was too everywhere. Great review!

Ethan said...

The concept for this one does sound intriguing, but I'm sorry it didn't work in the execution. I think you are correct that less options would have been better.

Unknown said...

Brilliant and strange and gorgeously written, this book is unlike anything else I've read. Moving effortlessly between genres, the characterization and writing remain strong throughout. Jane is a great protagonist--curious, kind, artistic, brave, grieving, uncertain--and following her through every twist and turn and genre hop of this wonderfully weird book is a total pleasure. An absolute gem.

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