Review: My Plain Jane | Hand, Meadows, and Ashton

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MY PLAIN JANE | Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

BOOK SPECS

  • Series: The Lady Janites
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication Date: June 26, 2018

SYNOPSIS

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.”

Revamped Review-2

I really wanted to love this one as much as My Lady Jane, because that book was spectacular. This book? Not as much.

One thing’s for certain, it’s not as funny as its predecessor. The humor is a bit too try hard and is often a miss rather than a hit. The witty banter and dialogue sometimes falls flat and isn’t as endearing as it once was in My Lady Jane.

Unfortunately, there are far fewer characters to get attached to. It’s still very clever and does a great job of deconstructing the Gothic romance novel, but in the authors’ quest to do so, they sacrificed certain characters’ strengths and likable personalities. Jane Eyre in particular proved to be the most annoying of the cast of characters and I felt better when I didn’t have to read her POV.

However, I loved that the authors included Charlotte Brontë as an actual character in the plot and surprisingly she was the most enjoyable character to follow along with. And I was doing some hardcore shipping between her and another character the entire way through. Also, by the end there’s a fun little nod to Charlotte’s pseudonym that is weaved into another character’s profile that I thought was very fun and playful. And I also really liked that Helen Burns was given a larger role to play in the rise of Jane Eyre. Her character was the voice of reason (besides Charlotte) and she oftentimes challenged Jane’s stubborn attraction to Mr. Rochester despite the obvious red flags.

I’m not angry that this book completely alters the story of Jane Eyre to include an actual supernatural element and I’m definitely not mad that the authors poked fun at a well-known novel to debunk and criticize certain romantic perceptions that paint questionable male love interests as appealing. There are many moments of critical analysis concerning pre-Victorian culture and social behaviors, and these moments are well deserved. However, I was still kind of bored with the lopsided comedy and predictable plot, and I really wish Jane Eyre’s character had been handled better.

My Rating:

3 stars (new)

5 thoughts on “Review: My Plain Jane | Hand, Meadows, and Ashton

  1. Great review Azia, and I agree with you on so many points in this one as well. When it comes to the characters in this book Jane Eyre was my least favourite, and I definitely preferred reading the story when it was Charlotte or Alexander talking instead of her. Also I wasn’t a fan of the romance between Jane and Mr Rochester, I get that the novel was making fun of how things were back then with the whole insta-love thing but it just didn’t work for me, neither did much of the humour to be honest.
    It’s a shame because I really enjoyed My lady Jane and hoped for something like that. I kind of feel like My Lady Jane should have been left as a standalone, and this book hasn’t left me with a lot of hope (although I still have some) for the third one that will be released. :/
    Still great review, just a shame this wasn’t as good as we’d both hoped it would be. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Beth. I think it’s crazy that the authors made Jane Eyre kind of insufferable as a character lol. I know the original heroine had some issues, but she was never hard to like :/ Thank god for Charlotte and Alex though. They kept me going tbh. And yeah, the humor was really flat and even though I know they were purposely trying to make the romance b/w Jane and Rochester seem ridiculous, I think there might have been other ways of going about it.
      I definitely thought that My Lady Jane was a one time deal. My Plain Jane just couldn’t keep up. Not so much looking forward to the next one, but maybe it will surprise us!
      Thanks again! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right. Yeah after My Lady Jane it’s almost like different authors wrote this one.
        It seemed to go the other way, made her character too ridiculous and I was more annoyed than amused you know? It’s a shame and I haven’t read the original so I can’t really speak to that but My Plain Jane hasn’t convinced me to add it to my TBR list either.
        That’s all right. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I’m sorry to hear this one fell flat in comparison! I haven’t started this series yet but I’ve heard people shouting their praise of My Lady Jane from the rooftops so of course I was hoping this one would be similar.
    Sequels tend to not be as great as first books, unfortunately… I think they usually miss some sort of spark? Maybe because they have too much pressure on them to be as good or even better than the prequels so it ends up taking everything spontaneous away from them? I don’t know, but it sucks 😦
    Anyway, amazing review nonetheless, Azia! ❤ I really enjoyed reading it ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I still shout praise for My Lady Jane from the high heavens, but My Plain Jane? Not so much… But I think you’re right about the pressure to recreate something just as unique and entertaining as the book preceding the sequel. Expectations were really high for this one since the first book was so amazing.
      But that’s okay. At least we’ll always have My Lady Jane haha. Hope you end up loving that one if you ever get around to it! 😀
      And thank you, Sophie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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