Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

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Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: My Plain Jane is a refreshing retelling and filled with endless laugh out loud lines!

“ ‘Go home, Miss Brontë.’
‘I can’t afford any more delays, Miss Brontë.’
‘Please stop talking, Miss Brontë.’
Nevertheless, she persisted.”

My Plain Jane is a companion novel to My Lady Jane, and you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one (except please do read the first one it’s amazing). Instead of retelling history, the authors have taken on a beloved classic, Jane Eyre. All I’ve read of Jane Eyre before this book was a few passages and a couple of retellings, but you really don’t need to know the original to love this book. Some of the jokes are kinda at the expense of the classic novel, but they’re equally funny if you haven’t read it.

I absolutely loved this book. It follows three main characters: Jane Eyre, a penniless orphan who just so happens to have rare ability to see ghosts; Charlotte Bronte, an aspiring author and Jane’s best friend, who dreams of getting away from her horrible school; and Alexander Blackwood, the star agent of the Society for the Relocation of Wayward Spirits, a group of ghost hunters, who will do anything to get Jane to join them. Charlotte promises to help Alexander get Jane to join the society, but after Jane begins working for the mysterious (and handsome) Mr. Rochester, that may be harder than they expected.

Jane’s plot follows fairly closely to the original story of Jane Eyre for the first third of the book, but through Charlotte and Alexander’s perspectives, some differences and variety is shown. After that first third, however, the book contains so many twists and turns, really becoming its own. The writing style is just as fun as in My Lady Jane, with hilarious asides, countless references, and so, so many jokes. I would say that this book was even funnier than the first, something I really didn’t expect.

“It’s not my murder… It’s our murder, as in that it benefits us all.”

The pacing of the book was great, I flew through it, never wanting to put it down. The ghost aspect was also handled well, with just enough rules to make sense but also never overloading you with exposition or ever really feeling like a heavy fantasy read.

I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Charlotte was amazing, and I’ll fight anyone who says differently. Alexander and Jane were also interesting protagonists. Jane could be a little frustrating, but in a purposeful way and other characters were equally annoyed. The relationships had less of a focus in this book than in My Lady Jane, which wasn’t what I was expecting considering it’s a Jane Eyre retelling, but I really appreciated the way they were shown. Honestly, I just love everything about this book.

Pros- Awesome writing style, great sense of humor
Cons- ??????? How can I list any cons for a book that brought me so much joy?
Overall- 5/5 stars.
My Plain Jane is a hilarious, witty retelling with plenty of twists to keep the story fascinating no matter how well you think you know Jane Eyre. This is the perfect lighthearted, fun read for the summer.

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