It seems to be a general consensus that most teens don't care for Charlotte Bronte's romantic classic "Jane Eyre," a tale of a young woman who works as a nanny for an enigmatic employer with a big secret. One new book is starting to change that.
"Jane" is a modern revamping of the famous novel, written this time around by April Lindner. It tells the story of Jane Moore, a girl forced to drop out of college when her parents die and she can no longer afford to pay tuition. She finds herself becoming the nanny of a little girl named Maddy, the daughter of world-famous rock star Nico Rathburn. The two have immediate chemistry, and over the course of months slowly but surely fall for each other. But that pesky little secret from the original novel still lingers, leaving Jane stuck with her age-old ultimatum of staying with the man she loves or remaining true to herself.
Fans of Bronte's classic will love this upbeat remake. While "Jane" focuses less on the title character's past than its predecessor, it makes up for it with more fun, romantic moments between the star couple. Lindner remains amazingly loyal to the original, finding ways to incorporate almost every aspect of the story in her modern world, making the tale easier to follow and relate to for the contemporary teen. The new Mr. Rochester, Nico Rathburn, is more energetic and cheerful than his often dour and grim counterpart, but he maintains his original wicked sense of humor and less-than-perfect looks.
Not only does Lindner keep the plot endearingly close to the original, but she also maintains some classic, favorite lines, including Jane's response to Nico when he inquires whether she finds him repulsive: "Very, Nico. But then you always were." So never fear, Bronte fans; Jane and Nico still call each other ugly every chance they get.
You don't need to know Jane Eyre to enjoy "Jane." It's an updated version of the classic that keeps the best of Bronte's most famous novel while making it fun, quick-paced and possibly even more romantic. "Jane" will leave you with a light heart and a huge smile on your face.
Kristen Brown is a sophomore at Lancaster High School.
By April Lindner
384 pages, $17.99