See Jane Run - YA Review by Rayna Grace C.

Reader: Rayna Grace C.
Age: 15
Title: See Jane Run
Author: Hannah Jayne
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: 01/07/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I do not mean to start this review off too harshly, but this book was a mediocre remix of The Face on the Milk Carton. My disinterest may be partially because I was expecting mystery and intrigue that would rival Mary Downing Hahn’s ghost stories, since so many books with a similar plot line have been written already and I was under the assumption that this could also be, because while reading, I absentmindedly flipped to a page that explained the ending verbatim. Additionally, I just finished Rick Riordan’s House of Hades and am still currently trying to recover emotionally. All of these facts may have created the perfect storm for me to feel like this book was a waste of my time, but maybe not.
All of the events in the story that were probably supposed to make the reader have chills crawl up their spine were written in an excruciatingly monotonous tone that made them fall completely flat. I am certain this was not the voice of the character being portrayed, just the author’s inability to cause interest or concern. For example, when she finds the first postcard in her bag, (which does not happen until AFTER she finds the birth certificate of Jane Elizabeth O’Leary, contrary to the blurb on the back cover) the author used no eerie metaphors, frightening foreshadowing, or anything of the like to even attempt to cause the slightest intrigue, which was beyond lame. I honestly believed that this was this author’s debut when I was first reading the book, hoping that was the reason why the book was so hard for me to read.
Furthermore, the characters in this book were unoriginal and contradictory. The main character, Riley, is basically described in the beginning as “that girl with clinical anxiety.” However, when her friend Shelby and she find a random birth certificate in her baby book and Shelby decides the best course of action is to insinuate that Riley’s parents must be hiding something big, and that they TOTALLY kidnapped Riley (and her birth certificate..?) when she was a baby and changed her name so no one would find out, and they might have even murdered Riley’s old family, Riley’s reaction is like ‘Oh, yeah. That would make sense, I guess. Maybe I will ask my parents tonight at dinner, see what they say.’ And she just brushes it off like it’s nothing. I do not know much about anxiety, but I do know how I would react to this situation. I consider myself to be a pretty level-headed person, but I probably would feel really concerned if I found something as weirdly personal as a suspicious, unknown birth certificate in my baby book with a friend who immediately assumes the worst and jokes about it like it’s not a big deal. At the very least, I would have told my friend to shut it and pretend we never found anything. Riley’s reaction seemed strange and understated. Now, on the bad-boy major character, J.D., I am beyond certain that this is the non-magical Jace Lightwood. J.D. is just another misunderstood teenager with a bad reputation and a soft side. I mean, he was okay, but was unoriginal.
So to summarize this whole review, this book has been done before and in renditions much better than this. This book definitely could have been better, but it just fell flat in every aspect.
Memorable or Forgettable: I think I made it pretty clear why this book is forgettable in the previous section of this review. *everyone dies from sass overdose*
Cover: The cover on this book is okay, but nothing special. I mean, it causes confusion more than visual interest, with the legs on the pavement wearing leggings, red shoes, and being unmoving, compared to the body in the puddle that is wearing jeans, no shoes, and is running. Generally speaking, the cover could be depicting the Character v. Self conflict where the main character is seriously struggling with her sense of self and personal identity. The blurb on the front, ‘One secret with change everything…’ is so broad a statement I cannot even stand it. Please fix it. Overall, I would give the cover a 3 out of 10 score (1= Literally just a random racecar on a book about the civil war. 10= An artist rendition of a momentous event in the story that has vivid colors, sparkles, and has ridges and bumps on the cover corresponding to the art displayed.)
Age Range: 12 through 15
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Additional Comments: I am sorry there were so many author/literature allusions in the first paragraph. And by sorry, I mean you are welcome.

tags: mystery / realistic fiction / contemporary / thriller / ya lit

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