Review: My Lady Jane

Title: My Lady Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodie Ashton, Jodie Meadows

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: June 2016

Genre(s): YA, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, supernatural, humour

Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  

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 gets to be Queen of England.
So... I loved this book. I didn't expect to, as Lady Jane's infamous nine-day reign as queen is not a happy-go-lucky tale. But that's only because boring, "fact" obsessed historians have written about her thus far; left to the imaginations of Cynthia Hand, Brodie Ashton and Jodie Meadows, we are able to read about Lady Jane in an alternate... England (?) wherein her tale is much more exciting, fantastical, and well-rounded.


The Absolutely True [Review] of a Part-Time Indian

Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: Sherman Alexie

Publisher: Anderson

Published: September 2007

Genre(s): YA, aboriginal, contemporary, humour

Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  

An all-new edition of the tragicomic smash hit which stormed the New York Times bestseller charts, now featuring an introduction from Markus Zusak.

In his first book for young adults, Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. This heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written tale, featuring poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, is based on the author's own experiences. It chronicles contemporary adolescence as seen through the eyes of one Native American boy.

Excellent in every way' Neil Gaiman

Illustrated in a contemporary cartoon style by Ellen Forney.

There was a point when reading this where I instantly went from thinking it was, "pretty good," to "HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET!?"


Review: What the Heck is The Rosie Project?!

Title: The Rosie Project

Author: Graeme Simsion

Publisher: Harper Collins

Published: January 2013

Genre(s): contemporary romance, humour, Australian

Synopsis (via goodreads.com):

Narrator Don Tillman 39, Melbourne genetics prof and Gregory Peck lookalike, sets a 16-page questionnaire The Wife Project to find a non-smoker, non-drinker ideal match. But Rosie and her Father Project supersede. The spontaneous always-late smoker-drinker wants to find her biological father. She resets his clock, throws off his schedule, and turns his life topsy-turvy.

I was definitely nervous to read this hugely popular book, as I had heard it was about a man with Asperger's Syndrome trying to analyze the best way to find the perfect mate. My brother-in-law heads the Calgary chapter of the Autism and Asperger's Friendship Society* and consequently I have met many lovely young men and women who would fall in a wide arc under the Autism umbrella. I wasn't sure how Simsion would represent this community, and he actually did a fantastic job, even offering some valid perspectives on this relatively new phenom we're starting to officially call The Autism Spectrum...

I wish someone had compared him to Gregory Peck 

early on in the novel, as I couldn't stop casting [New Zealand comedian] Rhys Darby in my head,

especially as there's a lot of clueless slapstick that he would kill at. (But can he do an Aussie accent?! Of course he can! He's Rhys Frickin' Darby!!)


Review: The Light Between Oceans

Title: The Light Between Oceans
Author: M.L. Stedman
Publisher: Scribner
Published: January 2012
Genre(s): historical fiction, Austalian, post-WWI
Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

This is a really interesting read. I actually probably wouldn't have picked it up from reading the synopsis, but a mentor said I HAVE to read it. And while I was expecting a bit of a different plot (?) it turned out to be an excellent read.


Light Review of Amazingly Awesome Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That HappenedHyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publisher: Touchstone

Published: 2013

Genre(s): Humour, memoir, comics

Synopsis (WRITTEN BY BROSH, via goodreads.com):  

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!
Review was just lost to the Internet gods... Will pay a better tribute to tremendously wonderful book when gods are feeling less vengeful...