Review: Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

33951646.jpgPublished Sep. 19 2017 by Kathy Dawnson Books

464 pages

Genre: you know, I really couldn’t say. mystery??? I guess????

Date finished: Jan. 30, 2018

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5stars

Summary

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.

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My Thoughts (spoiler-free)

This book was unlike anything I’ve ever read.

Which, unfortunately, makes it hard to describe without spoiling anything – that’s why the description is so vague. Honestly, I think it’s best to go into this book knowing very little, so I’ll try to write this review in the vaguest way possible while also convincing you that you need to read this book immediately.

Here’s what you should know:

  • The main character’s name is Jane. You’re going to love her right away. She’s vibrant and clever and makes umbrellas and has a cool tattoo. She’s gonna be pretty important to the story, so keep an eye on her.
  • You’re really not going to have any clue what’s going on for a while. Don’t worry, you’ll get there. And it’s really exciting when you do.
  • At some point, Jane is going to make a choice. From there, the novel will break off into five different sections, each one following a different choice that Jane could make.
  • You read that right. This is a multi-genre, choose-your-own-adventure style story.
  • So this book is simultaneously, like, five different genres as you go through the different sections.
  • It’s. So. Freaking. Cool.

It took me about two pages to get invested in this story. Even though half the time I didn’t really know what’s going on, Kristin Cashore’s writing is so strong that I got sucked in and immediately wanted to solve all the mysteries. There were a few times that I wanted to just stay up all night to figure it out!

I think this is one of those books where you need to read it in a fairly short span of time because there are so many little details that you’ll forget about if you take your time with it. (And trust me, you’re not gonna want to take your time.) It is, essentially, a mystery, so it’s best to keep all the clues together in your head as you go forward.

Yes, it gets a little confusing. There are a lot of different storylines happening at once and a range of characters to keep track of. But I liked the fact that the reader constantly knows more than Jane does because it lets you piece the story together until you finally feel like you understand the whole picture. There are some really amazing twists in there that had me screaming at my book. And the characters are so distinctive and well-developed that, once you get to know them, it’s easy enough to remember all of them. And as for Jane herself . . .

I just loved Jane as a character. We get to see many different sides of her as she is tested in different ways in each section, so by the end I felt like I knew her so well. She reminded me a lot of Bitterblue from, well, Bitterblue (the third of Cashore’s Graceling Realm books) in her inquisitiveness and her need to solve the mystery and help the people around her. It was such a pleasure to see the story through her eyes.

This book is such a unique entity – I’ve never read anything like it and I doubt I ever will again. Somehow, Kristin Cashore practically wrote five different books that all weave together, play off each other, and strengthen each other, and I can’t believe how well it works. Seriously, this book blew my mind. Go read it.

8 thoughts on “Review: Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

  1. I’m really pumped for this since a) it’s Kristin Cashore and I loved loved loved Graceling, and b) it’s a type of story I’ve never read before outside the choose-your-own-adventure books. It sounds absolutely fantastic and thank you for keeping it so vague and spoiler free because it does sound like a wonder of a book.
    I haven’t read the Graceling sequels yet but I like the sound of the heroine being so alike Bitterblue. I remember liking the little girl.
    Plus, five stories into one looks like a massive feat! Kudos to the author 🙂
    Amazing review ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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