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Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Jane, Unlimited

by Kristin Cashore

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3042152,872 (3.51)16

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This was a huge let-down for me. It was a great story at first, but then things took a turn for the weird. And it wasn't just weird, it was trying too hard in a high school English class kind of way. Graceling is one of my favorite books, but I can't recommend this book at all. It's well written. It's just not a good story. ( )
  ladonna37 | Aug 1, 2018 |
I have never been so torn about a book like this. On one hand, I really enjoyed the first 200 pages or so but on the other hand this took such a turn that I was never able to fully recuperate and enjoy the rest of the story.

Jane has been living knowing her Aunt Magnolia would never come back for a while now and it's not getting any better. She's officially a college drop out with a dead end job. But when her old friend Kiran comes into her life and invites her to a place called Tu Reviens Jane accepts it right away. Though it's not because she missed Kiran or out of curiosity towards the island but Magnolia made her promise to accept any invitation to the island that came her way. From here we are transported into a art heist story, then a haunted house story, aliens from another dimension?...uh talking dogs?

Cashore had me hooked with the art heist and spy twist but after the third retelling of the same characters and backgrounds, it felt like I was reading some type of fanfiction AUs. Don't get me wrong, I LIVE for fanfiction but only if they're of my already favorite fandoms featuring my favorite characters. Jane was not one of them I'm afraid so I lost interest.

There's a lot of good stuff in this book. Little bits and pieces from each story tell the whole picture so it was fun picking them up along the way. If you want some diversity this one would be perfect for you. The AU with the talking dog was super cute. When it got too much for me to finish I found the audiobook in my local library and it was read by Rebecca Soler and she always delivers. I never got into The Graceling hype so I wasn't expecting much from this book and while I wouldn't recommend this book I still wouldn't tell anyone to steer clear from it. ( )
  Jessika.C | Jul 2, 2018 |
For those who are not familiar, the novel is set up very uniquely. There is an opening chapter which introduces the reader to the main actors and our narratorial voice, Jane. At the end of this chapter Jane is presented with a choice to choose to follow five different characters. Depending on which she follows she ends up in a different genre. Now because they all stem from the same set-up, all the same plots are still in the background, they just play out different depending on Jane's involvement. This is kind of hard to explain without specifics, so without trying to give too much away: In choice 1, Jane gets involved in a whodunnit mystery. The item that got stolen is still stolen regardless of which choice Jane makes, the resolution of the whodunnit just doesn't matter to Jane when she is involved in other details.

This structure is fascinating to me, creative and a lot could be done with exploring it, but I have a lot of issues with Cashore's execution which led to me rating this novel with only two stars.

First, I don't understand why each choice leads to a different genre. The first two are a mystery and a spy thriller, but the other three are horror, science fiction, and fantasy. So the last three are much, much harder to be believable are happening in the background of the other plots, especially the horror plot which involves the house (and the missing stepmother) to be eating guests of the house. In the other plots, there aren't any people mysteriously missing and the way certain characters are effected by the house is not apparent in the other plots.

Second, I don't think Cashore does a good job in representing each genre. Short fiction doesn't seem to be a strong suit of Cashore's, but each of these multiverse stories is, essentially, a short story which does not entirely belong in the genres they represented. For instance, in the first plot, the mystery, one of the generic requirements of the mystery genre is that the reader is left with enough clues in order to solve the mystery on their own, so at the end you have one of those "I should've figured that out!" moments, or the delight of having outsmarted the detective. Jane is not a good detective and she fully admits her conclusion to the mystery basically comes from intuition. There are similar problems in each of the other genres as well. Cashore attaches a large number of the trapping of certain genres to her plots--spaceships in the science fiction plot, magic in the fantasy plot, spies in the spy thriller, stolen valuable goods in the mystery--but does not seem to really understand how these genres fundamentally function.

Third, although the novel's trajectory hinges on Jane's choice she doesn't make a lot of active choices; her choice is ultimately who to follow and which plot to watch unfold. Although she does make some active choices along the way, she is a fairly reactionary character. I found myself much more interested in other characters--especially Kiran--than in Jane. She sort of fades into the background as only a conduit for the reader to observe. Cashore says on her blog that she originally wrote this in second person as more of a choose-your-own-adventure and that presents, to me, even more problematics, of turning a living human being into a tool for her story, not just paper and ink people.

I love Cashore's other books (the Graceling Realm trilogy) and have even written about them in my academic career, so I was disappointed that this new offering from her was not more fleshed out. I think she is an imaginative writer, but I think she needs to still hone her craft more.
( )
  never_sam | May 16, 2018 |
I am so sad that I finished this book- I really wanted it to keep going! It is a work of art when the author can tell the story of the same couple days 5 times and have it not feel at all redundant. The writing was great, the characters sympathetic. Just go read it! ( )
  heike6 | Mar 19, 2018 |
The beginning: Jane is an uber-orphan, first losing her parents when she was two and then losing her aunt/guardian recently during her first year of college. She is grieving and adrift so, when invited to a unique island home by a former tutor, Jane leaves her life behind and heads to Tu Reviens. Almost from the first moment they arrive, she begins to sense (and investigate) the mysteries unfurling around her.

The twist: What follows are five different stories stemming from a single choice, a full set of alternate realities.

I don't think I can even begin to tell you anything else about this book because my brain hurts when I try to put it into a nice little pigeonhole in my mental library. This is a story with many genres and I found them all equally strong. The only thing I hoped for as I read was more romance because I liked Jane best when she was considering love and/or attraction. I wrote a little bit after I finished Bitterblue, the final book in the Graceling trilogy, and one sentence just stood out to me as I looked back: "It was harder to side with Bitterblue when she was being irrational or petulant but then a learning experience would happen and she would win me over again." This is almost EXACTLY how I felt about Jane too! She had a tendency to blurt without thinking first, to ask impertinent questions, or to be downright rude and I would get annoyed by her only to have a personal revelation or a discovery bring me right back to her side as an ally. Also, her hobby was making umbrellas which I couldn't get enough of for some reason. Anyway, if you aren't sure about genre fiction and need a unique story that lets you dip your toes in it, pick this one up!

http://webereading.com/2018/01/new-release-jane-unlimited.html ( )
  klpm | Jan 18, 2018 |
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for all aunts, especially mine
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The house on the cliff looks like a ship disappearing into fog.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803741499, Hardcover)

The highly anticipated standalone from the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Graceling Realm series—a kaleidoscopic novel about grief, adventure, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices.

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.

Read Jane, Unlimited and remember why The New York Times has raved, "Some authors can tell a good story; some can write well. Cashore is one of the rare novelists who do both."

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 07 Mar 2017 15:53:53 -0500)

"Recently orphaned Jane accepts an unexpected invitation from an old acquaintance to an island mansion where she will face five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her newly untethered life"--

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