Why My Lady Jane Doesn’t Live Up To The Hype- Book Review

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My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Published by HarperTeen on June 7th, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 491
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Amazon

Edward (long live the king) 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 (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than 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 (call him G) 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 hype surrounding My Lady Jane was what made me pick up this book in the first place.

Lots of people were saying how hilarious and witty this book was. Also, it’s a rewritten history of a Lady who lost her head, so I was like “Cool! Sounds like a fun read!”

So I got the book.

1

I didn’t know much about My Lady Jane when I started reading.

In fact, I somehow missed the memo that there would be magic in this book. How did I do that? I have no idea.

But hey, the fact that there was magic made me even more excited. Who doesn’t love some magic? (Hint: Me, apparently)

2

Nothing about the opening of My Lady Jane appealed to me.

I tried to find things about the characters to like, but came up dry. They all seemed really immature and overly silly. It was also very difficult to differentiate between their voices. I had to keep checking the name at the beginning of the chapter to remember who was narrating.

The magic also was a joke. The idea the authors had was really cool, but the execution was poor and it hurt my soul.

3

The story line was overshadowed by bad attempts at humor.

It may have been just me, but I could not get on board with any of the humor in My Lady Jane. It was slapstick gone wrong. I could tell where I was supposed to laugh, but that doesn’t mean that I did laugh… at all.

4

I made it about 20% through before I had to stop.

Maybe I didn’t give My Lady Jane enough of a chance. But I did not find it enjoyable at all. I couldn’t even bring myself to pick it back up.

5

Did the hype kill it?

After hearing so many amazing things about My Lady Jane, maybe my expectations for the book were too high. I know a lot of people loved this book, but I just don’t see it.

What did you think about My Lady Jane? Did it live up to the hype? 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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Book Review- Hunting Prince Dracula

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Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Expected publication by Little, Brown on September 19th, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Horror, Romance
Pages: 448
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Amazon

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of my favorite books, so when I was able to get my hands on a copy of Hunting Prince Dracula (through a trade) I was over the moon!

Hunting Prince Dracula was every bit as dark, spooky, haunting, and swoon worthy as promised. Audrey Rose and Thomas travel to Romaina, only to find there is a murderer on the loose, and the dead bodies are drained of blood.

I loved this book, but not quite as much as I liked the first one. There were some things throughout the book that put me a little off (nothing major or worth mentioning, but still, every once in a while I would pause and go like “what? why would you put that in there? That does absolutely nothing for the plot/characters/novel at all”). But I was able to get past that pretty easily, and it didn’t really bother me that much.

As in Stalking Jack the Ripper, I picked out the killer the first time they were introduced. Literally the second that character met Audrey Rose I said to myself “and there’s the killer.” I only doubted that thought once in the book (which was some pretty good plotting on Maniscalco’s part), but in the end I turned out to be right.

I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes spooky, thrilling, mysterious, or gothic/dark books. These are amazing!! I honestly can not wait for the next book to come out (and this one to come out so more people can read it!), and I’m going to spend every second from now until the title is announced trying to guess just what legend Wadsworth and Cresswell are going to be chasing next.

ALSO THE SWOONS GUYS. SO MANY SWOONS I DIED.

I am going to give Hunting Prince Dracula four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- The Time Thief

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The Time Thief by Linda Buckley-Archer
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on December 26, 2007
Genres: Time Travel, Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure
Pages: 488
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Goodreads

An accident with an antigravity machine catapulted Peter Schock and Kate Dyer back to 1763. A bungled rescue attempt leaves Peter stranded in the eighteenth century while a terrifying villain, the Tar Man, takes his place and explodes onto twenty-first-century London. Concerned about the potentially catastrophic effects of time travel, the NASA scientists responsible for the situation question whether it is right to rescue Peter. Kate decides to take matters into her own hands, but things don’t go as planned. Soon the physical effects of time travel begin to have a disturbing effect on her. Meanwhile, in our century, the Tar Man wreaks havoc in a city whose police force is powerless to stop him. Set against a backdrop of contemporary London and revolutionary France, The Time Thief is the sequel to the acclaimed The Time Travelers.

