Tag Archives: Brodi Ashton

Challenge Update, Fourth Quarter 2022

3 Jan

Reading didn’t come easily to me last year. I was learning how to be a mom to a toddler and it took a lot of mental capacity. I’m proud of all the reading I did manage, as scrappy as it was at times. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in October, November, and December

Like No Other by Una LaMarche (4/5)
Easy Prey by Catherine Lo (2/5)
Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe (3/5)
Powering Up by Anne Doyle (3/5)
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (4/5)
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant (3/5)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (4/5)
Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner (2/5)

This is very audio-heavy. I was stuck on my ebook for months and my physical book is driving me crazy so I’ve relied on audio to get me through for the last bit. I owe a few reviews still. I had a big push to finish some reading challenges at the end and didn’t make enough time for reviews but I will get to them!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

12/12
By the skin of my teeth, but I made it. I finished Soldier’s Pay on December 30th which filled the 1900-1919 time period for me. Within the same week, I finished The Birth of Venus on audio which filled the 1300-1499 time period, one I often struggle with. So much happened in that time period, but it’s not as common for historical fiction. I’m glad Dunant tends to write of older times. I also sped through The Alchemist on audio. I made good use of some cleaning time and a bunch of car time and adored this short book. The setting is a little vague so I used the publication date which fit it in the 1980-1999 time period. It was a push, but I finished it and it’s never felt this good before!

Goodreads Challenge

24/15
This went so much better than expected and now I’m unsure of where to set the bar for 2023. Can I expect the stay this course? Read more? Will it go down with the toddler? I’m taking a shot in the dark any way I go.

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Book of the Quarter

I enjoyed My Lady Jane by Hand, Ashton, and Meadows more than I thought I would. I loved the humor and the alternative history was so fun to read. This was unlike any other book I’ve read and I thought it was really fun. I might have to explore the other books by this team, especially if they give me some hard time periods!

Added to my TBR

Making my way back down. I’m at 41 and I felt like I added so many that I’m surprised it’s that low! Will I ever get under 20?!

  • The Story of My Life // Hellen Keller. I thought I needed this one for my challenge last year but I’m going to hang on to it for the 2023 challenge instead!
  • The Lincoln Highway // Amor Towles. I went to a virtual event where Towles was interviewed by Erik Larson and I got a signed copy of this. The sad thing is, that was about 9 months ago. I forgot to add it to my TBR since then. Whoops.
  • Salt to the Sea // Ruta Sepetys. I like this author and my sister in law told me she adored this book. I got a copy in Spanish for Christmas so I’m planning for this to be my Spanish read for 2023!
  • Scattered Showers // Rainbow Rowell. What can I say? I’m a sucker for Rowell.
  • Choosing to Run // Des Lindon. I’ve been following Lindon’s career since she won the Boston Marathon in 2018. She’s from my state and I’m always impressed by her determination.
  • Beyond the Wand // Tom Felton. I feel like this doesn’t need much explanation. I’m pumped!

How did your challenges go? I hope to not push it so close to the end next year! I’m hosting again so you can click here to learn more and let me know if you want in.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.
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WWW Wednesday, 30-November-2022

30 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I’ve made an effort to keep pushing on with Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner. Though I’m not loving it, I am enjoying it a bit more. The first three chapters, that seemed pretty disconnected, have come together so that frustration has gone. It might be a push to the end, but I’m now determined to finish this one!
I haven’t made great progress in Sophie’s Choice by William Styron, but I continue to push forward. The writing is a little dense for me and it’s been hard to really escape into it like I’d like to. Since I realized I don’t need this one for a reading challenge, I might let it bleed into next year. I’m going to think of it as planning ahead for my next challenge.
I was able to start on The Birth of Venus by Sarah Durant, though I haven’t gotten super far into it yet. We did a Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning which was a decent chunk of time for me to listen. I hope to do some more running soon, but that’s also depending on the weather staying nice so I don’t have to worry about running on ice.

Recently finished: I wrapped up My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows! I really enjoyed this one. My review went up on Monday if you want to check that out. I ended up giving this one Four out of Five Stars, though I contemplated doing Five. It was really enjoyable, but there were just a few times in it that I found myself a little frustrated or confused so I didn’t go for the full Five Star rating. I know there are more in this ‘series’ but I also understand that maybe they’re not a series as far as the plot but more of the world? If someone knows more and can clarify, please let me know.

