Tag: Retellings

My Plain Jane

Cynthia Hand
Brodi Ashton
Jodi Meadows  

Published: June 26, 2018
464 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

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.

Kim’s Review:

I love the Jane series so so much! I read My Lady Jane last year and fell in love! It made me laugh so hard and made even me forget my historical nitpicking for a little while. So I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that they decided to write another book. (very, very excited!) We were on vacation at the Outer Banks and I bought My Plain Jane at the cute little indie bookstore in Buxton; shout out to Buxton Village Bookstore!

I read it in all of two days! I love the writing style; they basically talk to the reader every few paragraphs. I get that this story is a retelling of Jane Eyre, so the “dear Reader” fits in really well. And I love how they apologize to England in their dedication page for what they’ve done to a classic! My opinion of the classic Jane Eyre story is pretty weird. I love the book and I adore Mr. Rochester; I hate Jane. She’s whiny and stubborn and arrogant. Thank goodness, they fixed it in My Plain Jane. Jane isn’t my favorite character in this book, but I also don’t hate her. I love, love, love, Alexander! He’s one of those crush worthy characters. Charlotte is also pretty awesome. She’s smart and dissatisfied with her lot in life, so she actually changes it and does it with femininity and class.

Overall, the best way to describe this book is “a fun read.” It just made me giggle and smile and made me want to keep reading and never put it down. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously and it just wants to be enjoyed. I’d say that means it’s a great book, at least for me! I would recommend this for anyone looking to find the fun in reading. I doubt guy teens would like it, but it’s perfect for teen girls. I really love it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK



Sweet Madness

Authors: Trisha Leaver  and Lindsay Currie
Published: August 7, 2015
226 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description from Amazon:

Sad young woman … or cold-blooded killer?

On a steaming August day in 1892, a sweet-faced, young woman in Fall River, Massachusetts stepped from a naive girlhood into a dark legend that has lasted for more than a hundred years. On that day, Andrew Borden, a prosperous businessman, was found hacked to death in his parlor. Upstairs, police find his wife, Abbey — just as dead. Andrew’s youngest daughter, Lizzie, was charged with the murders, sending shock-waves through the nation. A jury found her not guilty, for no one saw a thing and there wasn’t a single real clue. Still, as this captivating realistic novel suggests, someone may have known the truth.

Told through the eyes of Lizzie’s Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan, who may have been Lizzie’s only true friend, Sweet Madness tells of a cruel, penny-pinching father who had plenty of enemies, an ambitious second wife, a distant older sister and Lizzie, a trusting and kind soul who grew more unstable by the day. A carefully researched account from a bystander who was once a prime suspect, Sweet Madness will give you a look into the doomed house on Second Street and a deeper understanding of one of history’s saddest and most controversial crimes.

Kim’s Review:

I really liked this book and read it in almost one sitting. It kept me engaged and anticipating what the next page would say. Bridget was a realistic and likeable voice and I think she was the perfect narrator for the story. The authors captured the offness of the Borden house and of the Bordens themselves. I thought I knew the story of Lizzie Borden before I started reading, but the authors took the mystery surrounding the murders and molded it into a twisting and believable theory. The only critique I would give is that I wish the epilogue gave a little more info on Lizzie’s trial. I had to look up what the results of the trial were, even though the info was hinted at in the book. I just felt that I needed a little bit more. Other than that, the story was awesome. I didn’t want to put the book down. You felt every moment of tension, frustration, and fear right along with Bridget, Mr. and Mrs. Borden, and Lizzie. It amazed me the difference I could feel at specific times in the book. My stomach would literally lock up at the tension. This would be a great read for anyone looking for an easy mystery, especially those who enjoy cold cases. It’s on the shorter side so it doesn’t take long to get through. I absolutely recommend this book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK