I received this ARC from Publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: ARC from Publisher
Welcome to week two of the blog tour for Jane, Unlimited by Kristen Cashore! I fell head over heels for Cashore’s writing in Graceling (and the books that followed) so I’ve been anxiously awaiting more from her. Read on for more about the book, my thoughts, and a giveaway!
About the Book:
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.
Okay. Obviously I was crazy excited to getting my hands on anything Kristin Cashore wrote. I’ve been anxious for more ever since Bitterblue. However, the more I heard about Jane, Unlimited and the unique set-up, the more nervous I became. I mean, it sounded so cool but I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to follow it. Or that it would be disjointed. Or that the format would make the stories lack depth. Or some other crazy thing! Now that I’ve finished the book, I can tell you that I need not have worried. I mean, Kristen Cashore wrote this book. Of course it’s A+++!
For starters, the lovely, atmospheric descriptions pulled me in and made me feel as though I were in the story. Right away the reader is introduced to so many characters and mysterious elements. I was amazed at how easy to follow it all was. Not once did I get lost or confused about characters or plot lines. That alone is a testament to the skill with which Jane, Unlimited is woven together. But then you add the way the story splits about a sixth of the way in. The skill involved with the storytelling from that point on elevates this novel to a masterpiece in it’s own right.
And then there are the characters. I loved how we get an introduction to the core group at the start of the story and then learn more and more about them as we follow Jane through the different choices she makes. It was interesting to see how the readers perception of them subtly changes as we see them in view of the different ways Jane’s choices play out. I’m struggling to say this right in relation to the unique format of the story. Which, of course, is giving me an even greater appreciation for the work Cashore put in!
Basically, I was captivated by this book. I loved the set-up and each of the five stories based on the different choices Jane could have made. I was blown away by the care and skill involved in creating each of the very different stories, as well as a beginning that made sense with each. I did not want to put this book down!
Cashore is simply a master storyteller.
About the Author:
Kristin Cashore grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer. She has lived in many places (including Sydney, New York City, Boston, London, Austin, and Jacksonville, Florida), and she currently lives in the Boston area. Her epic fantasy novels set in the Graceling Realm–Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue–have won many awards and much high praise, including picks as ALA Best Books for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editors Choice, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. In addition, Graceling was shortlisted for the William C. Morris Debut Award and Fire is an Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner.
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September 12 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Playlist
September 12 – Wandering Bark Books – Review
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September 13 – Arctic Books – Review
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September 15 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
September 15 – My Friends are Fiction – Promo