Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi MeadowsMy Lady Jane
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Release Date: June 7th 2016
Published by HarperTeen
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retelling, Romance, YA
Format: eARC
Pages: 512
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three-half-stars
Source: ARC received for review purposes

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 gets to be Queen of England.

Like that could go wrong.

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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Written by three YA powerhouses, My Lady Jane isn’t a book that I could go into without any expectations. Oh I had them, and they were towering. For the most part, My Lady Jane was a delightfully fun and charming book, but towards the end, I started to feel small tinges of boredom attributing mostly to the length of the book.

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– Let me get to the characters! My Lady Jane is told through the points of view of three adorable characters, Jane, Edward and Gifford. First things first, the three POVs were nicely distinct and very well-written, in my opinion. Out of the three though, Jane appealed to me the most with her bookish nature, quiet strength and open-mindedness. Throughout the book, she grows to learn to voice out her opinions and go after what she wants, even though the forces around her were clearly against her. She’s stubborn and reckless at times, but I never found her to be annoying in any way.

– Then, there’s Edward, Jane’s cousin and current King, who is also slowly dying it appears. Edward’s growth throughout the book was my favorite part about his story arc. As a King, he undeniably had a bunch of responsibilities that he wanted nothing to do with – really, all he wanted was to not die without ever beingkissed! Edward was kind, and open-hearted and a little bit naive in the beginning. When he finds out that people around him are trying to kill him, he slowly hardened, starting to view the world with a different lens. It was great watching Edward finally acknowledging his responsibility to his country and his people.

– I really really liked Lord Gifford (who would prefer if everyone called him G) too! He had the reputation of being a womanizer (he wasn’t), and the fact that he wasn’t truly considered a son by his father was hard on him, but he dealt with all that resentment he had for his family in a positive way. I was really happy to see him find love, companionship and joy with Jane eventually throughout My Lady Jane.

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– My Lady Jane might have been a historical fiction book, but it also had a surprising supernatural twist to it. It was surprising to me because I clearly didn’t read the summary well. Anyways, some of the people in the world these author crafted, the Eldians, have the ability to change into animals. Eldians are forced to hide who they are because they are seen as a threat to society and killed viciously if discovered. I thought the supernatural twist was very clever. At first, I wasn’t sure, it seemed a little bit weird to me, but the authors weaved the politics of it brilliantly and I was definitely into that part of the book. The world building was great, the plot was fun, which made the book a blast to read.

– I adored the romances in My Lady Jane! They were so cute. I especially liked Jane and G’s romance the best. They were forced to marry for the sake of politics in the beginning thanks to Edward, and they don’t really like each other very much, at first. They had pre-conceived notions about each other, but slowly, as the story progressed, they were forced to get know each other and I absolutely loved watching them fall in love! Edward too finds love in this book, with a fiery, sassy and headstrong Scottish girl, who becomes a huge source of help to him in My Lady Jane. Their romance had a more forbidden feel to it, because he was English and she Scottish, but it wasn’t angsty or anything, which I appreciated.

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– The length of the book! This book is quite massive at 512 pages, and while I mostly found the book to be enjoyable, the length started to get to me towards the middle. I felt like some scenes could have been cut down and the book subsequently shortened. I’ve read big books in the past, but here at some point, My Lady Jane started to feel very long, which eventually led to me wanting to skim the story.

– The first line of the summary of the book promises a comical story. Unfortunately, the brand of humor here didn’t work for me. Some of it was quite silly to be honest. I was expecting to be laughing my butt off throughout the book, but honestly, I never even cracked a smile once.

In the end, I mostly did have a good time reading My Lady Jane, but had the length been shorter, this could easily have been a 4 or 4.5 stars read for me. Despite that though, I think this book is very much worth the read, especially if you enjoy your historical fiction light, cute and fluffy!

Is My Lady Jane on your TBR? What are some of your favorite funny books?
Let me know in the comments below!

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Nick
  • Oh all the positives here have me wanting to add this to my TBR!! The length is bit long for what I normally prefer to read though. I am interested to see the kind of humor now though. Great review!!

