Tag Archives: Brodi Ashton

My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi MeadowsTitle: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton
Publishing Info: June 7, 2016 by HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss, Subscription Box
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Historical Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 23, 2016
Related Posts: Everneath (Everneath #1), Everbound (Everneath #2)

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.
At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

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MY LADY JANE is such a fun and unique concept. There isn’t a lot of satire out there in YA right now and this was such a fun way to bring both history and humor together. The book is told by narrators who frequently interrupt their own story-telling to add notes for the reader and inform them of historical inaccuracies, fun facts, or just silly tidbits. It was a lot of fun and really reminded me some of wonderfully comedic Mel Brooks movies in which characters often break the 4th wall to address the audience directly. It’s even more fun to incorporate satire with a historical account (or rather, a quite fictionalized historical account) because of all the anachronisms and pop culture references that really make the book even more funny!

Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about the story of Lady Jane Grey. Obviously by now, I know the broader points of history (and I still blame my middle school and high school education for a seriously lack of historical knowledge) so I think the book could have been a bit more fun if I was more of a history buff. I know a few friends who love history and have an extensive knowledge on historical events who took a little more joy from the story overall, so that’s really just a personal experience that unfortunately can’t helped. I will say, though, that the book was enjoyable whether you know the history or not! I had a basic understanding but details are explained and even if you don’t care about the true story, the book will carry you through with a fun historical-fiction romp (and they change the ending anyway so I suppose it doesn’t matter too much in the end)!

The concept of Eðians (people who magically change to and from an animal form) was so much fun! I loved how it was incorporated in to the book in so many ways — from selecting to change to being cursed, the support and blatant rejection, the people in disguise — it was a great way to incorporate magic from start to finish. I liked that it was the only real form of magic in the book so it brought that magical element but didn’t turn into a full-out fantasy. It was the perfect way to alter history just a bit and keep things tied to the actual facts.

I just loved the collaboration from Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton, and Cynthia Hand. They really put together a fun and unique book and MY LADY JANE easily found a place in so many readers’ hearts. MY LADY JANE easily appeals to fans of The Princess Bride with its historical feel and slight satire, Disney fans for its animal magic and pop culture references, and historical fans who love a twist on history. There are direct references to books and movies like The Princess Bride, A Game of Thrones, Monty Python, and I’m pretty sure I saw Tangled in there! It also had the magic of all of seeing everything combined and so many loves in one place. I laughed out loud so many times and the book was just so clever!

I had a weird experience in which reading this book was so enjoyable and yet it felt really long! The book is over 500 pages so it’s no speed-read but the content was so light and fun that I feel like I should have finished it fasted. Maybe it was just my reading schedule… but I do feel like it could have been a little bit shorter. A lot of people said the book just flew by and it didn’t feel to long until I was nearing the end and it still wasn’t over. Don’t get me wrong — I was enjoying the whole thing — but there was just something that was off that was making me anxious for things to wrap up. That’s seriously one of my only qualms, though. MY LADY JANE was always fun and these authors did a great job of putting things together!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Satire. I’ve barely read any satire but when it’s done right, it’s SO much fun! These authors totally nailed it.
Left Me Wanting More: Swiftness. At some points I felt like the book was a bit long. I was hoping for a couple things to be wrapped up a bit quicker but I still enjoyed it all around!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

MY LADY JANE was just so much fun. No matter if you enjoy history or not, this is such a great read and will definitely make you laugh out loud!

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BOOKS LIKE MY LADY JANE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA    

Everbound (Everneath #2) – Brodi Ashton

Everbound (Everneath #2) – Brodi AshtonTitle: Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton
Publishing Info: January 22, 2013 by HarperCollins
Source: Won
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: February 7, 2013
Related Posts: Everneath (Everneath #1), My Lady Jane

    Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.
    Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.
    Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.
    In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

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Warning: There are some spoilers if you haven’t read the first book, EVERNEATH so be prepared!

Compared to EVERNEATH, I found EVERBOUND to be leaps and bounds more enjoyable. Was it stellar? The answer that for me is still no, but I really got into the sequel much more than the original. I think part of it was the fact that I actually read the physical copy of this book instead of the audiobook (I was in a constant fight with the narrator of the EVERNEATH. It just wasn’t enjoyable) and I got to hear the voices as I pictured them sounding.

I found EVERBOUND to be a lot more exciting than its predecessor since in book two, we get to learn a lot more about the Everneath in general as well as the abilities and activities of all of the “beings” that reside there, including Everlivings like Cole. I was much more excited than the first book and was really captivated with all of the new ideas and explanations. EVERBOUND was much more action-packed and we really get further into the mythology side of the book.

