A few years ago, I read Jane Eyre and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it, not having been a huge reader of the classics (sorry, not sorry). So when this modern retelling came out, I snagged it. I love retellings, remakes, and reboots, and I was intrigued. However, I got sidetracked and never got around to reading it.
Fast forward to this past week when I’m trying to pare down my Goodreads To-Read list, and I decided to knock this one out. It started out slow, and I took a break to finish a couple other ones. But when I came back to it, I couldn’t put it down.
A plain young woman takes a nanny job for an eccentric rock star and falls in love with him while also wondering about the strange sounds coming from the third floor of his estate. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.
The Good Stuff
It’s hard to put my finger on why I enjoyed this book so much and why even a couple days after finishing it, it’s sticking with me. The trope is enjoyable to me: plain young woman, worldly older man, unrequited love that isn’t actually unrequited. It just pushes all my right buttons.
I also liked the fact that the tone and cadence of this story was reminiscent of the original. It felt old-fashioned and classic, even though it was definitely modern day and people had cell phones. You would think this would be jarring, and based on some other reviews I read, other readers found it so. But I loved it. It felt haunting and gothic, with a dash of contemporary.
Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
This book is giving me some weird feels in that I can pick out things I should absolutely hate about the characters, and yet I still loved them. For instance, Nico is kind of a dick. He plays with Jane’s emotions by trying to make her jealous, orders her to be around him and his friends when she’s clearly uncomfortable being around people, and makes it blatantly obvious that he’s keeping secrets from her. And let’s not forget his big crazy secret about what’s going on on the 3rd floor. I mean, the guy flat out lies to Jane when she asks him about his ex-wife.
Jane is mostly likable. She’s sweet and kind. She’s had a rough childhood and is still not on good terms with her siblings (who are horrible people). But she sort of just lets Nico get away with not telling her his secrets…until she runs away and lets everyone think that something tragic happened to her. Her angst and shock at what she finds out is understandable, but I had a hard time buying the fact that even though she got rid of her phone and refused to buy magazines and didn’t watch TV while she was hiding out that she would have absolutely no idea of what was happening with Nico.
The Romance Factor
Apparently this trope was strong enough for me to overlook the character flaws because I loved this romance. I loved the slow lead up to it and all the drama afterwards. I love that these two are broken in their own ways, yet somehow sense that and find a connection that bonds them. When Nico tells Jane he’s in love with her, I melted, because the way the words were delivered and the whole scene was filled with a quiet, powerful emotion. 5/5 RF.
The Steam Factor
There were a few sensual moments between Nico and Jane, but there were no really steamy scenes, so we’ll give it a 2/5 for the sensuality.
Even with the problems I had in the characters, I had to give this one 5-stars on Goodreads because it just hit me in all the right places. The story was a sweet retelling and the writing flowed well. This one is going to be a keeper, and now I need to watch both movie versions on Netflix, because I really want to stay in this world a little longer.