The Time Thief was a thrilling sequel to The Time Travelers (you can read that review here). The story begins where the first book ended, which I won’t say too much about because that would give away what happens in the first book.

There was a lot of great character development in The Time Thief, and I got to learn more about a lot of the characters who did not play such big roles in the first book. I loved the amount of perspectives that the story was told from, and how the events happening in different times and places were effortlessly put together into the story.

To my surprise, I ended up enjoying The Time Thief much more than its prequel. The story was more engaging, the plot more exciting, and the characters had more depth to them. I do wish that Gideon the Cutpurse was more present in the book, but at the same time, the reasons for his absence were good.

The end of this book has me grabbing at my shelves for the final book in the trilogy, The Time Quake. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes stories about time travel (this trilogy definitely has an interesting take on it), adventure, and historical fiction.

I am going to give The Time Thief four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Gideon the Cutpurse

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Gideon the Cutpurse (also published as The Time Travelers) by Linda Buckley-Archer
Published by Simon & Schuster on January 1 2006
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Time Travel, Historical Fiction
Pages: 404
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Goodreads

1763.

Gideon Seymour, cutpurse and gentleman, hides from the villainous Tar Man. Suddenly the sky peels away like fabric and from the gaping hole fall two curious-looking children. Peter Schock and Kate Dyer have fallen straight from the twenty-first century, thanks to an experiment with an antigravity machine. Before Gideon and the children have a chance to gather their wits, the Tar Man takes off with the machine — and Kate and Peter’s only chance of getting home. Soon Gideon, Kate, and Peter are swept into a journey through eighteenth-century London and form a bond that, they hope, will stand strong in the face of unfathomable treachery.

Gideon the Cutpurse was full of adventure. From the moment Peter and Kate were thrown back in time, there was not a second of rest. The narrative follows both the events of 1763, where Peter and Kate meet Gideon and set out to find a way to get home, and present day (or not so present because the book came out in 2006), where the police along with Kate’s father and NASA are trying to find the children.

Although the events had all the promise to be a five star read, the actual story fell a bit short. I felt bored at times, like there was a cycle between excitement and boredom throughout the book. Then there were parts that could have been so much better, but weren’t. I feel like there could have been so much more done with the characters that would have brought the story to life. The reactions I read didn’t feel realistic, it felt like a bedtime story.

I also found it a bit strange how there were pages at the end of some chapters from Gideon Seymour’s personal journal. They felt a bit out of place, and didn’t really add anything to the plot. I don’t know if they evolve into something more in the rest of the trilogy, but I can only hope that there is a greater reason for them being there.

There is so much I wish I could add to this book, but at the same time, I can’t say I didn’t like it at all. It was a fun read, even if I had to read it in little chunks at a time. I do however think that an elementary school kid would eat this book up, and I definitely recommend it for preteens and younger who love time travel and adventure. I just don’t think this book was quite for me.

I am going to give Gideon the Cutpurse three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Passing

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Passing by Nella Larsen
Published 1929
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, African American, Literature
Pages: 122
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Irene Redfield, the novel’s protagonist, is a woman with an enviable life. She and her husband, Brian, a prominent physician, share a comfortable Harlem town house with their sons. Her work arranging charity balls that gather Harlem’s elite creates a sense of purpose and respectability for Irene. But her hold on this world begins to slip the day she encounters Clare Kendry, a childhood friend with whom she had lost touch. Clare—light-skinned, beautiful, and charming—tells Irene how, after her father’s death, she left behind the black neighborhood of her adolescence and began passing for white, hiding her true identity from everyone, including her racist husband. As Clare begins inserting herself into Irene’s life, Irene is thrown into a panic, terrified of the consequences of Clare’s dangerous behavior. And when Clare witnesses the vibrancy and energy of the community she left behind, her burning desire to come back threatens to shatter her careful deception.

