My Lady Jane
Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows (AKA The Lady Janies)
This first book, from a collection of books about (in)famous Janes, is a mix of humor and (mostly true) history as we follow King Edward VI, his cousin Lady Jane Grey, and Gifford (call him G) as they navigate the nuances of their kingdom after the death of King Henry VIII. However, The Lady Janies take this one step further in the most fantastical way - certain people in this world can shapeshift into animals! With this added element, The Lady Janies throw us into dissent, conspiracy, romance, friendships, and coming-of-age stories as we hope and pray that King Edward and Jane Grey have happier endings than the true, bleak ones history has already written.
I found myself jumping to research whether particular elements of the story were true or happened the way The Lady Janies wrote them. It’s a great jumping off point for research and has such an interesting writing style (sometimes the authors break the fourth wall to tell you exactly what is true and what is not) They also already have a second book published, My Plain Jane (Jane Eyre meets ghost hunting), and a third slated for for 2020 entitled My Calamity Jane, so keep on the lookout for those as well!
I giggled through the shenanigans in My Lady Jane and I would give this book 4 out of 5 Awesome Austin Points for pure hilarity mixed with an interesting take on alternate history.
In case you missed my first three reviews in this series, feel free to go back and check them out: Scythe by Neal Shusterman, The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, and Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. This is my #4 pick for my Top Five favorites from the 2018-2019 Gateway Readers Award Nominees. There’s information on the award here and the Top 15 books here.