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Just a Girl (Elizabeth I #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
I do not remember when I discovered how my mother died, it seems to be something I always knew, a horror I absorbed through my skin.

Determined, passionate and headstrong, Elizabeth I shaped the destiny of a kingdom.

Her mother; Anne Boleyn, was executed by her father Henry VIII. From that moment on, Elizabeth competed with her two half-siblings for love and for Britain’s th
Paperback, 271 pages
Published May 2nd 2011 by UQP
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Em Romance is quite a prominent theme in this book, but it's not what the book is focused on.

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When I received a copy of Just a Queen for review and realised there was a previous book, I decided to grab a copy from a local library and review both books. Just a Girl focuses on Elizabeth’s childhood and the years before she became Queen of England. Just a Queen picks up Elizabeth’s story, twenty-eight years later, after Mary Queen of Scots has been beheaded.

I found Just a Girl to be completely engaging, there was plenty of intrigue and mystery, as long as you’re not too familiar with Elizab
Deborah Abela
Jul 15, 2011 Deborah Abela rated it really liked it
This novel begins on the eve of Queen Elizabeth the first’s coronation. She sits in the same room where she once awaited death. As the daughter of King Henry VIII, she has seen many betrayals, murderous plots and beheadings, including that of her mother, Anne Boleyn. Hers was a reign that was long and successful, despite being ‘just a girl’, at a time when girls were considered very much the inferior species. Jane Caro creates so perfectly what the thoughts and recollections the young Elizabeth ...more
Aug 23, 2011 Misty rated it liked it
Jane Caro uses poetic license as well as historical research to develop the character of Elizabeth I before her coronation. She beautifully recreated Elizabeth's life of uncertainty, fear and loneliness so as to present the realities of being a Princess. This is the book that will make you stop wishing you were royalty.

Caro delicately expressed the scene of sex, violence and death in a manner that present the facts without the excessive shock value. However, following so closely to the events of
Apr 19, 2015 Kirsti rated it it was ok
A dry, emotionless book that I felt was more intent of telling me the history of Elizabeth, rather than showing it. Extremely well researched, I felt like this was actually a bad thing, because it didn't feel like fiction, just a rehash of the history books. There was a lot of potential, but without the emotional connection I cannot rate this book any higher, nor make any other objections except for this ever so important fact. Two stars.
Love the Tudors? Love court intrigue, witty banter and the swish of ballgowns? Then the tale of Elizabeth I, daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, will have you entranced as she recounts her life as an unwanted child and the perils she faced as heir to an unstable throne.
Nov 29, 2016 Direwxlf rated it really liked it
On the eve of her coronation, Elizabeth reminisces about her past and her accession to queen. Following the tale of her sibling's reign, her imprisonment and the pressure that her patriarchal society imposes on her, we explore Elizabeth's mind and develop with her.

It's not the best historical fiction I've read, appearing tame to my past read of the 'Queens of Conquest', yet it doesn't disappoint. It's historically accurate, detailed, and captivating. Yet it lacks the emotional surface and the c
Jan 13, 2017 Justine rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-english
Enjoyable read over the holidays. It's a historical fiction written in the form of a journal, recounting memories of Elizabeth leading to her coronation. Well researched, it is an easy read although there are several characters. I was gifted Just a Queen and wanted to read this one first.
Looking at my AWW list, I have at least five other books (beyond this one) that I want to review before I finally wrap up and say goodbye to the challenge for 2012 (and get stuck into the 2013 challenge). But I'm going to start at the end with the book I finished this afternoon: Jane Caro's book about Princess Elizabeth, Just a Girl.

Disclaimer number 1: While I really like Jane Caro's public stance on a lot of things, I got into a twitter tiff with her earlier in December, and there were things
Opal Lee
Jul 31, 2014 Opal Lee rated it really liked it
I first read this book when I was twelve; now looking back, it is at the age of my pre-teen years that I read most books.
As a girl (with English as my second tongue), I sought direly to receive the appraisal and approval of my parents. To do this, I had to achieve high marks in numerous subjects.
Soon, reading came to be a chore, instead of a leisure activity; for I felt as if I was forced to do it, forced to do read something for the benefit of my own brain and my parent's pleasure.
Though glad I
Bronwyn Mcloughlin
May 21, 2015 Bronwyn Mcloughlin rated it really liked it
I've read a lot about Elizabeth I, and so was reluctant to take in another, but this one was different. Elizabeth is telling the story; she is asking the reader to contemplate events from her perspective. About to undergo her formal coronation to become Queen of England, she hovers on this cusp and is revisiting the dire path that has brought her, almost unbelievably, to this place. It seems she can't quite believe that she has survived to be in this position that she has increasingly felt is tr ...more
May 11, 2015 Anita rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. As an Australian I am very familiar with Jane Caro as she is often in the media in one form or another . This is my first book of hers and I bought it after listening to an interview with her about it on our local ABC. I could sense the author through the book in the style of the writing but I also got a real feel for Elizabeth as a young girl and leading up to her taking the throne. I found myself picking up my iPad constantly to learn more of characters that I had n ...more
Wendy Orr
Apr 02, 2012 Wendy Orr rated it really liked it
One of the trickiest things with historical fiction is balancing the tone and dialogue to give a flavour of the period and make it feel authentic, while keeping it accessible and natural. Jane Caro manages it beautifully. This story of Elizabeth i's girlhood, up to the morning of her coronation, deftly fills in the complex background to the period, while concentrating on Elizabeth's own story. After all, no matter how extraordinary her family history and cirumstances, and probably her determinat ...more
Jul 15, 2012 Kelli rated it really liked it
Really well written historical fiction. Told from the perspective of Lady/Queen Elizabeth in the lead up to her coronation. Filled in some gaps for me on the political scene in Tudor England! An obvious choice for a female reader, as you get right into the head of a young Elizabeth and see her struggles as a female coming into rule. However, I think boys would also be interested in the gory details and danger of this story. As someone who had just come from reading a book in the 'Game of Thrones ...more
Aug 22, 2012 Jen rated it liked it
Retelling of the early life of Elizabeth I. As she is about to ascend the throne, Elizabeth remembers the important events of her life. Jane Caro has vividly recreated life in Elizabethan England and her portrayal of Elizabeth and the dilemma of being heir to the throne through the reigns of Henry, Edward and Mary is masterly. A minor quibble; I didn't think that the mechanics of the plot worked quite as well in the early chapters, but as the story progressed, the character of Elizabeth takes ov ...more
Jun 05, 2015 Carielyn rated it really liked it
Just A Girl
YA - 12+ (imo)
“Marriage is the most dangerous of estates.”
The story of a girl who insists her strength of character be the measure of her person, in a world where women are valued by their childbearing hips. Jane Caro’s retelling of Elizabeth I depicts a headstrong and intelligent girl who quickly learns the repressive systems that pervade her life, and uses her wits in order to maintain a firm stake over in her own agency despite them. Also a good primer for a history lesson
May 26, 2015 Ann rated it liked it
I enjoyed this, a bit like historical fiction without being a period drama. Events are real but the characters have been fleshed out and the author, Jane Caro has drawn on previous experiences and life at the time to provide the reader with plausible and believable explanations of the actions and people of the time.

