Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review, No. 1

You should know, I read a book yesterday. And I would have done the guessing game with it, only I already knew the plot. It seemed an unfair advantage. Still, I figured there's no sense in wasting my impressive critiquing skills. So here's a good ole traditional review.

Lindner's breakout novel is a modern retelling of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. It's well-written and often intriguing, reading like a juicy expose, a subtle mystery. But I suppose knowing the ending just spoiled the fun.

It was too honest an interpretation. In following the original so closely, the text becomes incongruous and, well, silly to the setting. Jane herself seems especially inexplicable--her decisions seem more necessary than natural, as in the original book dictated them, no explanation needed. It started off exciting. I was actually thrilled by the first 100 or so pages--a nanny and a rockstar? Beautiful. But a lot of the plot seems forced and illogical in the modern setting. Actually, it's the self-loathing and melancholic introspection of the title character that drags it down. She was forgettable as a character; I'd rather more focus on Nico or the daughter or even...well, no spoilers here.

For the most part, though, it held my attention. It was moments of magic followed by lulls of indifference. I was most excited for the reveal and the conclusion, but both moments were the most anti-climatical. And the love scene. Lindner goes from coy to blunt. It's never graphic, but almost aggressive in its attempt at "reality." Really, its strength was the writing. It was fast paced and enticing, definitely a shallow summer read. Once you try looking for something of value or any sense of depth, that's when everything falls apart. Truly, I liked the book much more just reading it than I did sitting down to critique it. It really is a weak novel well-disguised by a quick pace and a fresh voice.

Take it for what you will, but I give it 2/5.

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