“Your beauty is not a tax you are required to pay in order to take up space in this world”
You might remember how much I loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue last year. It was on my list of top 10 reads and I was completely in love with the story. I think Monty is one of the best characters I had the pleasure of reading about and I feel like he dominates the page so much, the book could have been about anything and I still would have liked it (more of my thoughts on that one here). So I was beyond excited to get a sequel that focuses on Felicity, because I absolutely loved her in the first book. And I have to say, while I did not love this as much as the first one, I definitely enjoyed it. So let’s talk specifics.
Characters and character development is where Mackenzi Lee really shines. I absolutely love the way she handles her characters and the way she develops them. And she does such a great job of building relationships and making them believable and genuine. Felicity is a fantastic main character. She is on the aro/ace spectrum and she is such a smart, driven, capable young woman and that’s so fantastic to witness on the page. She has so much thrown at her, so many obstacles in her way, but I feel like she has integrity and I really appreciated her as a character. I will say that I found Felicity to be slightly annoying in the first book (and I really liked that, because I feel that made her more nuanced and complex) which did not really happen here.
The rest of the characters, mainly Johanna and Sim, were also amazing. I feel like Johanna isn’t really that unique in terms of characterization but I like characters like her, so I did not mind that. She is a total girly girl but also really smart and capable and I do enjoy characters like that. And I do feel like Sim could have been more developed and more nuanced, but overall I enjoyed both their characters a lot.
And it was fantastic to see three wonderful girls be friends and be supportive of each other in a book. I will never get tired of that. And I really think the characters and their relationships are this book’s strong suit and that was my favorite part of the novel.
I feel like Mackenzi Lee’s books don’t have much of a plot. As in the first one, this plot was flimsy at best and non-existent at worst. There’s nothing much to it, and what there is gets lost in a lot of filler things. I feel like that’s a thing that this book suffers from. There’s a lot of filler content that doesn’t fit anywhere.
The biggest issue I had with this and why I ultimately did not enjoy it as much as I wanted to, is because the pacing is so off. This book starts to pick up at around the 45 percent mark. And that’s really too much. The start is so slow, and not only that it has very little use in the context of the story and the narrative. I don’t think we got a lot of things from such a slow pace. Moreover, the rest of the book wraps up really fast and the resolution happens in a small number of pages, which really did not help the overall pace of the story.
Ultimately I would still recommend this. I think the characters are worth the hassle of the rest. And if you liked the first book, you will like this one as well, because the first had the same issues, more or less. Definitely do it for the wonderful, feminist characters and their relationships.
Final verdict: 3.5 stars
Tiresome, Feminist, Lovely
So that’s all of my thoughts on The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy! I would love to hear from you – did you read the first book? Are you excited for this one? Let me know!
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