I love Jane the Virgin, so when I found out that the book Jane was writing in the show was being turned into a real book, I knew I had to read it. Since it was meant to be a retelling of Jane's relationship with Michael with a happily ever after, I knew it would follow the general plot of the show, but set in Miami in the early 1900s with changes to match that setting. But it kept some elements from the show that I did not expect that detracted from the story.
The Jane the Virgin show had a wonderful narrator who added humor and suspense to the story. However, this was an element that only works well in the show. The book had a narrator who interrupted the flow of the story and felt like an awkward addition to the romance story that I found it hard to believe Jane would actually include. It just didn't mesh well with the story.
The plot of the story is also very rushed. Although the book trimmed down extraneous plots from the show, it still had to fit multiple seasons of plot into a relatively short book. Rake's sudden and intense interest in Josephine had me wondering why he wanted her so badly. There wasn't much time for relationship develop between all the characters like there was in the show, which was one of the reasons why the show worked so well.
The plot changes to make the setting work also didn't work well. Instead of being accidentally artificially inseminated like Jane was on the show, Josephine became pregnant after a drunken one night stand she had cheating on her fiance because she thought he was cheating on her. This just made her look bad because she had total trust in him one moment and then saw him hugging a woman (who was his partner) and suddenly was convinced he was cheating without even confronting him. And then Rake came along and was creepy and kept pushing her boundaries every time she said no to him until he got her drunk and then got her to sleep with him. So Josephine looked bad with her complete and sudden lack of trust in her fiance. And Rake looked bad with his continuous pushiness, inability to let her say no to him about anything, and taking advantage of her when she's feeling bad and using it to get her drunk and hit on her. Not a great love triangle.
If I didn't have the Jane the Virgin background to enjoy comparing the book's plot to, I don't think the book would have worked for me at all. The narrator didn't fit the story well, the plot was rushed, and the relationships weren't well-developed. I really just liked seeing how the characters and plot points were changed to match up to the new setting. I don't think I'd recommend this for anyone who hasn't watched Jane the Virgin. And even for people who have watched it, I don't know how many this would work for.