Book Thoughts: My Lady Jane

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A couple of weeks ago, I read My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, and I loved it!  I had so many thoughts about it, so I decided to talk about it in the new series that I’m doing on here, Book Thoughts.  If you don’t know what this series is, read my first Book Thoughts post to get an idea of what this is all about!

Anyway, I have a lot I want to say, so let’s just get straight in to the post!

 MLJ cover

The comical, fantastical, romantical, entirely (but not really) true story of Lady Jane Grey.  Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger – and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne.  But that’s the least of Jane’s problems.  She’s about to become Queen of England.  Like that could go wrong.

Overall Thoughts

This book is a very cute, happy, feel-good type of read that I would definitely suggest picking up if you want something to lift your spirits.  I was smiling the entire time while reading it, and I laughed out loud a lot.  I first started reading it at a Starbucks, and I’m pretty sure people there now think I’m crazy because of how much I was giggling.

The overall concept of this book is so unique, and I would never have thought to turn the story of Jane Grey into a comedy.  (If you don’t know, in reality, Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days before she was beheaded.)  But, it worked so well!  It was the perfect mix of historical fiction (emphasis on fiction), fantasy, romance, and comedy.  I also loved the way magic was included in this book!  As you’ve probably gathered by now, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent reading it!

I have a few more random thoughts to add before we move on from this section.  One, the cover is gorgeous!  The colors look so nice together, and the font is perfect!  Two, the chapters were the perfect sizes!  They were in that happy medium between too short and too long.  Finally, three, I knew this book was going to be great from the moment I read the dedication.  It was seriously one of the best dedications I’ve ever read.  I’ll insert it below in case you haven’t read it and want to know what I’m talking about.

For everyone who knows there was enough room for Leonardo DiCaprio on that door.

And for England.  We’re really sorry for what we’re about to do to your history.

Thoughts on the Characters

This book had three main characters (Edward, Jane, and Gifford) and was narrated from each of their points of view.  I’ve found that, sometimes, when books have alternating POVs it can be a little confusing  and difficult to remember who is narrating at any particular moment.  This book didn’t have that problem at all.  Each main character was so distinct and unique, and their voices really reflected that.

I loved each main character so much, and I have several things to say about each of them.  So, brace yourself for some fangirling and some slightly rambling thoughts.  First off, I loved how incompetent Edward was as a king.  He’s so posh and regal, yet so helpless.  I also loved how sexist he was.  His thought process on the topic of women is so messed up and crazy that it’s ridiculous.  (Also, if you haven’t read the book and are freaking out at the mention of blatant sexism, don’t worry.  Edward is supposed to be that way, and this book is very feminist in general!)

Jane is me, and I am Jane.  You have no idea how much I adore and relate to this character.  She actually reminded me so much of Hermione because of how sassy and smart she is.  I adore how much she loves reading and how much she protects and loves her books.  Overall, I just loved her as a main character.  Unfortunately, a lot of times in YA, I find myself annoyed with the main female character, but (thank goodness!) this was not the case for this book at all.  The more I think about her, the more I’m convinced that Jane is one of my new all-time favorite characters.

I adored Gifford!  He was probably the character that I found to be the cutest in the whole story.  He’s just so sweet and pure, which makes the comments about his “dalliancing” so hilarious.  I love his relationship with Jane, and their snarky attitudes and horse jokes just make me so happy!  His relationship with Edward was hilarious.  I think the thing I love about G the most is his poetry.  I won’t say too much about it (because I don’t want to spoil anyone), but I thought that part of the story was so funny and made me so happy!

Now, I have a few comments about the side characters.  The first one is Gracie.  I may identify with Jane, but I want to be Gracie.  She’s my newest fictional idol.  She’s so tough, snarky, and basically everything I want to be in my life.  Bess was so sweet and wise, and I thought she was a great character to kind of balance the other characters out a little.  Also, I think she definitely deserved the ending she got.  Even though I kind of knew it was coming, I was still really happy when her story was wrapped up like that.  I thought Gran was hilarious, and she’s the kind of grumpy old lady that I aspire to be.  Last, but not least, is Pet.  Oh my god, Pet.  A part of me considers her to be my favorite character, just because I can’t decide if I love her or if I’m extremely creeped out by her!

Before I move on, I just want to say that I love the fact that all of the women in this book were tough, strong, unique, and, most of all, kind (except for Mary and Gran.  Mary’s just evil, and Gran’s grumpy).  They didn’t tear each other down, and they weren’t pitted against each other for the purpose of the plot.  It’s really sad that I feel like that’s worth saying at all, but, unfortunately, girls are portrayed as catty and petty (especially when it comes to guys) in YA too often.  Reading something where that doesn’t take place is always like a breath of fresh air, and I’m always grateful for it.

Thoughts on the Plot

This is honestly one of the most unique YA books I’ve ever read.  It doesn’t have too many tropes in it, and it doesn’t remind me of any other book.  Like I said earlier, the overall concept for this book is so different and fun!  I loved how it’s based off of history, but for most of it (in the authors’ words) “history is thrown out the window”.  The plot was ludicrous, but in the best, most entertaining way possible.  And, like I’ve said multiple times, the story was hilarious!  Seriously.  I dare you to try reading this in a public place without laughing like a crazy person and then have everyone around you think that you’re weird.  You won’t be able to do it.

My one complaint about the plot (and this is a very small complaint) is that I wished the climax had lasted longer.  It just built up for so long, and it seemed to end a little abruptly.  But, honestly, I think part of that was I just want more of this book!

The rest of the plot, I loved.  Especially the ending.  I loved how each of the character’s stories were wrapped up, and I loved how, overall, it was very happy.  It almost felt like a Disney story in that aspect.

Favorite Quote

If you read my last Book Thoughts post, you’ll know that I didn’t include a favorite quote in it.  That’s because past me was stupid and didn’t think to do that.  But, as I was writing my notes for this post, I remembered how much I love sharing quotes from books, so I thought this would be a nice addition.

Anyway, I decided to share two quotes from this book, because I’m indecisive.  The first one I’m sharing because it reminds me of me.  The second one I’m sharing because it is so funny that my post wouldn’t be complete without it.

Armies aren’t very good about carrying libraries with them.  I can’t imagine why.  We’d fight so much less if everyone would just sit down and read.

(See?  It’s like someone put my thoughts in a book for me!)

Shall I compare thee to  really large rat?

Thou art more longer, with less disease.

One would never mistake you for a listless cat…

Nor a filthy dog, because my dog has fleas.

And those are my thoughts about My Lady Jane!  If you haven’t read this book, I highly suggest you do so, you’ll love it!

I didn’t know this until a couple of days ago, but, apparently there are going to be more books in this series!  According to Goodreads, there will be two more, one called My Plain Jane and one called My Calamity JaneMy Plain Jane will be about “Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte being saved from their fates”.  (Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books of all-time, so you know I’m excited for that one!)  The description for My Calamity Jane is, “The legendary Calamity Jane gets a better ending to her story”.  I’m so excited for more books like My Lady Jane, and I will definitely be doing Book Thoughts posts for each of them!

Anyway, thanks so much for reading!  I know this was a really long post, but I loved this book so much that I couldn’t’ stop myself from typing all of this!  See you in the next post!

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