Passing was an interesting book. It followed Irene, an African American woman in the 1920’s, and how her life changes when an old friend named Clare comes back into her life.
As the title suggests, the book is about “passing” race. In this case, African Americans passing as whites. The characters were certainly intriguing. Clare was unpredictable and a little scary. She didn’t really care about anything except her own desires. Irene, on the other hand, believes that she cares about her family, and she does for the most part, although there are some things that she can only see her way.

The book takes place over several years and is written in three parts. The layout almost reminds me of a play, which is an interesting way to lay out a novel. The first part sets up the characters and the idea of “passing”. The second delves deeper into the issue and establishes who each of the characters are, two years after the first part. The third part is like a finale. Everything spins out of control until it comes crashing down in the end.
Passing deals with issues that we are still dealing with today, no matter how far we think we have come. It is interesting to see how the characters in this book regard racism, and what it actually means (for them at least) to pretend to be someone (something?) they are not.

I didn’t necessarily love this book, but it was a very thoughtful story, and I am glad to have read it. I would recommend this to lovers of literature, and anyone who wants a new perspective on racial issues both today and in the past.

I am going to give Passing three out of four hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Book Reivew- Miss E.

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Miss E. by Brian Herberger
Published by Birch Cove Books on May 9, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Children’s Books
Pages: 256
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Amazon

Being the new kid in town is a way of life for Bets, but moving to California in 1967 is different. Her father leaves for the war in Vietnam, her history teacher gives an assignment that has the whole school searching for clues, and the town’s most mysterious resident shares a secret with Bets that has been hidden away for decades. When a peaceful protest spins out of control, Bets is forced to reconsider how she feels about the war her father is fighting and her own role in events taking place much closer to home.

Miss E. was a great book. I was sucked into the story from the very first sentence, and I finished the whole book in one afternoon.

The book was very easy and fun to read, and I feel in love with the characters. Bets is strong willed and an independent thinker. As the story progressed, she not only learned about Miss E., she learned about herself. The whole story left me all warm and fuzzy.

I loved how each character was so unique. Even the characters with smaller parts had their own story and individuality without much being said about them. It was so easy to imagine myself back in 1967, meeting each of the characters and going to Sonny’s to eat pizza and hang out with them.

I also love Miss E. I love her so much! All I want to do is go in her house and drink tomato juice and listen to her stories… and of course go on adventures with her! Although the story is about Bets, Miss E. is a huge driving force behind her actions, and teachers her some important life lessons without saying more than a few words.

This is a book I would recommend to anyone and everyone. It is a fun and easy read, and it is such a feel good story!

I am going to give Miss E. five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

*This book was given to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review. This has not in any way influenced my views of opinions of the book.

Book Reivew- Fear The Drowning Deep

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Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Expected Publication by Sky Pony Press on October 4, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 304
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Amazon

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

Fear the Drowning Deep was amazing! The whole book was filled with magic and excitement and anticipation. There was a surprise in every chapter and it kept me on my toes till the very end.

I loved so many things about Fear the Drowning Deep. Firstly, the names. Oh my gosh, the names. I love them so much. And I can’t forget the nicknames like Bridey-bird… they add such a special touch to the writing! But seriously, look at these beauties:

  • Grayse
  • Catreena
  • Nessa
  • Peddyr
  • Fynn

Don’t you just love them!! Those are some of my favorites.

Secondly, I loved the setting and the use of Manx (a Gaelic language). It all feels so authentic, and brings the story to life. The Isle of Man sounds absolutely stunning, and makes me want to visit so badly (besides, you know, what’s in the water). Also, like I said, Manx is such a beautiful language, and a few sayings are worked expertly into the story, such as how to say “Hello” or “Good morning”.

Moghrey mie – Hello/Good morning in Manx Gaelic

Thirdly, I loved how the plot unfolded. It didn’t feel forced at all, instead it felt like the events were unfolding… like dominoes toppling over. And when the ending came (which did a wonderful job of tying up all the loose ends), I just wanted more. I still want more!

Fear the Drowning Deep was an easy and fun read, and I definitely recommend reading it! I am giving the book five out of five stars! I can’t wait to read more from Sarah Glenn Marsh!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

*This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This has not in any way affected my views or opinions of the book.