My Lady Jane Book Review

myladyjaneTitle: My Lady Jane
Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Young Adult – Historical Fiction, Romance, Comedy
Pages: 491
Format: Received Hardcover in Uppercase Box for June

EDWARD is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown. . . .

JANE is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than in romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended . . .

GIFFORD is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

THE PLOT THICKENS as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

The comical, fantastical, romantical, entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey but not really

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.

I had been in a reading slump before I picked up this book and I am so glad I chose to read this when I did because OH MAN, there is so much humor in this book!

This is an historical fiction retelling novel about a young woman by the name of Jane Grey who, upon her cousin’s surmised “death,” she becomes queen for about nine days before the proverbial poop hits the fan.

The book is divided into two parts: the first part being all of the events before and leading up to when Jane becomes Queen and when she is almost killed because of it; and the second part being where the narrators (who break into the story every once in a while) change history.

Of course there are actual differences in real history and their history for this retelling, such as the magic in this world being ones in which humans, depending on their lineage, can turn into animals – these kinds of people were called Eðian (pronounced eth-ee-uhn). And, like any ruling country of the time in the 1500’s, not a lot of people liked those who could change – and these people were called Verities. And then you get the common folk who don’t bend one way or the other.

The plot of the book was engaging and had me wanting to turn the page to find out what happens next, who can be trusted, what kinds of twists and turns were going to happen, and oh. The humor. Yeah, there was that, too. It followed three main characters: Edward, Jane, and Gifford (call him G!) and each chapter was in the point of view of one respectively. I thought this was a great move because it allowed us to have different perspectives and takes as to what was going on in their surroundings and how each person would react in those situations. It started off with a few common problems that needed to be fixed, to betrayal being had, to a forced wedding, more betrayal, and so on.

Edward – or rather, King Edward VI – is a sixteen year old boy-king who doesn’t really rule the country; he lets his advisors do it for him, signing what needs to be signed when he’s told about the changes and such. He hasn’t really come into his own at the beginning and I thought that was interesting and a bit of a refresher because I’m so used to reading about princes and kings that are stuffy and cautious and all of that. Edward was kind of a hot mess, and I appreciated that. He has the worst sense of timing and direction, easily offends the ladies (without meaning to), and he is kind of a whiner. But as the book progresses into the second half, he starts to become much more open minded and accepting of a lot of things and he becomes stronger as a result of the people and circumstances around him. I was actually quite impressed with him at the end.

Jane is a stubborn girl who loves – LOVES – to read books, and carry books with her, and put puts ahead of people. She hates the idea of marriage, but she hates being told what to do more because she believes she has her own mind to make her own decisions, thank you very much. I found that she was kind of lost and troubled in the beginning due to the circumstances surrounding her, but as the story progressed she proved that she is not only brave, but also a risk taker and willing to help those she cares about. She’s very much a modest young lady of sixteen, but I found that she really grew on me and that she was definitely a strong young woman.

Gifford – or G, as he prefers to be called – just wants to be free to run and live without having to worry about the pressures his father may put on him, or his father looking down on him. We learn very early on that G is an Eðian, and that he views himself to be cursed as he changes into a horse when the sun rises, then back into a man when the sun sets. He has some secrets, and he lets people think what they want to about him, but I found that he was one of my favorite characters. He was so willing and ready to protect Jane a lot throughout this book and he also was a great asset to the whole plot. I found him to be stubborn as well, but also so full of emotion.

There were also secondary characters in this story that played a big role, such as Gracie – a Scottish lass with a fiery tongue and wore trousers (gasp!), Pet (Edward’s pet dog), Gran (Edward & Jane’s grandmother), among others. I loved each of these characters because they brought so much life into the story, and obviously helped to further along the plot.

And the romance was also adorable and sweet as we watched the love between characters blossom, and one character being a silly git, and oh man. All the warm, fuzzy feels at the end.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. The humor was fantastic and referenced a lot of phrases and sayings that we say today or that would have been said during a later time period, the romance was adorable, the characters each grew in positive ways, and the plot was interesting and made me want to know what was going to happen next.

I rated this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend it!

Rayna Recommends: Manga Favorites

Hey everyone! I know I haven’t done a recommendation post in quite a while, but I wanted to start the new year off with one of my favorite kinds of books: manga!

I started reading manga back in sixth grade when my best friend introduced me to it. I was hooked for a long time, but I stopped really reading them in college because my interests were changing – but I still enjoy reading a good manga series!

So I thought today I’d recommend some of my personal favorites. They spread over a few genres, but the bigger theme is that they all have some form of romance in them or another.

So here is my list of recommended manga:

1 . Fushigi Yuugi by Yuu Watase

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This is my most favorite series of all time. It’s about a girl who gets pulled into the world of a book and how she has to live in that book until the end, pretty much. There’s romance, action, adventure, SO MANY FEELS, and so much more. I love Yuu Watase’s art style so, so much, and really, anything by her is amazing.

2. Ayashi no Ceres (Ceres Celestial Legend) by Yuu Watase

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This is a more mature series by her, but it’s still a beautiful tale about twins who come to find out a secret about their family and how each of them have their own fates to play out once the secret’s out. It’s got romance, action, fantastical elements, magic, and more.

3. Chobits by CLAMP

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This series by CLAMP is one about a boy who goes off to college and finds a persacom (robot) left out in the garbage outside his apartment. When he brings her back in and activates her, he discovers that there’s a lot more to persacoms than he originally thought – and just how valuable his is. I love, love, love this manga series not only for the art style, but the story as well. Each character is one you get attached to and it’s just a fun, and sometimes intense, story to follow.

4. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

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This twelve volume series is a long one, but it’s about a girl who stumbles upon some classmates and comes to find out that they change into animals when they’re hugged by someone of the opposite sex. It’s a story about the zodiac and it’s a really good series. The art style took a while for me to get used to, but I otherwise adore the story and characters and I suggest giving it a go.

5. Tokyo Mew Mew by Reiko Yoshida & Mia Ikumi

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The manga series that started it all, of course this series has a special place in my heart. It’s about magical girls who partly turn into animals and have to defeat some evil foes. I really adore the art style and the story, but I have to keep reminding myself how young these characters are. But still, it’s a fun story!

6. Ao Hare Ride by Io Sakisaka

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I. Love. This. Manga. It’s seriously an amazing story about two high school students just going about their days, and one day they fall in love. It’s sweet and funny, and sometimes serious, and I just love it to pieces. Like, I can’t even. Go read it.

7. Kaichou-wa Maid-sama by Hiro Fujiwara

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This series is about a girl who is very standoffish but is then forced to take care of one of her classmates. There’s a lot of silliness that ensues, but it’s also a love story. This one made me laugh a lot and I think it’s just one of those series that’s a great pick-me-up.

Honestly, I can’t recommend these few series enough. They are some of my absolute favorites ever and I think that if you like to laugh, you’ll enjoy any and all of them. There are serious moments involved in each of them, as well as romance and action. Check them out sometime!

Have you read any of these series? What manga do you recommend to me? Let me know!