“You’re definitely not coming with us,” Alexander said. “Not a chance.”
Reader, Miss Brontë definitely went with them.
Reader, Miss Brontë definitely went with them.
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.
- Even though I don't think it was anywhere near as funny as My Lady Jane, this is what I call pure entertainment. We were given a bunch of fun characters who were through into some ridiculous situations, meanwhile I know all along that the happy ending was guaranteed. These types of books where even the stressful situations aren't that stressful are a treasure, imo.
- The ghost-hunting plot was the perfect fit for the ominous atmosphere of Jane Eyre, and the original novel's plot elements were seamlessly worked into My Plain Jane. Were you to take out the names, I would still 1000% recognize that this a retelling of Jane Eyre.
- The cast certainly had some great highlights - I loved Charlotte and Bran so darn much; they were such delightful and enthusiastic characters. I don't know about you, but I really dig when a person is as excited about their interest(s) as these two were about becoming ghost hunters. Especially given their age, I think it was a great portrayal of people really being into something.
- Let's be honest, the Lady Janies blessed us with a thousand times more satisfying conclusion to Jane Eyre than the original, especially regarding the mess with Rochester's wife being locked up. I highly suspected that'd be changed, because jesus fuck, of course it'd be, but I didn't know they'd write such a great alternative ending.
- Like I said, My Plain Jane simply wasn't as funny as My Lady Jane... actually, I don't think it was really funny at all!? HEAR ME OUT. My Lady Jane made me laugh out loud multiple times, meanwhile even when My Plain Jane made me smile it was more because of how ridiculous some situations were, not because I found it truly humorous. On that note, some of the jokes or over-exaggerations of characters/situations read really stilted and awkward, instead of funny.
- By the end, if someone were to mention how "plain" Jane was one more time, I'd have flipped out. I read Jane Eyre quite a while ago, so I'm not sure if this was a dig at that novel doing the same, or if the authors were just trying to be funny here, but it fell really flat for me. (Let me know if you know the answer to that, btw.)
- Not all three of the main characters were equally intriguing to read about - Charlotte was fantastic, Alexander was great, but Jane was so damn boring. She was okay at first, but as the story went on I found myself dreading her parts. It was tad bit off-putting that the book is titled after her, yet out of the three narrators, she was definitely made fun of the most. Maybe it was just me, but I expected the authors to change her character for the better, instead they made her so boy-crazy that the real Charlotte Bronte is probably spinning in her grave.
- Despite the ghost-hunting plot - which I loved - I found myself quite bored at some parts, and overall, I feel like the book was way too long. If I think back at all that took place it's actually not that much, neither was there some superb character development, so it begs the question: why the heck is this a near 500 pages long novel??
- Finally, not to be that person who nitpicks everything - shh, I'm totally that person *hides* - but Lady Jane and G's cameo (1) made zero sense, and (2) actually made me sad smh.
My Plain Jane was enjoyable, albeit definitely disappointing to some extent. What really bothers me is that it started off so strong, and then slowly went downhill, so by the end I just did. not. care. Honestly, it would have been tons more enjoyable if there was more of a focus on Charlotte and Alexander, because they were more interesting than Jane. I decided next to rating it 3 stars, because the good/bad ratio is pretty clearly not the ratio of a 4 star read, plus it doesn't quite hit the bar of my other 4 star reads.
That's just my opinion, though - what did YOU think? If you haven't read it - are you planning on reading this? Have you read My Lady Jane? If you've read both - which one did you like better?