January 15, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore | SLJ Audio Review

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redstarCASHORE, Kristin. Jane, Unlimited. 12 CDs. 14:39 hrs. Listening Library. Sept. 2017. $70. ISBN 9780525493372. digital download.

Gr 7 Up –After the sudden death of her Aunt Magnolia, 18-year-old Jane is orphaned, directionless, and alone. When a serendipitous encounter with her former tutor results in an invitation to the family’s seasonal gala held at the magnificent island estate, Jane, remembering a promise to her aunt never to turn down an offer to visit Tu Reviens, accepts. There she meets an eclectic cast of characters, including Jasper, the lovable basset hound and keeper of the manor’s secrets. Here is where the story starts—literally five times, in five genres: espionage, mystery, horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Some stories repeat sections verbatim, yet each stands alone with crisp, concise plots full of twists, clues, and trapdoor surprises all because curious, sassy, eavesdropping Jane decides to follow a different household member. Proverbial wisdom advises, “Don’t sift the ifs.” Cashore defiantly and triumphantly conspiratorially whispers, “What if…” Narrator Rebecca Soler is top-shelf in her ability not only to capture each character but also to tweak them per the demands of shifting genres and story lines. VERDICTThis quirky, spellbinding novel is a unique melding of Clue, choose-your-own-adventure stories, and Groundhog Day.–Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City School District, OH

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2017 issue.

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