Review: My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2)

Title: My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2)
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Owlcrate, Litjoy
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads 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.

Review:

This is another fabulous book by the Lady Janies!

This story is an adaptation of Jane Eyre. The three perspectives are Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë, and Alexander Blackwood. Charlotte attends Lowood school with Jane. However, Jane can see ghosts. She is recruited by Alexander to join a special ghost catching society, but she refuses so she can follow her dream of being a governess. Charlotte joins Alexander and her brother Branwell to try and convince Jane to use her unique powers to catch ghosts.

This story mostly followed the plot of Jane Eyre. Some of the strange plot points in the story were explained by ghosts appearing in this story. Other odd plot points were altered to make better sense in the story, like Jane’s sudden discovery of new cousins at the end of the original book.

Jane’s friend Helen, who died as a girl at school, is in this story as a ghost who follows Jane everywhere. I loved Helen’s commentary on the story. She commented on how ridiculous things were, such as the way that Jane insisted on being a governess when she could have had much more money in the ghost society.

I laughed out loud so many times while reading this book! I love Jane Eyre, so I really enjoyed the jokes about the novel. There were also loads of references to 19th century novels, such as Pride and Prejudice, which I also really enjoyed!

I can’t wait to read the next book in the Lady Janies series!

What to read next:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings #1) by Mackenzi Lee

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco

Other Books in the Series:

Have you read My Plain Jane? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – March 18

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno. The expected publication date is April 7, 2020.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It starts before you can even remember: You learn the rules for being a girl. . . .

Marin has always been good at navigating these unspoken guidelines. A star student and editor of the school paper, she dreams of getting into Brown University. Marin’s future seems bright―and her young, charismatic English teacher, Mr. Beckett, is always quick to admire her writing and talk books with her.

But when “Bex” takes things too far and comes on to Marin, she’s shocked and horrified. Had she somehow led him on? Was it her fault?

When Marin works up the courage to tell the administration what happened, no one believes her. She’s forced to face Bex in class every day. Except now, he has an ax to grind.

But Marin isn’t about to back down. She uses the school newspaper to fight back and she starts a feminist book club at school. She finds allies in the most unexpected people, like “slutty” Gray Kendall, who she’d always dismissed as just another lacrosse bro. As things heat up at school and in her personal life, Marin must figure out how to take back the power and write her own rules.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Fight Like a Girl

Title: Fight Like a Girl
Author: Sheena Kamal
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Beauty of the Moment meets Exit, Pursued by a Bear. Award-winning thriller writer Sheena Kamal delivers a kick-ass debut YA novel that will have fans crying out for more.

Love and violence. In some families they’re bound up together, dysfunctional and poisonous, passed from generation to generation like eye color or a quirk of smile. Trisha’s trying to break the chain, channeling her violent impulses into Muay Thai kickboxing, an unlikely sport for a slightly built girl of Trinidadian descent. Her father comes and goes as he pleases, his presence adding a layer of tension to Toronto’s east-end townhouse Trisha and her mom call home, every punch he lands on her mother carving itself indelibly into Trisha’s mind. Until the night he wanders out drunk in front of the car Trisha is driving, practicing on her learner’s permit, her mother in the passenger seat. Her father is killed, and her mother seems strangely at peace. Lighter, somehow. Trisha doesn’t know exactly what happened that night, but she’s afraid it’s going to happen again. Her mom has a new man in her life and the patterns, they are repeating.

Review:

Trisha is a fighter. She practices Muay Thai kickboxing. She is of Trinidadian descent, and she lives with her mother in Toronto. Her dad comes to visit from Trinidad, and is killed when she accidentally hits him with her car. However, she suspects that there is more to his death. She throws herself into her fighting to distract her from her suspicions about her father’s death and her mother’s new boyfriend.

This was such an original story. There were unexpected twists. There was also lots of tension when it came to Trisha’s kickboxing. She went through a lot of pain and suffering, both mentally and physically, which was difficult to read at times.

I loved that this book was set in my hometown of Toronto. I could imagine where Trisha lived and the things she would do in the city, like taking the subway to her kickboxing class. I had friends when I was growing up who were from Trinidad, so Tricia reminded me of them.

This is a great story!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Lost Ones (Nora Watts #1) by Sheena Kamal

Iphigenia Murphy by Sara Hosey

Have you read Fight Like a Girl? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Spring 2020 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Spring 2020 TBR. Here’s my list:

1. Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan

2. Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

3. Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

4. We Didn’t Ask for This by Avi Alsaid

5. Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed

6. To Have and to Hoax by Martha Water

7. My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong

8. More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

9. Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli

10. Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Happy Pub Day – March 17

Happy Pub day to all of these new books!

The Elephant by Peter Carnavas

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan #19) by Kathy Reichs

Trouble with Treasure (Undersea Mystery Club #2) by Courtney Carbone, Melanie Demmer (illustrator)

break your glass slippers by Amanda Lovelace

All the Pretty Things by Emily Arsenault

The Electric Heir (Feverwake #2) by Victoria Lee

What books are you most excited for this week?

Blog Tour Review: The Grace Kelly Dress

Title: The Grace Kelly Dress
Author: Brenda Janowitz
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly-lookalike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice—one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security, and of course, the dress.

Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky,” has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.

As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’s history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future.

Review:

This story follows three perspectives. The first is a bride in 2020. She has been given the wedding dress that her mother and grandmother wore, but she doesn’t want to wear it. The second perspective is the bride’s mother in the 80s when she was going to get married. Her own mother had give her her own wedding dress, but she has some uncertainties about getting married. The third perspective is a seamstress in Paris in the 50s. She suddenly has to take over the designer’s studio when she dies, and she has to secretly design a special wedding dress under the designer’s name.

This story had a lot more tension than I expected. There were cliffhangers at the end of many chapters, so I had a hard time putting the book down. There were some shocking twists that I didn’t expect.

I loved the way the wedding dress was woven throughout three generations, yet it had very different meanings to each woman. The original dress was inspired by Grace Kelly’s famous dress, but I expected Grace Kelly to have a much bigger part of the story. The theme of marriage and the meaning behind the dress was prevalent throughout the story.

This was a great story!

Thank you Graydon House Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

The Whispers of War by Julia Kelly

Author Info:

Brenda Janowitz is the author of five novels, including The Dinner Party and Recipe for a Happy Life. She is the Books Correspondent for PopSugar. Brenda’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Salon, Redbook, and the New York Post. She lives in New York.

Have you read The Grace Kelly Dress? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – March 16

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Fight Like a Girl by Sheena Kamal.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan #19) by Kathy Reichs.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – March 15

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 8 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… The Grace Kelly Dress

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly-lookalike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice—one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security, and of course, the dress.

Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky,” has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.

As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’s history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Favourite Bookish Families

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Characters Who Would Fit in Your Family, but I changed it to Favourite Bookish Families. Here’s my list:

1. The Weasleys (Harry Potter)

2. The Bennetts (Pride and Prejudice)

3. The Barrows (Red Queen)

4. The Beaudelaires (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

5. The Carters (The Hate U Give)

6. The Coveys (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)

(All book cover images from Goodreads)