She had me at » I woke up regretting all my life choices. »
What I miss the most about being a book shop girl is being surrounded by books. Every book. Ones I knew on the spot I would love, ones I would never touch, ones I would have put directly in the recycling.
(Nobody needs a book shaped like a pizza, full of grammar mistakes and bad recipes. Nobody.)
Also, I miss the book shop people. Reading books that you know you’ll love is great, but letting yourself be convinced by another book shop person to read a novel you first scoffed at was even better.
I am so grateful to have been able to read so many stories I would have never even glance at.
Of course, sometimes I would politely put the book I was convinced to read away, without finishing it. Most of the time though, it turned out well.
Now, alone in the world where I have to either wait forever for my library to get the books I wanna try out or buy every last one of them (I have about 50 books I wanna read since February started on the French only), I rarely get to take the risk of reading something out of my liking range.
With Brightly Burning, I took such a risk. And I am so very frexing happy I did!
The retelling era in YA
Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy.
Nevertheless, sometimes, I do blame Shrek for that retelling trend. Not that is was such a new thing when the movie got out, of course not.
Somehow thought, it kinda spread the word. Retelling of fairytales and beyond worked. Big time.
No offense intended to any of the great authors writing a great retelling of any kind, but I will rejoice the day the retelling trend fades and vanish for a little while.
Still, I loved Alexa Donne AuthorTube sooo much (check it out, fellow writers, for she shares her deep knowledge of the industry in a super fun way, plus she always does her research, hurray!), I took a shot, went on and buy her retelling of Jane Eyre, which was set in space.
Basically, I bought a retelling set in a sci-fi universe. Two literary genre I usually stay away from.
The 100 Pages Rule
On my first time around in a University, my creative writing teacher told us about his rule regarding books.
If, after 50 pages, the writer did not mange to captivate him, he would stop reading and move on.
He’s point: too many books, too little time. I adopted that rule ever since.
Brightly Burning got me at page 33 of my hardcover edition. (Oh yeah, I even bought the book even before it got out in trade paperback like I was frexing rich or something.)
At page 33, reading the first sentence I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I said to myself: ok, look at it this way, woman; it is a novel inspired by one of your favorite classic read.
Once I got off my high-horse twisted snobby thinking, I fully got onboard.
Well written, fast-paced, the novel is a true page-turner, and a real good one at that.
The twist on the whole mystery lurking in the source d’inspiration of the novel is very well thought through. Sprinkled that with fun characters, spaceships and a very obliging AI, and you got yourself an afternoon or two well spent, and in really good company too.
No need to read the source d’inspiration to fully enjoy Brightly Burning, a very entertaining YA sci-fi retelling of Jane Eyre.
I cannot wait to read the upcoming work of Alexa Donne. The next one is set in the same universe, but quite a few years before.
And yes, it is inspired by a Jane Austen novel. And yes, I am very excited to read it.
I think Brightly Burning is available everywhere, but sadly for all the YA francophones readers out there, in english only.