Review: The Anatomy of Jane by Amelia LeFay

The Anatomy of Jane (WJM Book 1) - Amelia LeFay

Initial reaction: I can honestly say my biggest issue with this was the convoluted writing style and editing problems - that undermined the story far worse than it otherwise probably would've been. Jane was a difficult character to follow because of her fatal flaws and constant judgment, but I stayed with it to see where the story would go. Ultimately, wasn't my cuppa.


Full review:


There were numerous spelling errors, grammatical missteps, sentences that were ambiguous and made no sense when reading them aloud in this book.  When that's the first impression you have of a book upon finishing it, no matter what the story may be about - that's a significant problem.  I read this until the end and the quality and consistency of it was about the same throughout the read - really convoluted and rambly with editing mistakes within it. (It's pretty bad if you misspell your heroine's name more than a few times in the narrative.)


It frustrated me to no end because - I mean what if someone was paying for this kind of book when much of it didn't make sense or was just a significant mental effort just to get through it because it doesn't flow well?  It was a quick read for me, granted, because I'm used to reading through works that need that kind of triage editing, but at this point - if you're giving out a galley copy - you have to be able to get it as close to publication quality as you possibly can. This wasn't even close and even if I understand this as being a self-published novel - that's not excusable, because it really took a lot for me to get through this and it wasn't even a long read.  I could've read this in an hour but it took me double the time having to stop and put it down either for phrases that didn't make sense or made me cringe because of simply being incorrect/inconsistent.


That aspect aside, I think the other issue is that this story really didn't work for me even with its editing issues - because the story never had a point of connection - too many times it completely turned me away from it.  The story premise itself might've worked if it had a stronger narrative backbone to stand on with palpable characters, but the writing doesn't support it.  So many cringeworthy quotes that I couldn't even begin to name them all in this review.


The story revolves around a former bartender/club manager named Jane who spontaneously quits her job and becomes a penthouse maid by measure of some frustrating/shady circumstances.  Jane is a very unlikable heroine - judgmental to the point of no return and making so many unnecessary comparisons that the narrative felt jumpy and the mental voice of the character forced instead of genuinely humored. That was definitely a turn-off for me going through the book, but I did want to know how this book would present itself showing an m-m-f relationship.  (Plus, I thought the cover was cool.)  Jane comes upon two guys kissing each other while she's folding laundry, gets a password wrong, doesn't even know who her boss is until he calls her out, AND there's a bit of instalust going on as Maxwell and Wes decide they should "be" with her. (Reasons are gradually revealed, but I don't think that makes the situation any better.)


I honestly don't mind some narratives cutting to the chase and showing the intimate relationships between characters, but not if it feels like the lead in is so contrived. There's some backstory established, complete with Jane comparing herself to a stalker for searching out information about the guys, but it was minimal and generic.  The humor/quirkiness was too forced and not funny (even being offensive with the jokes about skin color and maids not speaking English.)  It was also odd because I felt like all the scenes that were supposed to be "hot" were basically just dictated to the reader - there wasn't really much true intimacy and a lot of meandering, even when the book was trying for moments to bring the relationship to the forefront.  I feel like it didn't really handle the sexuality of the protagonists and issues they faced with that with any kind of responsibility either.


In the end, it was just a forgettable experience for me on the whole.  It's the first book in a series but it left no intrigue for me to continue with the next book.


Overall score: 1/5 stars.


Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley from the publisher.