Book Review | Brightly Burning by Alex Donne

Book Review Brightly Burning

Brightly Burning is Jane Eyre in space, but better!

When I saw Brightly Burning up on Netgalley, I knew I HAD to read it. When I got declined, that didn’t stop me! I almost paid $22 postage for a lovely Twitter pal, Leigh-Ann, to send me her arc (she offered for free but sadly we live on different continents!) Thankfully, I managed to get in touch with the publisher and Emma sent me an invitation to read on Netgalley! I read it in one day, and I kinda want to read it again!





Book Review | Brightly Burning by Alex DonneBrightly Burning by Alexa Donne
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on May 1st 2018
Pages: 400

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.





I have to admit that I haven’t read Jane Eyre… or if I have it’s so long ago I don’t really remember (a huge problem I have). HOWEVER I have since read up on Jane Eyre and love how Alex Donne updated Brightly Burning! She removed some of the more, questionable, aspects of Jane Eyre and added so many more dimensions to the story, which I really loved!

Firstly, it’s set in space. What’s not to love, right?! END OF REVIEW – READ THIS BOOK. I’m kidding, ish.

Why is it I find it so hard to review books I loved?!

Brightly Burning is set in a future where humanity exists in a spaceship fleet orbiting an Earth which has suffered an Ice Age. They don’t know if Earth is habitable yet and their ships are starting to fall apart, one de orbited about a year ago, and it looks liek Stella’s ship is likely to be next. She wants to get out. Despite, you know, humanity nearly ending, there is still this whole class system going on with the poor being mistreated.

There’s also BIOLOGY AND VIRUSES! Okay, there’s not a huge amount of detail on this aspect, but enough to make me happy.






The structure of Brightly Burning, as far as I can tell, very similar to Jane Eyre. Half way through the book I thought we must be near the end, but nope! There was more to come, which is where it got even more exciting and thrilling.

The pacing was pretty steady, fast enough to keep me turning the pages constantly, making sure I was hooked with exciting things. Though the beginning was a slightly slow burn (haha geddit?)




Okay I absolutely loved Stella. She was just badass, didn’t put up with the pompous crap from the higher ups, still made a bit of a mess of herself with love and all that. She was relatable.

Hugo. Ah Hugo. I forgive him his tropish ways, because after all this is a retelling. Thankfully most of the worst of the tropish stuff wasn’t there – but he still was playing hard to get and acting strange… still I really enjoyed him.



Not a huge review but I LOVED THIS BOOK OKAY?!

All in all I really enjoyed this book, and you need to check it out! Have you read any retellings you’d recommend?


5 thoughts on “Book Review | Brightly Burning by Alex Donne

  1. I just got this in an arc swap and I CAN’T WAIT to read it! Jane Eyre is one of the few classics of its kind that I’ve read (and I highly recommend it!) so I’m excited to see how it gets updated into a futuristic setting. Loved your review, Jenn 🙂

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