[note note_color=”#4a5b77″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore • September 5, 2017 • Kathy Dawson Books (Penguin)
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Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.[/note]
[note note_color=”#BFD1D1″ text_color=”#ffffff”]I received this book for free from Penguin for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.[/note]
First sentence: “The house on the cliff looks like a ship disappearing into fog.”
Jane, Unlimited is—how should I say—eccentric.
Tu Reviens is a house of mysteries and so are the odd characters of Jane, Unlimited. Jane once promised her dear Aunt Magnolia never to turn down an invitation to Tu Reviens house, and when she’s given an opportunity to visit this place, Jane accepts. There, she finds herself captured in that weird little world and finds herself delving into the suspicious activities of the residents and visitors of Tu Reviens.
Jane, Unlimited is like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story—Jane picks one of these eccentric characters to follow: Mrs. Vanders the housekeeper; the little girl digging in the garden; Kiran, Jane’s former tutor; Ravi, Kiran’s twin brother and art collector; or Jasper, the Basset Hound—and every path takes you into a story that will delight, charm, intrigue, or confuse you. These stories are very familiar—in that they borrow from other genres. You get the Gothic vibes of Rebecca and Jane Eyre; a spy thriller that looks like a screwball mystery; a horror story that gets under your skin; and many other genres that will confuse but captivate readers. Each story are filled with the same group of characters who have quirks that make their actions outlandish but intriguing. Prepare for these stories and characters to disorient you. You won’t know left from right.
There’s something charming about this weird book. Maybe it’s the familiarity of the different genres being mashed-up in Jane, Unlimited, or it’s the confusion of not knowing what is going on (I love books like that), or it’s just the cleverness of the writing and how this is clearly a book that needs to be read more than once. I love that despite how confusing it can get, you start to see the bigger picture—that this world is bigger than these characters.
This is a book I do not want to talk about in detail because if I do, I’ll spoil what happens, and the beauty of this book is not knowing what the hell is going on. I went into this book completely blind, and ooooh boy, you’re in for a very strange ride. It’s hard to understand what I’m talking about without reading the book, but I implore you to do it—read Jane, Unlimited!
Should you read Jane, Unlimited? YES!!!!