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!

Top Ten Tuesday: YouTubers I Love

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Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by the lovely people of The Broke & the Bookish. Today’s topic is all about our top ten favorite non-bookish related sites/blogs/etc. I was having a really hard time coming up with something because all I ever go on is social media and bookish websites, SO I decided to talk about some of the non-bookish YouTubers that I love! I follow a bunch of people, but there are certain ones that I watch more often than others.

  1. danisnotonfire – If you haven’t seen my posts that involve The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire, then this guy is one of the authors of said book, but he’s a funny, sarcastic British dude who tells it like it is with a heavy dose of sarcasm. I find him to be really funny and someone I watch to decrease my stress in a day because, let’s face it, Dan makes it really easy to laugh at him.
  2. AmazingPhil – And this guy is the other half of Dan and Phil. He’s amazingly awkward and tries so hard to make punny jokes that you just can’t help but laugh at. He’s also British and I love hearing the way he talks. Plus, he tells really funny life experience stories. And they have a gaming channel WHICH I LOVE BECAUSE SO MANY LAUGHS ARE HAD.
  3. Evan Edinger – He’s filled with so. Many. PUNS. Oh man, Evan just comes up with them on the fly and I just can’t help but smile when I hear them. He talks about living in the UK, about life things, about not so serious topics and serious things, and he even has a travel channel.
  4. BananaJamana – She’s one of the few artists I follow on YouTube simply because her art is AMAZING and cute and omg I want her to teach me all of her techniques. She’s super quiet and seems like a very sweet person, and I just want to hug her so much!
  5. Markiplier – He’s one of those famous gaming people on YouTube and he’s hilarious! And he’s also very sincere when it comes to his fans and when it comes to him thanking people for the subscribers and for understanding hard times in his life and stuff. Sure, he’s wicked funny in his gaming videos, but he’s got a great golden heart, too.
  6. 1MILLION Dance Studio – I love dancing! I don’t do it myself, but I love to dance and I love watching dancers. I believe this studio is based in Korea, and they all are amazing! They have a bunch of different choreographers and such talented dancers. I’d love to learn something by them! They do have a tutorial channel for that, too.
  7. WilldaBeast Adams – He’s one of the first choreographers I followed because, man, THEY KICK ASS. He and his crew of 4903248028409 people (seriously, that’s what it looks like sometimes) are all amazing dancers and they have awesome moves.
  8. Simon and Martina – I recently found them a couple of weeks ago, and OMG I LOVE THEM. I want to be their friend. They’re a married couple from Canada who lived in Korea for the last seven-ish years, but recently just moved to Japan, and they talk a lot about cultural things and music and fun topics. And they make them really fun and funny!
  9. WahlieTV – I found this channel through Weylie’s main channel, and I love them! They’re a couple and this is their vlogging channel, and I don’t know what it is but there’s just something about watching blogs that is very relaxing. They have great personalities and it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that they’re a couple years younger than me.
  10. Thingamavlogs – Of course I couldn’t leave this list without SOMETHING Disney related! These five YouTubers make up Thingamavlogs, where they bring out new topics each week about things Disney and Disneyland. I love watching them and seeing what they have to show because I’ve never been to Disneyland, plus I learn things about the movies and stuff I otherwise wouldn’t have known. Love them!

I could make this list go on forever, but these are definitely the ones I most frequent, I’d say. These content creators are all awesome and I highly suggest you check them out.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who are some of your favorite non-bookish YouTubers? Do you watch any of the people I listed? What kind of content are you into when you look for people to subscribe to?

Books & Humor: Why I Don’t Laugh Out Loud Often

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while now because I’ve noticed that as I’m reading I don’t laugh out loud very often. Sure, I can find books to be funny or characters will say something that will make me react in my head or give a little giggle, but I don’t full blown laugh out loud very often when I read.

And I don’t get it because I have a great sense of humor (or so I like to think and I’ve been told).

Only recently have I actually become aware of books that have made me laugh out loud or react in a more exaggerated way than I normally have, such as:

When I read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I absolutely loved it for many reasons, and one of the main reasons being the humor. It was the first book that I actually physically laughed out loud to in a very long time, that’s why it sticks to clearly in my memory as being funny.

Night of Cake & Puppets was funny because I already had a preconceived notion as to who the characters of Zuzana and Mik were, and the fact that there is so much SASS in this book made my heart warm and me laughing during my lunch break at work (luckily no one was with me for me to be embarrassed by).

And I’m currently reading When We Collided, but so far I’ve laughed at the most ridiculous lines because I feel like I’ve been there and said those kinds of things, just not in that way. Or maybe I just really relate to Jonah. And Vivi is just too peppy for words, oh man.

So why is it that I don’t laugh out loud when I read funny books? Or rather, why is it that I’ve only noticed recently that it’s happened and not before?

I think that when it comes to reading it’s a very personal thing. Not everyone who reads the same book is going to experience it in the same way, and so some people might be extremely easy laughers no matter the situation. If they’re reading, watching TV, talking to people: they just laugh easily. Then there are some people who don’t laugh at all while reading, except maybe in their heads.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I love to laugh. I love to smile. But when I read I get so wrapped up in the world and the characters that I don’t always notice when or if I do laugh even if I think something’s funny.

I don’t think this is an inherently bad thing at all, by the way. But I’m curious as to why I’m like that when I know how I am outside of reading.

I’ve just been noticing more and more that I’ve been commentating to myself my emotions out loud (yup, I’m weird), and that I’ve been chuckling or giggling or making weird faces, or even full blown laughing out loud lately. Maybe I’m just picking up the right books? Or maybe this topic has just been so on my mind lately that I’ve finally picked up on it?