    • I think this is a book that would really work for you, Grace! 🙂
      Thank you!

  • Oh interesting! I didn’t know this book was SO LONG. It is on my tbr – thanks to you 🙂

    • I didn’t either when I first picked it up. And yay! Hope you like it!

  • This sounds like my type of book, it’s just too adroable haha. I haven’t read anything by these authors *goes and hides* but it sounds like something that I will enjoy for sure.

    When books drag on, it’s hard sometimes to keep on getting through, but it sounds like it didn’t hinder the reading that much.

    Thanks for the review.

    • It really was adorable. I’ve read the authors before and have not liked them! So I’m not sure what pushed me to pick this up.
      And no, even with the length this was a good book.

  • Loool I’m so sorry you didn’t crack a smile :’D Guess my brand of humor is different since I was laughing out loud at some parts. 😛

    I agree that the book was so long! I guess I was having too much fun with the dialogue to want to skim the pages though hehe. I’m glad you enjoyed this book though, despite the problems you had! The supernatural twist was really fun and yesss I love G.

    • Oh no. Honestly, I’m very emotionless! LOL! It’s probably me who is the problem here.
      Thanks, Aila. It was definitely a fun book. 🙂

  • Happy Indulgences just reviewed this book as well (Aila loved it). Yours and Aila’s stamps of approval are enough for me!

    • Yay, Joy! You’ll adore this! 🙂

  • This just sounds so fun and appealing right now – and I’m looking forward to the supernatural thrown in. I’m sorry the humor didn’t work as well for you though. I need to meet G! 🙂

    • I think you would adore this one, Kim! 🙂

  • All these raving review for this book makes me want to read it like, right now! It just sounds so fun and refreshing, and also interesting. But 512 pages is really long, I honestly feel a little bit intimidated XD

    • I was shocked by the length too, but it wasn’t all that bad. I hope you like it too!

  • Interesting, this wasn’t even on my radar and I am not sure about the silly humor but G sounds like someone to swoon over!

    • I’m surprised it wasn’t on your radar, Kim. It’s so hyped at the moment. But yes, G was very cute. 🙂

  • This really was a nonsensical kind of read but fun at the same time. Glad you did like it. 😉

    • That’s the perfect description, Ali! 🙂

  • I so can’t wait to read this book. I’m on a book buying ban, so I hope my library will have it soon. Great review!

    • I have all my fingers crossed for you! 🙂

  • I only heard about this book a few days ago and it sounded like something I might enjoy. These authors pretty much guarantee a successful story. However, I’ve stumbled upon a supposedly funny book that worked for everyone but me before and I have no desire to put myself through that again. I might read a sample first, just to see if it works. Fabulous review as usual, Nick!

    • I think reading a sample is smart, Maja! Thank you!

  • This wasn’t my brand of humor either, but clearly there is an audience for this book!

    • Yeah everyone else seems to think it’s the funniest book ever, so there’s definitely an audience for it.

  • Great review, Nick! This cover has captivated me and yet I’m not sure I have any desire to pick this up. I’m glad that the romance and the characters worked for you! Sorry the humor was off.

    • Thanks, Eva. I like the cover a lot too! 🙂

  • I keep hearing great things about this book. Even though the length made this a little less of a great read, I think I still want to pick it up. I’m curious to see what kind of humor is used in this book though.

    • I highly recommend it, Erica!

  • Jane & G are cute! The horse jokes are very clever, but they have their tender moments. I love the part where she’d read to him while he’s in horse form. This book is so funny!

    • Those were some of my favorite scenes too. They were adorable. Glad you thought so! 🙂

  • This sounds like it should be this amazing read and then you said 512 pages. I am not a big books girl. If I did read a massive book 500 pgs+, it must keep me entertained throughout. I’ll definitely have to think about this one. Nice review!

    • I understand! Long books can be overwhelming. Thanks, Jazmen!

