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Book Review | My Calamity Jane

January 29, 2021
Jess pierron with cowboy hat and denim jacket holding my calamity jane book

By Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Yippee Ki Yay! Buckle up your bootstraps, folks. My favorite author trio was at it again with this witty and hilarious spin of Wild Bill’s Traveling Show and the wild, wild West.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Welcome ​to 1876 and a rootin’-tootin’ America bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou.

JANE (a genuine hero-eene)

Calamity’s her name, and garou hunting’s her game—when she’s not starring in Wild Bill’s Traveling Show, that is. She reckons that if a girl wants to be a legend, she should just go ahead and be one.

FRANK (*wolf whistle*)
Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler is the Wild West’s #1 bachelor. He’s also the best sharpshooter on both sides of the Mississippi, but he’s about to meet his match. . . .

ANNIE (get your gun!)
Annie Oakley (yep, that Annie) is lookin’ for a job, not a romance, but she can’t deny there’s something about Frank she likes. Really likes. Still, she’s pretty sure that anything he can do, she can do better.

After a garou hunt goes south and Jane finds a suspicious-like bite on her arm, she turns tail for Deadwood, where there’s been talk of a garou cure. But things ain’t always what they seem—meaning the gang better hightail it after her before they’re a day late and a Jane short.

Ya’ll I could not get enough of this gang of misfits. However let’s start with a chat about the fabulousness of this author trio. I first fell in love with Hand, Ashton, and Meadows last year when I read “My Lady Jane” and later in the summer when I read “My Plane Jane.” These women give a hilarious spin on history and literature. The only two words I can use to describe their writing style is “witty” and “cheeky” (and I’m not even British!). I love the hidden odes to pop culture; specifically in “My Calamity Jane” the mentions of broadway shows like “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Chicago.” They also approach tougher subjects like racism, gun laws, and government with grace and respectful humor.

Okay, now to the bookish goodies. I could not get enough of Calamity Jane. She was a rough and tough tom-boy who didn’t take no crap from nobody. But she had such a sweet, innocence about her that I just adored. I absolutely loved the true brother-sister relationship between her and Frank (who was just as sweet as pie). And then there’s Annie. That girl was a spit-fire full of sass and overflowing with love. This book was part wild, wild west – part werewolf in London – part love story emphasizing that love is love, no matter gender, race, nor age. Although the book was quite long, I was never bored and I couldn’t think of anything that could have been cut out. I also enjoyed the total feminist undertone. Boys are great, but sometimes girls are tougher and better.

Bravo once again to my favorite three writers.

Pop over and check out my other YA Fiction reviews and my other Lady Janies Reviews.

Well, I figure if a girl wants to be a legend, she should just go ahead and be one.

My Calamity Jane | Hand, Ashton, Meadows

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