For three seasons, fans of the CW’s “Jane the Virgin” witnessed Jane Gloriana Villanueva, played by Gina Rodriguez, struggle to achieve her dreams of becoming a writer. She’s faced obstacles only believable in a telenovela, but now Villanueva’s dream has finally come true — on and off the screen.
The show follows the romantic ups and downs of Villanueva, a pregnant virgin caught in a love triangle between her fiancé, Michael Cordero, and Rafael Solano, the father of her child. Also prominent in the show are the mysterious crimes surrounding the Marbella, Rafael’s Miami hotel.
While the love triangle of Jane, Michael and Rafael only exists in the fictional world of the show, the book that Villanueva spends both seasons completing has now been published in the real world. On Nov. 14, the book ghostwritten by Caridad Pineiro, was released by Simon & Schuster, the real-life equivalent of Villanueva’s fictional publisher Lorden + Gregor.
“Snow Falling,” a reference to Villanueva and Michael’s first kiss, follows a plot which parallels the events of the show, but is set in the early 1900s. Though the book does an accurate job showing a deeper look into Villanueva’s thoughts and feelings throughout her complicated romances, it also doesn’t offer many surprises.
While Villanueva does a thorough job recreating the story in terms of the 1900s robber baron era, the characters only differ from the show’s with minimal name changes, such as Martin Cadden for Michael Cordero and Rake Solvino for Rafael Solano. Additionally, the plot of a young, chaste woman — which works well in the TV version because it’s unusual today — doesn’t resonate in the book because women in that time period were culturally encouraged to wait until marriage anyway.
The book can also be quite confusing for anyone who is not familiar with Villanueva’s televised story, as it includes appearances by the show’s well-known and strongly opinionated narrator. Though it is nice for fans to read commentary in his voice, his cameos can also appear out of place.
But for those who have religiously watched the show on the CW, or binge-watched on Netflix, “Snow Falling” provides an inside look into Villanueva’s troubled romance with Michael. It also further explains her complicated feelings for Rafael, and the thought process behind some of her most romantic decisions.
The book gives sweet and passionate descriptions of Villanueva’s encounters with her love interests, fully living up to it’s romantic fiction genre. The third person narrative also follows Detective Cadden’s investigative journey, Rake’s criminal activities and the unconditional love they share for Villanueva.
Though the plot and ending offer few new details, this book serves as an unconventional refresher for fans who await the next episode following last week’s mid-season finale. It also serves as a more dramatic and passionate telling of Villanueva’s story — unlike the show, she isn’t modest in her imagery of her romantic encounters and dramatic scenes.
As far as marketing goes, this idea from Simon & Schuster is as unique as it is effective. Throughout the third season, audiences waited with Villanueva for her book to be completed as on-screen pop-ups teased a real-life publication date.
The time has finally come for Villanueva to fulfill the dream she once confided in Rafael over grilled cheese sandwiches, and now audiences too can relive the fond story and pay homage to the late Michael Cordero.