History with a Twist: 'My Lady Jane' Review

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Lady Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Number: 491 pages

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

History can be written over and over, but history can be boring. That's why people rewrite history. 'What if's can be interesting things. That's why we write them and read them. I don't typically read these books. Why? I'm not a fan of history. It's over and done for me, and that's all that needs to be said. The hype of this book was crazy, though. People were talking about it for a long time. Of course, this leads me to think 'Hey, why not?' After a long drought of books, this was something that people loved. I am a person, and, using logic, I should love it too.
And, yes, I kinda do love it.

The Lady Janies crafted a unique take on the story of Jane Grey. I have never read anything about her. I know more about Roman emperors than English monarchs, and I don't know a lot about Roman emperors (I used to, though. I was in Latin for three years.) With my lack of knowledge, I soldiered through this book. Thankfully, the authors supplied us with tidbits of history here and there. I know this isn't a completely accurate depiction of history, (After all, there are no shapeshifters...or are there?) but the story continued to be enjoyable. The alternate world this book takes place in is strange and unique. Many customs do stay the same, but there are major changes that make this world stand out.
I do hope we see more books set in this alternate world. I'd love to see how these shapeshifters work in real life.

Most books are written without any involvement of the authors, but this book had hilarious commentary from the authors. Their comments were throughout the entire book, and it made it every enjoyable. I learned about the invention of the modern pen and pencil and lots about the standards of society through these three ladies. I laughed out loud at their commentary at times.
Also, their hilarity seeped into the characters. G(ifford) had lots of snarky remarks, and Jane had her good share as well. (I mention them in this order since I last remember laughing at G's comments, not Jane's.) These characters were witty and sassy. But I'll talk about that in a second.

The main character Jane was sassy. But let's not forget Gracie who was a fireball too. I loved the fierce girls. They stood up for themselves and didn't take anyone's nagging. I imagine that people will brandish this book when girls ask for role models. Jane would be an amazing role model; she promotes literacy and bravery and love and compassion. Who doesn't love that? Gracie was tough and rough around the edges, but she still held her chin high. We didn't get a lot of her character because she did come at the end. Yet, she is a well-written and developed character even if she isn't one of the main characters. Both these girls were stars in their own right.
Not to say that the guys weren't done well either. The two main guys are funny. Edward is a bit of a stick in the mud, but, again, I'll address that later. G was quite a character. He was snarky and hide his feelings. I would typically fall for this type of character if I hadn't already approved of Jane and G's relationship (Which was adorable.) The split perspective of the book was done well. We got to know each of the characters. Even if some of us (Ehem me) didn't like all of them.

Although the book is titled 'My Lady Jane', two of the three main characters were guys. (Not that I have a problem with that.) I do have a minor problem with Edward the King of England. He was a bit of a sexist (Or...he was a sexist.) The reality is that men back then were sexist, and women were treated as lessers. It's the sad truth. I do understand that was how men thought, but Edward could have lessened the harsh words. A ruler of a kingdom is a good one if they are just and fair. You shouldn't judge on their gender. It's rude. Admittedly, he began to change his ways after meeting the foxy Gracie (I mean that literally.) Thank goodness for that change or I'd hate him.

I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. I laughed at the commentary and marveled in the unique world. The characters were fascinating, female and male alike. While I could do without Edward's sexist thoughts, it's something that was common in the time period and, therefore, mildly understandable.
Truly, this book is good for anyone looking for a good laugh or a new spin on the tale of Lady Jane Grey.

Did you read this book? If so, what did you think? Did you like Jane? How about G? And Edward? 

No comments :

Post a Comment