Review of Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
For some bizarre reason – or possibly because I listened to the audiobook version of Jane Doe – I was quite entertained by this novel. I listened to it in less than three days, and I was quite involved by the whole story. Near the end however I realized something. I found this book funny, unbelievable, absurd even, rather than suspenseful or thrilling.
This is not a thriller. Some call it a revenge-story but to call it that also doesn’t seem right. For the most part, we are in Jane’s so called ‘sociopathic’ mind. She ain’t no angel and she wants us to know it. She is a ‘bad’ girl who doesn’t feel empathy. Those characteristics didn’t really make Jane into an ‘anti-heroine’. To me, Jane seemed like an exaggerated Tom Ripley. She seemed like the sexy ‘sociopath’ you encounter in a CSI episode or a soap opera rather than a real sociopath. She wasn’t evil, nor ambiguous or even mysterious. The fact that she doesn’t care about her shitty family doesn’t make her into a sociopath. Also, for all her talk of being different from others she came across as being pretty common…in her thoughts and desires.
Jane initially marks Meg as being the exception to her ‘I don’t give a shite about no one’…and why? Because Meg is nice. Yep. That’s it. Our self diagnosed sociopathic protagonist likes someone who is kind and sweet because of their kindness and sweetness. She sticks by someone who is the human embodiment of sugar.
After Meg’s death Jane wants to make Steven – aka Meg’s ex – pay. Jane pretends to be a spineless, whiny, insecure, woman in order to gain the attention of the most unbelievable man I have read in a long while. He is a mere sketch, a dick who spouts the most dick-ish things for no apparent reason, a man who treats fake Jane like crap within days of meeting her. If we are to believe that he is a manipulating bastard, why is he revealing his ‘nasty side’ so soon ?
Jane’s revenge plan is puerile. She has sex with him, wanks him off, seduces him with her ever so irresistible ‘bras’. Really ?! That’s her technique?! Steven is made to be completely unable to resist his sexual impulses, and in many ways he was the perfect portrayal of a dog in heat. Speaking of…were all those sexual scenes necessary? They take part most of the narrative, I kid you not. Words like panties, bras, breasts, appear throughout this novel…
Luke was a useless – and unlikely – addition. Another ‘nice’ person who Jane (the self proclaimed soulless woman) likes because he is indeed nice…
Jane’s image of herself was often a source of amusement to me. She makes hilarious comparisons between felines (such as a cat) and herself…was I not supposed to find it funny? Jane’s ‘hunting’ skills are basically being able to pretend to be a meek girlfriend…wow.
The ending, that is Jane’s ‘revenge’, was so unimpressive, so basic, so simple, that it made me judge this novel for its real worth. Yes it made me laugh a lot, but it was more of a ‘laughing at how ridiculous it was’ rather than ‘laughing because of some good joke’. This is not a thriller, if anything, it seems more of an erotica novel.