Book Review

Book Review | My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Title: My Calamity Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Published On: June 2, 2020
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: digital
Pages: 544


Hold on to your hats: The authors who brought you the New York Times bestseller My Plain Jane, which Booklist praised as “delightfully deadpan” (starred review) and Publishers Weeklycalled “a clever, romantic farce” (starred review), are back with another irreverent historical adventure.

Welcome to 1876 America, a place bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou—better known as werewolves.

And where there are garou, there’re hunters: the one and only Calamity Jane, to be precise, along with her fellow stars of Wild Bill’s Traveling Show, Annie Oakley and Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler.

After a garou hunt goes south and Jane finds a suspicious-like bite on her arm, she turns tail for Deadwood, where there’s talk of a garou cure. But rumors can be deceiving—meaning the gang better hightail it after her before they’re a day late and a Jane short.

In this perfect next read for fans of A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, bestselling authors Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton bring their signature spark to the side-splittin’, whopper-filled (but actually kind of factual?) tale of Calamity Jane.

My thoughts

(Spoiler free)

While My Calamity Jane didn’t eclipse the previous two Janies for me, I still enjoyed it. I’m not a big fan of westerns and when I discovered one of the prompts on my reading challenge was to read a western, I immediately decided it would be this one. I waited all year to read it! But then I had the unfortunate timing of trying to read it during the most stressful presidential election ever. I might have been a bit distracted….

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

Hand, Ashton, Meadows; My Calamity Jane

BUT I did laugh and smile and swoon. It was all good fun. The characters were refreshingly updated. Jane was snarky and took no bull from anyone. Annie was confident and brave. Frank was sweet and good to the core. I have to admit that I purchased this one without even reading the synopsis (I promise I rarely do that), so the fact that it was about werewolves was an unexpected surprise. It tied the story together very nicely and gave the characters a unified purpose.

One of my favorite things about the Janies is when the authors break the fourth wall and talk directly to the reader. I always have a good chuckle:

“‘That’s loads of time. A person could write a whole book in two hours.’ (To which we, as the narrators, say no. A person can’t. And now we’re crying a little.)”

Hand, Ashton, Meadows; My Calamity Jane

Another plus is now I’m eager to learn more about these real-life characters. To me, that’s always a sign a book was good. I can’t wait to read more by this talented trio!

Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

About the Author

Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens, including the Unearthly trilogy, The Afterlife of Holly ChaseThe Last Time We Say Goodbye, and My Lady Jane and My Plain Jane (with fellow authors Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows). She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, with her husband, who loves typewriters as much as she does, two cats, two kids, one crazy dog, and a mountain of books. Visit her online at

Brodi Ashton is the author of Everneath, a VOYA Perfect 10 for 2011; Everbound; and Evertrue; and the coauthor, with Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows, of My Lady Jane. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics. Brodi lives in Utah with her family. You can visit her online at

Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the Incarnate trilogy, the Orphan Queen duology, and the Fallen Isles trilogy and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller My Lady Jane. Visit her at

A Song For A Book

On Bookstagram I created a hashtag for when I include a song that reminds me of the book I’m sharing, #ASongForABook, I thought I’d make it a regular feature on my reviews, too.

When I thought of music for My Calamity Jane, my mind immediately went to Lenka. I love her happy, positive, fun sound, and I thought it fit perfectly for the Janies. I decided to go with “Trouble is a Friend” which is all too true for this gang.

Trouble will find you no mater where you go, oh oh
No Matter if you’re fast no matter if you’re slow, oh oh
The eye of the storm and the cry in the morn, oh oh
Your fine for a while but then start to lose control

Have you read My Calamity Jane? Did you add it to your tbr? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

3 thoughts on “Book Review | My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows”

  1. Great review! I had the impression this was part of a connected series but now I’m getting the feeling it’s more of a standalone series type thing? I still need to read a western for the POPSUGAR challenge and now this has piqued my interest 😂 Do you reckon it could be read without reading the others first? Lol

    1. Yes! You’re absolutely right. The only thing that connects these is that they’re all re-imaginings about historical figures with the name Jane: My Lady Jane is Lady Jane Grey and My Plain Jane is Jane Eyre. Next they’re working on Mary’s! I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed these. 🙂

  2. I have had that book on hold from the library for like two months, and it just came available, so I’m excited to get to it as soon as possible. I loved the first two lady janies books so much, so i’m very excited for this one!

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