  • UGH! It makes me sooooo nervous because of the length of this book. I do NOT do good with longer books. 🙁 Anything over 350 has me worried… 450 is like NO WAY… and this one is over 500!! Yes, I’m scared. BUT I still do plan to read this in the next few weeks. Wish me luck, I guess! LOL Great review, Nick!

    • Haha! I feel you. I read long books, but they can be so exhausting at times. :/
      I hope you like it when you read it! 🙂

  • Well clearly I didn’t read the synopsis all that well either because I had no idea this had a paranormal element until I read your review Nick! I’m a little bummed the length slows the pacing down a bit, but the characters sounds fantastic and of course the romances appeal to me, so I might be able to overlook that since I know it going in:) Thanks for the amazing review!

    • The characters and romance make this book worth the read, Jenny. I see you enjoying this one. 🙂

  • Can’t wait to read it! I love historical fiction and I hope that it doesn’t feel as long 🙂

    • It’s my favorite genre too! I hope you love it, Liza!

  • 3.5 stars sounds about review! I wasn’t a huge fan of Edward, and sometimes, not really Jane either. But I LOVED G. He’s such a lovable guy! <3

    Wonderful review, Nick. 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • G was adorable! 🙂
      Thanks, Alyssa!

  • I was just writing on another review for this book (my third or fourth for today) that i had underestimated this one at the start. The time period this one took place in immediately set me off (despite the fact that i LOVE the authors who worked on this one). I deeply regret that now since everyone’s reviews are glowing for this one. The massive length for this one shocks me, but your thoughts on this one makes me want to read this one so much.

    • This one was very different from your typical historical fiction in that it was more focused on the characters as opposed to the history itself. So this might work for you, Lily.
      I hope you find a copy soon!

  • I do definitely want to read this one! I am sad that the humor didn’t work though, I was definitely looking forward to that. But who knows, maybe it will still be okay! And I am VERY glad that the authors were able to make the supernatural stuff work (that had been a worry of mine too!) But wow, 512 pages is a LOT. I mean, even for a big old fantasy novel it would be hefty… Idk. I want to read it but I know I probably won’t for awhile. Great review!

    • The humor is working for everyone else, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much.
      Yeah these big books can be exhausting. I hope you enjoy it if/when you get to it though! 🙂
      Thanks, Shannon!

  • The length and the humor are what concern me most. I have a hard time imagining this book having silly humor. I just think it’ll be out of place. Unless maybe it works like Gail Carriger’s humor in her books. I guess that’s pretty silly but it fits.
    I have this one so one day I will get to it. Wonderful review!

    • The humor seems to be working for everyone else. I’ve just read funnier books and the problem here is I never felt like laughing.
      Thanks, Candace!

  • I haven’t actually read any of these authors yet :O! So I’m excited to check this one out. It sounds like a really fun historical read and I’m glad you see you enjoyed it! The romance sounds lovely! Great review, Nick!

    • I’ve maybe read one book from each? I’m not sure! It was a whole lot of fun and I hope you like it, Cyn! 🙂

  • I have seen this one but I don’t know why I never wanted to read this one. I’m glad you were able to enjoy it. I really don’t like these slow and dragging books. And knowing it’s like that, it’s possible I won’t pick it up. Great review though 🙂

    • If it doesn’t appeal to you, I don’t think you’ll enjoy it much. It’s hard to read dragging books sometimes.

  • You know, Nick, I would prefer being called “G” too if my name was Gifford! haha
    Oh damn… You make such beautiful collages!! I love the sound of the magic, though. Magic and politics is always so interesting, and I trust Cynthia Hand to do it well (don’t know about the others cause I haven’t read a novel by them yet haha)
    THIS IS MARRIAGE BEFORE LOVE?! sorry for the shouting, the book just jump higher in my tbr. It’s one of my favorite tropes! 🙂
    Thanks for the wonderful review <3

  • This sounds like such a fun book with some interesting humour! I love how you described Jane and G’s romance, I love those enemies to lovers sorts of romances. A shame it dragged on but I’m glad you enjoyed it!