Celeste's Reviews > My Plain Jane

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, favorites, funny, girl-power, romance, retellings, young-adult

For this and more of my reviews, as well as my friend Petrik's reviews, check out my new blog, Novel Notions.

I loved this book so much.

Seriously. So. MUCH.

There aren’t enough comedic novels out there that don’t edge irritatingly into silly. This book, and the preceding book, are two of the funniest things I’ve ever read. They don’t take themselves too seriously, but the humor doesn’t overwhelm the plot. Both have made me laugh out loud with their pop culture references and plethora of awkward moments. I hope the authors write one of these on every famous Jane from history and literary, and that they move on to another first name from there. Maybe Elizabeth or Lucy or Alice or something. I wish that, some day, there would be dozens of these books, just lining book shelves and waiting to brighten someone’s day.

This particular book was a combination of two things I adore: My Lady Jane, which I found so darn funny; and Jane Eyre, which is one of my favorite classics and is considered one of the most romantic books ever written. My expectations for this book were sky high, and they were met. Jane Eyre meets Ghostbusters? YES PLEASE. I love that the authors took a well known story, kept it recognizable, but totally spun it on its head.

My favorite aspect of this book, besides the humor element I’ve already mentioned, is the inclusion of a new character. Charlotte Brontë became a character in the story that made her famous, and I loved that so much. Her character is an absolute treasure, and I would pay good money for some more side stories about her adventures. I know Jane is supposed to be the main character, but in my opinion Charlotte was by and far the star of the show. She was a strong, smart, independent young woman in a time when such characteristics were discouraged, but she found a way to remain above social reproach in every situation she faced. Story and the written word were of utmost importance to here, which I obviously really related to. I loved seeing her develop her most famous story from the life of her friend. It was an adorable idea. I also loved how Charlotte inserted herself into situations whether she was invited or not, and how she always proved herself to be invaluable. She’s no damsel.

The inclusion of a supernatural element has been a fun addition to both books in this series. In My Lady Jane, this inclusion was the alteration of the historical conflict between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic holdouts into a conflict between those with a magical animal form and those without. In My Plain Jane, this was the addition of ghosts and a society of ghost hunters into the story. I thought this addition made perfect sense with the text it was inspired by, as certain happenings at Thornfield Hall are kind of attributed to the supernatural until the big reveal further into the story. In this riff on the famous novel, the authors created the Society for the Relocation of Wayward Spirits. Those who have died momentarily before coming back to life come back with the ability to see ghosts, and some of those become agents for the Society. Jane sees dead people, and has an irresistible beauty to the deceased. The Society wants her desperately, but Jane wants nothing to do with them. Hijinks and hilarity ensue as the Society tries to recruit her and she tries her best to avoid them.

I loved the romantic element in this book. And no, I’m not talking about Jane and Mr. Rochester. I won’t say more than that, but I thought the growth of the romance was organic and sweet and believable. Also, did I mention the references? I love the references to pop culture so much. The Princess Bride! Ghostbusters! But mostly, the Princess Bride! That’s one of my favorite movies of all time, and I love the book as well. So any time there are Princess Bride references, I’m super happy. And there were many here. So happy!!!

I enjoyed every minute of reading this book, and I can’t wait for the next installment. Well, I guess I have to wait, since it doesn’t come out until 2020. But one of my favorite things about books in this series is that they all stand alone, and have nothing to do with each other except their authors and the inclusion of “Jane” in the title. That makes the wait more bearable.

I can’t recommend this book or My Lady Jane enough. If you’re looking for something lighthearted and funny, with an addictive plot and fantastic characterizations, look no further. These will be your new go-to books when you need a laugh or a pick me up. Trust me.
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Reading Progress

June 29, 2018 – Started Reading
June 29, 2018 – Shelved
July 3, 2018 – Finished Reading
July 4, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
July 4, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
July 4, 2018 – Shelved as: funny
July 4, 2018 – Shelved as: girl-power
July 4, 2018 – Shelved as: romance
July 4, 2018 – Shelved as: retellings
July 4, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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message 1: by TS (new)

TS Chan Geesh, these books sound so fun! Excellent review, love!


Celeste Thank you, darling! The audio versions are excellent too! 💜


message 3: by Nicko (new) - added it

Nicko (The Cover Hoarder) Ah well I'll probs not enjoy it, even if I read it, because I haven't read Jane Eyre. :/


Celeste I think it would definitely still be enjoyable even if you’ve never read Jane Eyre, Nicko!


message 5: by Petrik (new)

Petrik Great review, Celeste!! Glad you loved this one as well! ;)


Celeste Thanks, love! It was fantastic!


message 7: by Sheila (new) - added it

Sheila Holmes This was a great review, Celeste! I think you have single-handedly convinced me to get this one. Thank you!


Celeste Thanks so much, Sheila! I hope you enjoy it!! 😊


David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party Awesome review, Celeste! And congratulations to you and Petrik on the new book blog! :D


Celeste Thank you so much, David! 😁


Lubinka Dimitrova Lovely review! I was eagerly expecting the new book, since the first one was delightful, and your words only confirm my impressions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Celeste Aww, and thank you for reading them, Lubinka! Hope you enjoy this book as much as you did the first!


message 13: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire Liv YESSSS! I read My Lady Jane and LOVED it, so I am really looking forward to this book!


Celeste I hope you love it too, Claire!


message 15: by Taylor (new) - added it

Taylor *hits like a thousand times* My Plain Jane is my most anticipated book of the year. I read My Lady Jane last year and adored it. It's one of my favorite books of all time. I think part of me has been putting My Plain Jane off because I too have sky high expectations and don't want to be disappointed. But after this review, I can't wait to read this!


Celeste Thank you so much, Taylor!! My Lady Jane was a tough act to follow, but I felt that My Plain Jane more than measured up. I hope you feel the same when you read it!


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