Friday, July 27, 2018

Backlist Fiction/Nonfiction Mini-Reviews: The Royal Edition

Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History - Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie (2013)

Princesses Behaving Badly is a fun, kind of tongue-in-cheek look at the lives of many women throughout history who didn't portray the typical lady-like behavior expected of them.  The book is divided into sections, such as the Schemers and the Partiers.  Each biography is quite short, just giving an overview.  I appreciated that the author tries to debunk some of the inaccuracies surrounding these women and that she included princesses from all over the world and many time periods.  However, I was a little disappointed that some of the women were not actual princesses and a couple of them may have not been real at all, but just stories from local myths or folklore.

The writing style is definitely not dry; it's very readable and almost light-hearted.  I didn't know most of the women highlighted in the book, but there were a few I did, including Princess Margaret of England.  If you're looking for a twist on the typical biography, you may enjoy this one.  4 stars


My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (2016)

I normally shy away from hyped books, so when this book first came out and everyone was raving about it, I didn't really want to read it.  I wasn't sure it was my thing, either - people changing into animals?  Trying to inject humor into a very tense time in history?  But, it's loosely based on the Tudors, and I can't resist that!

King Edward is dying, and he is convinced by Lord Dudley to name his cousin, Jane Grey, as his successor and marry her to Dudley's son, Gifford.  While this sounds pretty close to the historical record, this is where the similarities end, and what we get is a whimsical and light-hearted take on the 9-day reign of Lady Jane Grey.  Instead of religious persecution, England is torn between those who can shape-shift into animals and those who cannot.  Jane Grey is a bookish, opinionated, and open-minded young lady.  She doesn't find out until after her marriage that her husband Gifford changes into a horse every day.  While he's human, though, he is a sensitive and poetic lord.  I loved watching them fall in love and even laughed at every near-kiss interruption.  With Edward and Elizabeth (Bess), they try to take back England. 

I just loved this book; the characters were so fun, the story so imaginative, and I couldn't stop reading (knowing the end would be so different from the story we actually know).  My only quibble is that it seemed a bit coincidental that many major players found out they were also shape-shifters at the most opportune of times.  4.5 stars

32 comments:

  1. Glad to see you liked My Lady Jane. I have it sitting on my Kindle and need to get to it. Great reviews!

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  2. I want to read both of these books, so thanks for sharing your thoughts on them. I’m glad you mostly like them. Great reviews!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I like the look Princesses Behaving Badly. Will look for it at my library. :-)

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    1. It was definitely an interesting read!

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  4. Great reviews! I would like to read My Lady Jane!

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  5. Awesome reviews! I really want to read both of these books. They sound fantastic!

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    1. They were both wonderful, especially My Lady Jane!

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  6. Yay!! I'm so excited that you loved My Lady Jane! That's one of my favorites!

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    1. I think it's become one of my favorites! I want to get my own copy so I can reread it!

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  7. I'm so happy to see you loved My Lady Jane! Like you, I tend to avoid books that are overly-hyped. I feel like I have unrealistic expectations and usually end up disappointed. So now I wait until the hype dies down and I sort of forget what the book is about, haha.

    The other one sounds interesting, too. However, is also sounds misleading since the title specifically says one thing, yet you said the story included things that may not have been real at all. I think I would have found that incredibly frustrating--not the content, but the lack of information provided on the book.

    𑁋 Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Yes, I was so happy the hype was warranted for My Lady Jane!

      Yeah, it was a little weird that Princesses Behaving Badly included myths, but it was only a couple. I guess the author thought they were interesting enough to include, even without solid evidence!

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  8. I was such a huge fan of My Lady Jane, but now I am scared to read the second book, because the buzz is not good. MLJ was so witty and funny and I was really looking forward to more of that. Fingers crossed I like it more than other people have.

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    1. I hope it's good, because it's based on one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre!

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  9. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed My Lady Jane as much as everyone else has! Hope you enjoy the second one when you get the chance to read it.

    I also tend to avoid books that are hyped - I like some of them, but there are a few that I have a love/hate relationship with. 🙈

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    1. Yeah, I tend to go into hyped books with really high expectations, and lot of times I'm disappointed!

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  10. Princesses Behaving Badly sounds fun!

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  11. I need to get my hands on Princesses Behaving Badly!! That sounds so fun!!

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    1. It was a lot of fun - very readable history!

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  12. Yay, I'm so happy that you ended up enjoying My Lady Jane. That was such a fun read for me. I hadn't heard of Princesses Behaving Badly but that sounds fun too :)

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    1. I LOVED My Lady Jane - such a fun book!

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  13. I really want to read My Lady Jane. I am glad you enjoyed it. Great review!

    Mary

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    1. Thanks, Mary! I really hope you enjoy it when you read it!

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  14. I think I'll bump Princess Behaving Badly higher up my want-to-read list. It sounds like so much fun, even if a few of them are legends rather than real people.

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  15. Ahhhh My Lady Jane! I'm so happy you enjoyed this book so much - I had such a fun time reading it as well :D
    Lovely reviews! :D

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  16. Princesses Behaving Badly is a backlist book I'd love to read! I've really enjoyed all the books coming out about notable women and they always leave me wanting to learn more.

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    1. This one was really good! I hope you enjoy it if you do get a chance to read it!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!