I’m still so-so on Nikki’s character. For the first half of the book, I couldn’t help but compare her to Bella in New Moon – completely lost, utterly alone, and really depressed after losing her love interest. It was kind of annoying to read and okay, I get that you love him and you’d do anything to get him back, but the way it was written was bothering me and that whole deal just didn’t translate well from words to feelings for me.

NOW I get what people are saying with “OMG that ending!” because seriously — As a person who wasn’t entirely thrilled about the series to begin with, yes. OMG, that ending!!!! If I could rate the ending alone? It would have been five stars, hands down. As a whole? Not quite as spectacular for me, but definitely better than book one!

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Nikki: I felt like Nikki was kind of all over the place. Depressed, hopeful, lost, determined, feisty, flat… Even after two books, I still can’t figure her out and I’m still not entirely thrilled with her. I liked where she was headed in the end. She made some real progress to break out as a stronger character, but the beginning was a little rough for me!
Jack: Am I the only one who’s not on Team Jack? I don’t dislike him, but I’m just not connecting with him as a character. Maybe because he was absent in this book? Am I just missing the epic connection between Nikki & Jack? I’m not quite sure what it is but… meh.
Cole: I actually started to like Cole a LOT in this book. Not so much as a romantic interest for Nikki, but as an overall character. His personality really came out in EVERBOUND. He had some great snarky lines and you always know he has some trick up his sleeve, really making him one of the most developed characters, in my personal opinion. addiction_factor1

Read it!

I liked this one a lot more than the first book! I don’t seem to be on the same page as everyone else as far as teams go… but I’m okay with that! I actually enjoyed this one.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE EVERBOUND

     Everneath      Sweet Evil

Everneath (Everneath #1) – Brodi Ashton

Everneath (Everneath #1) – Brodi AshtonTitle: Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton
Publishing Info: January 24, 2012 by HarperCollins
Source: Library
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 28, 2012
Related Posts: Everbound (Everneath #2), My Lady Jane

     Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
    Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
    As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.
    Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.

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I downloaded the audiobook for EVERNEATH because I thought the concept sounded pretty interesting. I’ve been interested in mythology since I was young and I actually haven’t really read many books based in mythology yet so I was actually hoping of kind of a lot with this book. Sadly, I was kind of let down.

I felt like the story was really predictable and I think that was one of the main problems I had with the story line. Every time a situation was set up, for the most part I could see where it was going far before we got there. It did evolve into its own storyline but it was kind of a mix between its own story and a retelling… if that makes sense.

I really enjoyed the mythology side of if, but when it all came down to it, I just really didn’t care how it ended. I wasn’t pulled into the story and I didn’t feel like the author made me feel any connection with the characters. If it wasn’t an audiobook, I’m not sure I would have finished. I found myself just not caring what happened to them.

I think another reason I didn’t particularly care for it was that I didn’t end up liking any of the characters. Nikki seemed pretty dramatic and and yet flat all at the same time. I didn’t feel like she was becoming a real person for me and I never saw her as more than a character in a story. Jack Caputo wasn’t terribly intetersting to me either and I didn’t quite catch on to his appeal. He had a reputation of sleeping with quite a few girls before he started dating Nikki and that really turned me off to him. It never really seemed like he shed that reputation somehow. All of a sudden, it didn’t matter now that he was dating Nikki. I don’t know – I just didn’t see it. I guess Cole was the one dynamic character for me, but even still, he was just okay in my book.

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Narrator:  Amy Rubinate //  This was one of my least favorite narrators so far. Her voice was weirdly breathy and it kind of made everything seem extremely dramatic when it shouldn’t have been. I did like her voice differentiation though – I got a good feel of who the different characters were with different voices, so that was good. I just didn’t care for her narration overall, and as always, I think it affected my opinion of the book too.

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Nikki: I just didn’t like her. Sometimes she was helpless, sometimes she was stong. Sometimes she was emotional and others she was void of any emotion. I just felt like her character was kind of all over the place and she didn’t really grow in any way or learn a lesson. I don’t know. I just never connected with her.
Jack: I never really cared for Jack either. I felt like his backstory didn’t match the person he was once he and Nikki started dating. What made him change? Were they more rumors than true stories? And don’t even get me started on how tired I am of the whole captain of the football team and/or cheerleader dynamic. Maybe my high school was just so small that that kind of stuff didn’t matter, but I never relate to those “popularity” aspects of a story!

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Library Read

This was an okay read for me but unfortunately I think the narrator KIND OF ruined it for me. Even still though, I can tell this one wasn’t 100% a me book. I did enjoy it though and want to continue the series! Will probably borrow these books, though.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE EVERNEATH