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 (see my review here) 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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