When I first heard the premise to The CW’s Jane the Virgin, I rolled my eyes and mentally wrote it off. A virgin gets accidentally knocked up? Count me out. I’m a romance novel (and TV) junkie, and I’ve read/watched enough ‘surprise pregnancy’ tropes to know that it’s not my cup of tea. But then I saw the cute trailer…
And I decided to at least give the show a try. Two seasons later, I am 100 percent, officially hooked. Yes, there is an accidental pregnancy. But Jane the Virgin is also hilarious, quick, romantic-as-hell and just plain awesome. It’s like nothing I’ve ever watched before, blending traditional romance with over-the-top telenovela-style drama. But the show is highly aware of the campiness, making dry meta-jokes in the voice over and introducing us to hilariously outlandish characters, like Jane’s dad Rogelio (who is the actual star of a telenovela).
Here’s the rundown: Jane is a virgin who lives with her mom and grandmother, works at a hotel, and has a boyfriend named Michael. One day she gets accidentally inseminated with the hotel owner Rafael’s sperm (and the doctor who inseminates her just happens to be Rafael’s sister — see? Telenovela). Since it’s his only specimen (or so he thinks), he begs her to have the baby, claiming that he’ll raise it with his wife, Petra. But their marriage is on the rocks, Petra has a lot of dangerous secrets (and she’s slightly crazy), Jane is starting to fall for Rafael, and Jane’s mother has to deal with her own issues when an old love unexpectedly shows up. From there it goes bonkers: secret crime rings, startling betrayals, evil twins, and plenty of murder. It sounds crazy (and it is!), but it still manages to be heartfelt, moving and a strong family drama at its core.
Season 2 ended in May, and I’m already dying to watch the next episode, which doesn’t air until October 17. When last we left our stars, things were crazier than ever: Jane went through with a wedding, but still holds onto her virgin status. Michael’s life is on the line. Rafael is still in love with Jane, despite the twins he had with Petra not that long ago. It’s a long complicated story, so now is the time to go binge watch the first two seasons if you haven’t already fallen for this hilarious drama.
While I wait out the equally long summer, here are three Jane the Virgin approved books I plan on reading to tide me over:
Chasing Lady Amelia, Maya Rodale (Avon Books, June 28, 2016)
Jane’s dream is to become a romance novelist, so we know she’d love Rodale’s latest historical romance. It tells the story of Lady Amelia, an American heiress who’s sick of acting like a proper lady. One night she escapes, only to meet Alistair, a well-known rake. The two spent a magical night together, but things turn sour when Amelia realizes that Alistair has been ordered to marry a wealthy American girl. Now she’s doubting his love, and he’s doing everything he can to convince her of his feelings. Sounds like Jane and Rafael to me!
Seduction and Snacks: Chocolate Lovers, Tara Sivec (EverAfter Romance, 2012)
Like I said, I tend to steer clear of “unexpected pregnancy” books, but Jane the Virgin has convinced me to give them another chance. Which is why I’m ready to read Seduction and Snacks, about a single mother named Claire who’s one-night stand unexpectedly comes back into her life (years after knocking her up). The book came out a few years ago, but readers are still heaping praise on this quirky, funny story of what it means to be a modern mother. I’m sure Jane would approve of this choice, and maybe even try to set up a playdate with Mateo and Claire’s adorable –- though foulmouthed -– son.
Bare-Naked Lola, Melissa Bourbon Ramirez (Entangled, 2012)
This is the third book in the Lola Cruz Mystery novels, and even though it also came out a few years ago, I still can’t get enough of the fun, “good girl” detective. In her latest adventure, Lola has to go undercover again, this time at a nudist resort. Baring it all might be more than Lola can handle, even if it means catching a killer. She’ll just have to hide it from her traditional family, and her love interest, Jake (who’s pursuing her like crazy this time around!). Since Jane is also a “good girl” with an edge, I’m sure she’d instantly hit it off with Lola.