Reading next: I’ve got one more audiobook to wrap up my 2022 challenge! I’ll be taking on The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho as my final book. It’s nice and short so I’m not too worried about squeezing it in before the end of the year. It feels so good to be within sight of the finish line!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (4/5)

28 Nov

I decided to read this book to help me fulfill a time period in my When Are You Reading? Challenge. I’d seen it on other people’s blogs through the years but never been too tempted by it before. It looked fun, but how much could there be to say about a woman who ruled for nine days. Well, a lot. And with some magic and a tons and tons of sarcasm. This book ended up being a really fun read that I enjoyed a lot.

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Cover image via Amazon

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

Summary from Amazon:

At 16, 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.

Like that could go wrong.

I immediately loved the 3rd wall breaking and the sarcastic comments and the very honest internal dialogue. This book was fun from the beginning. While Jane meets the almost required ‘modern girl in a historical setting’ trope that all good YA historical novels seem to have, I still liked her. I wasn’t ready for the magical elements to this plot but they did make things fun. I would have liked a better explanation of the curse, but it’s something I can live without and I wonder if it’s better explained in the next book.

The characters were a little too comical to be credible. There were things they did and said that seemed genuine, but then there were moments that were too over-the-top and I could really believe. It helped the tone of the book and made it fun to read as I was being entertained. You don’t expect a comedy to be filled with the most realistic people.

I was always cheering for Gifford. I wanted good things for him. I felt like he got a bad deal, being the second son, but his father and brother did all they could to make his life even harder. The way he cared for and protected Jane were very sweet and I was glad the way things ended up for the two of them.

Edward was raised to be king and was always told he was a great king. I thought it was really relatable when he started to question that, and wondered how much he wanted to be king. I’ve been thinking a lot about what we teach our children and what we encourage them to chase and how much that’s in their best interest so this struck home with me. I was glad when Edward thought about things for himself and realized his sister would make a strong ruler. (I’m not calling this a spoiler because it’s basic history. Sorry if you didn’t know.)

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Cynthia Hand Image via Goodreads

There isn’t a single part of this story I would say I liked more than others. It was well paced with highlight moments coming at fairly regular intervals that kept me interested and excited for what would come next. I loved how Jane would become a thesaurus when she was angry, listing synonyms. I thought it was very sweet and it was consistently employed through the book.

Gracie’s character seemed unnecessary to me. I’m hoping she comes up in a later book, or else what was the point of her? Edward’s attraction to her didn’t motivate him much and her tie to the Pack could have been skipped. I have to assume she’ll play a larger role later in the series or I would think she’d have been cut.

The audiobook was narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Oh. My. Gosh. She was incredible. Her narration made this book for me. I’m sure I would have liked it if I’d read the text, but her sarcasm, her dramatics, and her variety of voices were incredible. I couldn’t wait to start this again and have Kellgren read to me. I would pick out other books she’s narrated in a heartbeat.

The Ethian/Verities opinions are a softened version of the Catholic/Protestant differences that dominated this period of history. The distaste for Ethians by Verities or the tolerance of them defined the reigns of King Henry VIII, Kind Edward, Lady Jane, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth I much in the same way their changing opinions of Catholics and Protestants defined the time period. I liked this way of talking about it without the story being about religion.

Writer’s Takeaway: The sarcastic style and internal dialogue of the characters was great for a YA audience. I’m not sure it would go over as well for a younger or older audience, but it seemed perfect for this spot in between. It felt realistic and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was full of sass in my teen years. Some of the things these characters thought or said were things I would be embarrassed to admit I thought or said, but that made it more fun to read.

Overall, a fun read that I enjoyed. Four out of Five Stars.

This book fulfilled the 1500-1699 time period of the When Are You Reading? Challenge 2022.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Posts:
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows | The Book Corps
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodie Meadows | Leaf’s Reviews
Book Review – ‘My Lady Jane’ by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows | Casey Carlisle
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows | The Mermaid Behind the Books