Alexa Donne expertly takes Jane Eyre to the stars in Brightly Burning

Brightly Burning Alexa DonneBRIGHTLY BURNING, by Alexa Donne, HMH Books for Young Readers, May 1, 2018, hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)

When HMH Books for Young Readers offered readers the opportunity to read the first chapter of Alexa Donne’s Brightly Burning, I immediately started reading. The book is basically Jane Eyre set in space, and I was hooked from the start.

I was lucky enough to get a review copy, and I was over the moon. I read Brightly Burning in one sitting, and already want to read it again.

Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her engineering job aboard the Stalwart to become a governess on a private ship. On the Rochester, there’s no water ration, more books than one person could devour in a lifetime, and an AI who seems more friend than robot.

But no one warned Stella that the ship seems to be haunted, nor that it may be involved in a conspiracy that could topple the entire interstellar fleet. Surrounded by mysteries, Stella finds her equal in the brooding but kind, nineteen-year-old Captain Hugo. When several attempts on his life spark more questions than answers, and the beautiful Bianca Ingram appears at Hugo’s request, his unpredictable behavior causes Stella’s suspicions to mount. Without knowing who to trust, Stella must decide whether to follow her head or her heart. —synopsis provided by HMH Books for Young Readers

Brightly Burning is Jane Eyre reimagined. Some elements are so similar, you know exactly what’s coming next — or at least you think you do. Donne has thrown in enough curveballs to keep things fresh while remaining true to the spirit of the original.

Donne’s prose doesn’t have the gothic moodiness of Charlotte Bronte, and her dialogue is modernized. Both are in keeping with her reimagining and helps provide a smooth and polished overall feel.

Brightly Burning is one reimagining I happily recommend.

© 2018, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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