Either way, I love that books can make me laugh. It’s exhilarating and refreshing and I think it’s so awesome that books have the power to do that because you don’t hear the inflection or tone in the book, but you still get it and understand what emotion it’s trying to convey.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you laugh out loud easily when it comes to books, or do you keep your emotions inside more? Are you a giggler? A chuckler? A starer? I need to know I’m not the only one!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That’ll Make You Laugh

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke & the Bookish. Today’s topic is all about books that’ll make you laugh. Now, I’m going to be honest: I don’t laugh when I read books. I mean, don’t get me wrong! I think plenty of books are funny and I’m often laughing in my head, but I don’t always laugh out loud. Some books I have recently, and I think it’s the best feeling, but otherwise I just kind of sit there and smile and think something’s funny.

So this list was really hard for me to make because I only remember a few in which I physically laughed out loud to. But here is my list of books that will get a chuckle out of you, no matter how it comes about:

1 . Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – This book will forever be listed among the “cute” and “funny” categories for me and I think that it really deserves this spot. It’s not only full of cute moments, but lots of moments where I found myself laughing out loud (and I’m pretty sure this is the first book that I did so with). So much sass. So many puns. So many oreos.

2. Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor – If you love Zuzana and Mik from Daughter of Smoke & Bone then you’re going to love this novella because OMG SO MUCH LAUGHTER WAS HAD. Zuzana is my spirit animal. She is so funny and witty and clever and you just need to read this novella. Go. Now. DO IT.

3. Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – I just remember Gideon trying so hard to be suave and charming, and he’d say something that would dig him into a deeper hole and in his head he’d chastise himself. Too. Funny.

4. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare – Honestly, Simon is my ultimate book BFF because he just comes out with these awesome lines that make the situation either really awkward or very sarcastic. I love him. Plus Jace and Isabelle and other characters all have their turn at humor and sass and I love them to piecessssss.

5. The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester – If you haven’t watched these two YouTubers, I suggest you do so. Dan’s sarcastic humor always makes me laugh and feel so relatable, and then Phil is just a weird goofball. Reading their book, and subsequently listening to the audiobooks, really made my day.

6. The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews – As I continue into this series more and more I find that there are parts where I’m smiling and laughing on the inside or just getting more of the jokes or whatever because Kate is a really sarcastic person, especially on the inside. I love how she always makes side comments to herself and sometimes it seems like the people around her can read her mind. It’s not a funny series overall, but there are bits of humor throughout to lighten the tension of what’s actually going on.

And that’s all I could think of because I’m literally getting a headache trying to remember the books I’ve laughed at while reading. I just… I can’t remember. In the moment, sure, but now? Oh man.

Oh, and because I can, I’m going to HIGHLY recommend this anime that is a romantic comedy and PURE GOLD.

ore-monogatari.36162

Ore Monogatari (My Love Story!) is about:

The story follows Takeo Gōda, a tall and muscular student who doesn’t have much luck with women, as every girl he likes ends up falling for his best friend, Makoto Sunakawa, who is charming and good-looking. This all changes when he saves Rinko Yamato, a petite shy girl who, above all other expectations, falls in love with Takeo, beginning a unique love story.

You have no clue how much I love this anime. I just finished watching all of the episodes last night and I’m SO SAD because I NEED more.

So I want to ask all of you for recommendations of funny books! Because obviously I need to know some more.

What kinds of books make you laugh? Are you like me and don’t really laugh out loud when it comes to reading? Let me know!

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire Review

theamazingbookisnotonfire

Title: The Amazing Book is Not on Fire: The World of Dan and Phil
Authors: Dan Howell (danisnotonfire) and Phil Lester (AmazingPhil)
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Genre: Nonfiction – Biography, Humor
Pages: 224
Format: Purchased Hardcover & Audible Audiobook

“The Amazing Book is Not on Fire” is a book that was written by two YouTube stars who are best friends: danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil. The book is kind of like a companion to their channels and who they are as people and reflect their personalities in the pages. It’s a biography with lots of humor, advice, and crazy stories, and if you’re a fan of these two YouTubers I highly recommend you pick up their book.

So I find it difficult to talk about nonfiction. With fiction I can go on and on about character development, plot devices, settings, etc. But with nonfiction it’s like I’m judging the actual people and that’s, well.. Scary? Empowering? Mostly scary.

But I recently started watching these two right after the time their book came out in the U.S. I found them to be hilarious, charming, and totally… awesome! Really. So when I saw one of their videos where they talked about their book, I knew I had to get it – to get into more of the world of Dan and Phil.

The book started from their birth – literally – where the two asked their moms about what it was like giving birth to them and all that. They talk about growing up, their school lives, and their YouTube origins. Normally I’d probably find this kind of thing boring, but I think that because I had seen them, saw their personalities on video before reading that I was able to get the humor and logic behind some of what they talked about.

And not only did they talk about growing up, they gave advice for those who might want to start their own YouTube channels: why you want to do it, what kind of content you want to make, how to make it happen… And it’s all really simple, easy to take advice! As I started my own YouTube channel last year, I’ve been learning and developing ever since (except the last few months where I haven’t made anything… lazy!). But it’s always good advice to think about as a possibility for a different channel or different content – or even just a reminder about why I made my channel in the first place.

It’s got fanfiction written by them about them (and I was really impressed with Dan’s story), it’s got deep discussions, it’s got stories about their time meeting One Direction, what really happened in Las Vegas, and they even share bits of their diaries from when they were preteens.

There’s lot of funny, goofy, and lovely pictures throughout the entire book; the book itself has a pretty kind of reflective, high quality paper that’s good for photos. So, really, it made it a lot more entertaining with the pictures.

Overall, I loved this book and I thought it was a great addition for fans of these two to have and that it really gave a nice shine and look into who Dan and Phil are a bit more.

I rate this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend it, especially if you’re into YouTube.