The story flows nicely with just the right amount of detail and is well written.

It does seem unfinished, as we know that Elizabeth came to the throne and the next book, Just a Queen
Sue Bursztynski
This was very readable historical fiction, though it might be better to describe it as docudrama. The story is told from the viewpoint of the young Elizabeth on the night before her coronation. It's easy reading for children new to history who might then want to go and look up the story in non-fiction form. I won't rate it officially due to some strange things happening with my Twitter feed when two books I'd given four and five stars came up as one star on Twitter! But it would get a solid thre ...more
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
I've read many historicals lately and there aren't many that I've enjoyed as a historical. This one I did. It tells history (history that is accurate) methodically and chronologically with a nice even flow. Jane Caro does not rush the events, and her prose is mystically enthralling. For moments one tends to forget that they are reading. It is a historical structured for YA and definitely entices one to go and look for more about Elizabeth the first. I truly enjoyed it.
Jan 19, 2014 Monica rated it liked it
I wanted to love this because I really admire Jane Caro, but it was a bit slow and a struggle to get through. If you don't know a lot about the house of Tudor (I am a bit of a buff), you will find it a bit confusing. It is quite historically accurate and it's nice to imagine this glimpse behind the facts.
Charlotte Bramanis
Sep 24, 2013 Charlotte Bramanis rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
an interesting tale of Queen Elizabeth I, although not able to be completely accurate as it is told through her eyes which leaves some accounts vague. All in all its quick and easy to read and gives a different slant on history.
Sep 18, 2012 Bridget rated it really liked it

Very interesting story. Follows Princess Elizabeth I later to be Queen Elizabeth I. Enjoyed stepping back into the later times. Back to kings and queens and beheading. So fascinating to read.
Oct 21, 2014 Teresa rated it liked it
This book tells us the story of Queen Elizabeth1 succession to the throne. The story is told by Elizabeth and is interesting to hear her tale and to imagine how she would have felt during all the incidents that lead her to where the book starts and Queen. An interesting an enjoyable read.
Sep 18, 2014 Brittney rated it it was amazing
This is a Historical novel is about Henry VI King of England's 2nd daughter Elisabeth the I, from his third wife Anne who he executed for treason and adultery. It is also about his son Edward VI and his first daughter Mary I. It in both present and past tense.
The tone and voice of this novel was quite flawless, but something failed to grab me. I didn't feel an emotional connection to the story.
Ms Tlaskal
Sep 28, 2013 Ms Tlaskal rated it really liked it
Pact, well written historical YAL fiction, which even besides the feminist angle is a very readable slice of the age.
Carla Matthews
Jul 23, 2015 Carla Matthews rated it it was amazing
LOVED it. Beautifully written and despite my keen interest (and knowledge) in all things royal, I was still captivated until the end. Will definitely put "Just a Queen" on my "to read" list.
Christine Bongers
Oct 28, 2012 Christine Bongers rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya, ya
Atmospheric first person account of the young Elizabeth I on the eve of her coronation. A compelling fictionalisation and fascinating glimpse into the life of a great queen when she was just a girl.
Jenny Baek
Jenny Baek rated it liked it
Apr 10, 2014
Kathleen rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2014
Yf rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2012
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 09:42AM  
  • Pig Boy
  • Being Here
  • Only Ever Always
  • Black Painted Fingernails
  • To Kill a Queen: An Elizabethan Girl's Diary 1583 -1586
  • Dangerously Placed
  • Pan's Whisper
  • The Extinction Gambit (The Extraordinaires, #1)
  • Have You Seen Ally Queen?
  • When We Were Two
  • Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel
  • Alaska
  • Triple Ripple: A Fabulous Fairytale
  • Elizabeth, Captive Princess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #2)
  • Act of Faith
  • The Coming of the Whirlpool (Ship Kings, #1)
  • The Wicked Wood (Tales from the Tower, #2)
  • The Starkin Crown
Jane Caro wears many hats; including author, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, workshop facilitator, speaker, broadcaster and award-winning advertising writer. Jane runs her own communications consultancy and lectures in Advertising Creative at The School of Communication Arts at UWS. She has published three books: The Stupid Country: How Australia is dismantling public education co ...more
More about Jane Caro...

Other Books in the Series

Elizabeth I (2 books)
  • Just a Queen

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