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review 2020-02-17 18:26
The Governess Game by Tessa Dare
The Governess Game - Tessa Dare

I loved The Duchess Deal, book one in this series, so much I did something I almost never do and immediately requested book #2 from Overdrive on audio. I am seriously the worst at following a series.

The Governess Game was a decent read but I didn't fall in love with it as much as I'd hoped. The characters are fun, their banter decently amusing but it didn't have the certain thing that I cannot describe that makes me want to keep listening even when I should probably be doing other things.

What it did have was some pain in the butt misunderstandings/miscommunications/doubts/insecurities/separations and some "I'm not worthies" to top it all off. Those things aren't really my favorite. But the humor was good. Major points for the humor. It also featured two morbid little girls and I loved them. I don't typically (ok like NEVER) enjoy kids in a book but these two were little darklings and I couldn't help but enjoy their scenes. And that's about all I've got to say about this one.

"I don’t care if you’re gently bred, roughly bred or a loaf of brown bread with butter."

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review 2019-08-08 06:22
Manga Classics: Jane Eyre (OEL manga) by Charlotte Brontë, story adaptation by Crystal S. Chan, art by SunNeko Lee
Manga Classics: Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë,Crystal Chan,SunNeko Lee

This is my first Manga Classics read. I chose it specifically because I've read the work on which it's based, although it's been a few years. Also, while I didn't love the original Jane Eyre, I didn't hate it either, which is more than I can say for some of the other works adapted for the Manga Classics series.

This seemed to be a pretty faithful adaptation. It began with Jane's childhood - first her aunt's mistreatment of her, and then her life at a school for poor and orphaned children - and then continued on to her time as a governess at the Rochester household and everything that happened after that point.

I'll be blunt: I don't actually like Rochester. I didn't when I originally read the novel (I'd already long since learned his big secret via cultural osmosis), and I didn't when I read this adaptation. He and Jane had some nice moments, and Chan and Lee did a great job, but it didn't erase my fundamental dislike of the character. He's a selfish man who tried to maneuver a much younger woman, his employee, into a position he knew would horrify her if she knew the full truth. And he didn't plan on telling her one bit of what was actually going on until well after it was too late.

I remembered really enjoying the portion of the original novel set during Jane's childhood. That part seemed a little weaker in this adaptation, although I'm not sure why. Still, it was nice seeing Jane all small, angry, and cute.

All in all, this adaptation was well done. The story was easy to follow, and the use of certain manga visual conventions (such as the sweat drop when Rochester tried to explain away some of the strange things Jane witnessed and experienced) was very nice. The artwork was attractive, and if there were times when Jane seemed awfully young-looking compared to Rochester, well, she was quite a bit younger than him.

I'd like to take a look at more entries in the Manga Classics series, but at the moment the series looks like a good potential starting point for building a more purposeful library graphic novel collection (as opposed to my library's current method of relying mostly on random gifts) that would probably be considered acceptable by staff members who are more leery of graphic novels as a format. The one concern I've heard was from a coworker who worried that students would use them as a way to avoid reading the original novels. We don't collect Cliff's Notes for this reason. However, I'd argue that, if this was such a big concern, we wouldn't collect movie versions of the books either, and we certainly have those. This manga adaptation isn't going to tell a student anything about Brontë's style or use of language, or every little change Chan made to the story to adapt it to a new format - they'll still have to consult the original for that.

I own the Manga Classics version of The Scarlet Letter, so I might try that one next.


  • 2-page comic-style afterword by SunNeko Lee
  • 4 pages of notes from Crystal S. Chan, discussing the work she did to adapt Jane Eyre to manga format, including some slight changes she made to improve the flow of the story in this format, the limitations of the novel's original first person narration, the advantages that manga gave her over other formats like film and TV, and info about some of the decisions she and SunNeko Lee made for the artwork.
  • 2 pages of background notes written by Stacy King - info about Charlotte Brontë, the novel, and life as a governess.
  • 2 pages of character design sketches


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-07-20 13:21
Amnesia and mistaken identity
Shipwrecked With The Captain (The Govern... Shipwrecked With The Captain (The Governess Swap, Book 2) - Diane Gaston

This is part of a duology that also features A Lady becomes a Governess and they work well together well (though I'd say you could read either story and be satisfied) I would recommend that if you're reading both that you read this one second.

Claire Tilson is on a ferry from Dublin to England when she meets another woman who looks identical to her. They swap clothes to see if anyone will notice and they discover that the person dressed as the governess is invisible. They continue talking through the night and then the ship is shipwrecked. Claire is knocked on the head and when they arrive several weeks later on a fishing vessel that rescues them (how her reputation wasn't completely ruined I'll never know but I went with the flow) and she has amnesia, everyone believes she's Lady Rebecca based on how she's dressed.

Now she has a marriage she's supposed to enter into with a man who doesn't attract her and Captain Lucien Roper - her rescuer - is attractive but he hates the aristocracy. I enjoyed the read and the characters were entertaining.

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review 2019-07-13 01:02
The Governess Affair
The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5) - Courtney Milan
The plot was unique in this one. Neither one are titled and are the average working folk. I liked how Hugo admired and cared for Serena. I would have liked for Serena to get a meeting with Clermont though.
I liked meeting Marshall, Robert, and Sebastian (Robert's cousin).
For Ripped Bodice Bingo: Epistolary square


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review 2019-03-18 22:02
The Governess (Wicked Wallflowers #3) - Christi Caldwell

Oh, I so looked forward to Broderick’s story and that it was with Regina, a woman he never truly saw till it was almost too late, made it priceless and perfect and so romantic.  I loved their relationship, their story, their highs and lows, and everything about the story.  Broderick has tried to marry his sisters off since book one, in the misguided guise of finding them protection, though they believe (and he let them believe) it is to earn him a connection to the ton. Now, it is his turn, though it does start off with him trying to marry Gertrude off to someone in the ton, he quickly comes to realize, thanks to Regina, that he can't ruin his sister's chance at finding real happiness. I loved the story, start to finish; the only native was I wish there had been an epilogue.  I wanted more from them. :-)  Great story and I can’t wait till Gertrude’s story next.

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