Jame, Unlimited - Kristin Cashore

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.

If you're expecting similarities to to the Graceling trilogy, in terms of setting and characters, you're going to find yourself a bit disappointed. That being said, there are similar themes within the space of this very unique storytelling structure. The book is in six parts: The first of which is an introduction to the characters and the setting of Tu Reviens, and the following five each being a choose-your-own-adventure type of alternate narrative possibility. Each one reads slightly differently in terms of style as well: One is a mystery, one is sci-fi, another much more into fantasy, etc. It's really an intriguing style, and one that will either fascinate or possibly turn people off if they're expecting the book to be similar to Graceling.

I was thinking of trying to break down each storyline and give a bit of a synopsis, however that just seems unnecessary and might end up with more spoilers than I would mean to include. This is a book that requires concentration. If you skim, it will be likely that you'll lose out on a necessary plot point or clue that will help you unfold one of the mysteries bound into each possible ending. Cashore has certainly entered into a very different type of storytelling, and I definitely admire what she has managed to do within Jane, Unlimited.

Oh! And there's girls kissing! And a really cool dog! So many reasons to love this book!

Definitely a novel I would Recommend.

(NOTE: This review is from an Advance Reading Copy - Out Sept. 2017)


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