My most recent review centers around a book that I had such high expectations for and really should have just known better. My Plain Jane is a retelling of Jane Eyre with a ghostbusters twist. Half of that is right up my alley, especially with “she sees dead people” scrawled across the cover, but love stories aren’t really my forte. In case you didn’t know, I love spooky stories with ghosts and twists and hard decisions. This was… not quite that.
The first issue: the book is very light.
Anyone who reads a lot of books can tell you that when you pick up a book and it’s lighter than it should be then it’s not worth reading. I’m not sure why this is. The cheap printing means a low-level editor? No matter what it is, just put the light book back down and find something better.
For the younger readers, the book is well paced and has a great voice. As for older readers, it may be too young. I think the targeted audience is more of the middle school cohort, not really the typical young adult novel due to the lack of depth. Plus, the characters felt more like caricatures than actual people due to the constant switching between them and the forced distance the authors keep from them. It was difficult to really get into the characters heads because of it and quickly lost my interest.
That being said, I’m hella impressed that three authors came together and actually managed to publish a book. Honestly, I’d be impressed they had written half a book without one killing the other. As a writer, I could never share the characters like that. Maybe their story is a little juvenile for me, but the fact that three people were able to let their voices be heard and write a cohesive novel is beyond incredible.
Ghost. Oh man, I love ghosts. But… I like scary ghosts or ghost stories that really make you think about what people had gone through. Don’t get me wrong, a portion of it touches on the ghosts but mostly we discuss those who are living. I’m a big fan of Mary Downing Han for horror and ghosts (for kids books) and this wasn’t that. If you like ghosts and romance, this may just be for you.
If anyone needs a copy, I have an extra. It’s unopened and an Owlcrate special edition with the authors note and everything.