Historical, Retelling, Young Adult

Ghosts, Undercover Agents and Hijinks // My Plain Jane by the Lady Janies


My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows
Publisher: HarperTeen (Jun 26, 2018)
Series: The Lady Janies #2


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.

I’d like to thank HarperCollins USA International for an ARC of My Plain Jane.

Rating 5

Oh, the heavens have blesseth us with My Plain Jane, another instalment in the Jane series by the Lady Janies! If you’ve been following my blog since last year, you’d know that I was a huge fan of My Lady Jane because I adore humour in books and what the Lady Janies did was perfection. Intrigued? Check out my review of My Lady Jane here.

You may think you know the story.

Oh, heard that one, have you? Well, we say again: you may think you know the story. By all accounts it’s a good one: a penniless, orphaned young woman becomes a governess in a wealthy household, catches the eye of the rich and stern master, and (sigh) falls deeply in love. It’s all very passionate and swoonworthy, but before they can be married, a—gasp!—terrible treachery is revealed. Then there’s fire and despair, some aimless wandering, starvation, a little bit of gaslighting, but in the end, the romance works out. The girl (Miss Eyre) gets the guy (Mr. Rochester). They live happily ever after. Which means (sigh) everybody’s happy, right?

Following the success of My Lady Jane, the tremendous trio wrote My Plain Jane, a story that follows Jane Eyre, your average plain Jane who aspires to be a governess. Instead of teaching young ladies etiquette, a wholesome education and manners at the table at a stately manor, she’s stuck in Lowood School as a teacher. There, she befriends Charlotte Brontë, one of the brightest students in her year. However, she too, is rather plain.

Now here’s the fun part: ghosts and mischief!

Enter Alexander Blackwood, the star agent of this supernatural society where they track down ghosts and knocks them with things to trap them. You’ll find out more when you read it. However, ghosts and plain girls might seem like good fun, but the plot thickens (gah!) when Charlotte stumbles upon a job advertisement in the newspaper, looking for a governess with a very specific skill set. So much so that the governess position seems perfect for our rather plain heroine, Jane Eyre. Surely that is too much of a coincidence, am I right?

I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved My Plain Jane with all my heart because I was obsessed with My Lady Jane when I read it for the first time in 2016. I just wish my TBR pile were more forgiving that I could afford the time to reread both My Lady Jane and My Plain Jane simply because both of them were so incredibly well-written with the humour that could guarantee plenty of snorting and honking like a goose.

My Plain Jane, as the title suggests, is the story of a plain Jane who tries to be everything she is not. I loved that the focus was on women in Victorian England who didn’t have the chance to be who they wanted to be and I was very pleased that Jane and Charlotte proved to be clever and resourceful heroines. Even though she is rather plain. But fret not! Jane is a seer and she has the special ability to see ghosts. Isn’t that neat? But more will be revealed when you read My Plain Jane. You simply must, I insist!

The highlight of the Lady Janies’ books is definitely the ineffable humour because there was never a dull moment in My Plain Jane. I laughed, I honked, I swooned (okay, a bit) and I loved every page of this unique twist in the original tale of Jane Eyre combined with a very unusual yet intriguing story of Charlotte Brontë as she catalogues the events of the novel and ultimately “writes” Jane Eyre. Talk about meta. These ladies are genius, I swear. I don’t think I will ever get bored of these Jane books.

I definitely fell in love with how the story was crafted and executed, from the different perspectives of the characters’ POVs as well as imbuing such effortless humour into the language and narratives, I was completely hooked from the get-go because what’s not to love? Humour is the road that leads to my frosty heart, my friends. Though the tone of My Plain Jane was darker as compared to My Lady Jane which was more light-hearted, I thoroughly enjoyed both vastly different retellings. I appreciated how the Lady Janies attempted to retell the story of Jane Eyre with such flair and hilarity, which really made me enjoy the story even more.

There’s action and humour! There are ghosts and some paranormal hijinks. Yes, there might be some kissing but rest assured, there is definitely a lot of laughing. I doubt my review of My Plain Jane which is simply marvelous in my books, would do the book justice but I’ve got to try, at the very least, to persuade you to pick this up.

Filled with heartfelt humour, buckets of charm and a slow-burning romance between a certain Miss Jane and Mr Rochester, I dare you to pick My Plain Jane up and not laugh when you read it. Still not convinced? EpicReads posted a sneak peek of the first two chapters of My Plain Jane. Check it out here!


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