Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack #1) by L.A. Meyer
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers (2002), eBook, 320pg
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance
Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught. . . .Buy on Amazon | Goodreads
Bloody Jack has been on my to-read list for years and years; it’s an adventure novel set in a historic time period with a female protagonist who runs away to have adventures. Exciting!
I went in thinking it’d be something like my ultimate favorite “adventure novel set in a historic time period with a female protagonist who runs away to have adventures” book, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. Bloody Jack has the same sort of trappings as Charlotte (setting, learning how to be on a ship, building friendships, etc.) BUT it’s actually way darker and deals with more emotional complications than just “the captain is crazy.”
Emotional complications like boys and boyfriends and having a boyfriend while pretending to be a boy on a ship full of other boys who don’t know you aren’t a boy yourself! Also, killing people sea battles. Also, being a hormonal teenager full of dangerously stupid ideas and also hormones.
Being a teenager is so difficult, y’all, especially when you’re trapped on a ship and don’t know what a period is. I empathized with Jacky hardcore, even as I wanted to shake her and keep her from being, well, a teenager.
Although I did end up liking Jacky, she irritated the HECK out of me. SO MUCH. It seemed like she was crying and doing something stupid and dangerous (/brave) every other page, putting herself into ridiculous situations because she really wanted to make out with Jaimy a lot. I guess I wasn’t expecting her to be as boy-crazy as she was? Or for the last half of the book to mostly be about her making out with her boyfriend? I was expecting more action and adventure and fighting pirates. The first half of the book is like that, but the second half…wasn’t.
Seriously, as soon as Jacky got on the ship she was all about making Jaimy her boyfriend. That was her entire focus. I was expecting the book to be an adventure novel but it turned into something else and I think that threw off my enjoyment because I am not super into reading about 13-year-olds falling in “love.”
Would teenage!me have liked Bloody Jack? Probably not, because teenage!me would’ve hated the romance aspect even more than adult!me does. Adult!me isn’t even sure if she wants to continue the series. On the one hand, Jaimy and Jacky aren’t able now to spend twenty chapters fooling around. On the other hand, I don’t doubt Jacky’s ability to track him down and feel him up, either. I kinda admire her for her determination for heavy petting, actually.
Plus, apparently there are more pirates in the series later on! And I really want to see what happens to Jacky View Spoiler »now that she’s left the ship « Hide Spoiler. So I’ll probably read the next book after all.
Read: February 23-24, 2015
L.A. Meyer is a man?! Why did I think he was a woman? I must be mixing him up with another initialed author, maybe.