Advanced Review Copies provided by HarperTeen in return for an honest review.
They’re at it again. The Lady Janies.
A pretty cover with an even lovelier soul.
First off, I legitimately had a panic at Yallwest once I saw people had My Plain Jane. If you follow on Twitter you know I was willing to trade my left kidney (because obviously the right is better) for a copy. Thankfully I didn’t. People talk about unicorns (the one thing you are chasing after that always seems elusive), and anything belonging to the Lady Janies is my unicorn.
Why? What was so captivating about My Lady Jane and now My Plain Jane?
There is no other way to put it. The Jane books are fun. It’s like cotton candy and pop rocks, good plain fun. Now, I absolutely LOVED My Lady Jane but My Plain Jane… Sigh, it was bliss.
I have no notes. Really. There are no notes for this book. Just a few scribbles about Helen being sassy and wonderful. So let’s start at the beginning‑ that’s always a good place, right?
As an English major I have and always will love Jane Eyre. I’m a swooning fangirl when it comes to gothic literature. So when I knew the Lady Janies were retelling my favorite story— I swooned. Now, Jane Eyre isn’t exactly a lighthearted story; actually, it’s sad and depressing and a mess of emotion. So how would my Lady Janies tackle this! Fear not. They handle themselves with grace, and humor— So. Much. Humor.
GHOSTS! Jane Eyre! And a young miss Brontë. That’s how the Lady Janies took a beloved classic and made it something whimsical and witty in a modern way. Jane sees ghosts, and Helen is a ghost. If My Lady Jane was funny, My Plain Jane is hilarious! The banter between Jane and Helen is my favorite. The one-liners snap across the page and bounce back in your face with as much force as a tea cup (if you’ve read the book, you get the pun. If not… well, more reason to read it.) I can’t tell you how many times I found myself snickering and giggling because the wit in each line, with every character, in every single way is something to be vocal about.
One more thing that brought so much love to this book is the sibling dynamics. Charlotte’s brother makes an appearance and it’s so sweet and charming to see their relationship play out on the pages. As someone with siblings, I thoroughly enjoy it when I see siblings being siblings in books; not evil or competitive, but a family, a unit, a support group. Seeing this pair of siblings work together and banter was a gem.
Have I mentioned the romance yet? No? Well then. You can’t have Jane Eyre without a Mr. Rochester. But this isn’t Jane Eyre, this is My Plain Jane and there are supernatural ghosts running around England!
Charlotte gasped. “That is romantic. And scandalous. Jane!”
Reader, does Jane marry him? You’ll have to read to find out. Sorry.
The reason I can’t stop talking about this retelling is how the Lady Janies take what we love about Jane Eyre and flip it on its head (almost quite literally). We get a romance, we get gothic settings and supernatural, and we get a story that fills us to the brim with happiness. If you’re a fan of witty banter, swoon worthy romance, and the more than occasional ghost, run and buy My Plain Jane.
Like I always say, I’m not very good at reviews, but I’m an excellent fangirl!
Fangirl recap: Check out the first book: My Lady Jane for hilarious hijinks of magic and Lady Jane Grey, queen for a day. And fear not! The Lady Janies (Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows) have more books planned!