I have been doubting this book for more than a year now and I feel like an idiot. This book is amazing.
I’ve been hearing amazing reviews for this for like a year now. But I’ve never been interested in fiction set in historical periods. And everyone was saying how this was a road trip and there were pirates and I was just not having it. Then I started watching Reign on Netflix. Although I have since stopped, since the death of Francis, I actually liked Reign. And I decided to pick up this book even though I was still a little apprehensive. Like what do you mean road trips? What do you mean pirates? I’ve never really read any road trip type of novels but somehow I’ve always thought I won’t like it. I won’t say this book changed my thoughts on that but this book is in it’s own league.
Plot’s about this fellow, Monty, who’s just been expelled from his prestigious school and his father has decided to send him on a Grand Tour across Europe under the guide of Mr Lockwood so that Monty can establish connections and learn out of his ‘terrible’ attributes and get some sense. Felicity (Monty’s sis) and Percy (Monty’s best friend and crush) will be joining Monty and Mr Lockwood mainly because Felicity needs to be dropped off at a school and Percy needs to be dropped off at college.
But none of that shit happens once the tour starts.
Nothing goes as planned. And there are pirates. The best part? It really is a Grand Adventure.
I loved Monty’s voice from the very first page. Monty is an insufferable hilarious jackass and I’m here for him. Felicity is such a headstrong, all-round fantastic character. Their bro x sis relationship was great to witness. Percy is such an empathetic bear that you just can’t help but adore. Monty and Percy share such a beautiful relationship – one that’s wrought with arguments but also with love.
There are so many important topics being discussed seamlessly in this book with a lot of heart. Bisexuality, feminism, misogyny, patriarchy, racism, abuse, PTSD, ignorance, disability. This book tackles all of them with a sense of reality and also with kindness.
Can’t wait for The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy!!
So let’s look at Goodreads reviews.
- People don’t like Monty. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH. Well. He’s a privileged douchebag for sure and might even be ignorant on some issues. He’s selfish at times but what I like is that he gets called out on his shit. He doesn’t deny his douchy tendencies nor does he make excuses for it. And he doesn’t mean to hurt anyone either. Of course not meaning to hurt but ending up hurting someone is still terrible and needs to be addressed and it is. Monty learns from Percy and Felicity. I like his light-hearted view of life no matter what he’s been through – given what he’s been through. There were many times in the book that my heart really felt for him. In his one-sided crush thoughts, in his recognitions of his own douchiness, in his moments of PTSD when he tries so hard to completely not think about everything that’s gone wrong. Monty!!! (But in all honesty, I probs won’t hang out with him. But he’s still hilarious to read.)
- The plot. It gets a little woah-what-where-are-you-taking-this? There was one part which I thought got dragged. Spoiler Alert: Monty steals something in the book. When you get there, you already know it’s going to be an important plot device even though Monty doesn’t know it yet. When Monty (Felicity and Percy) goes to return it to it’s owner, the owners ask them to stay over in their house. The owners are definitely hiding something and the trio want something from the owners too (at least Monty does). But all of them just live in peace for the next week or two when I’m just wondering when is shit going to go down? But there were other important issues being raised during this period of calm. So that’s good. The pirates were a welcome inclusion. I actually liked the way the plot progressed. A little extra at times but trust me, MONTY IS SO EXTRA HE DESERVES THIS PLOT. HAHAHA.
- Trope. There is a trope I dislike being used in this book. The trope of misunderstandings due to miscommunication or the lack of it between Monty and Percy. But it was bearable because of Monty. We get into his thought process and given his character, I understand his apprehension to clear the air and his way of dealing with things. So it’s all good. I loved reading about his thoughts on his one-sided crush thoughts. Other tropes: (spoiler alert) the having stolen something and being pursued for it. And how it now becomes something important to Monty. Kept the plot going, I think it’s okay. The ending to the stolen object plot line with what happens to their pursuer and how they escape – won’t really blow your mind but it works. It’s just Monty. Monty makes this book work for me.
- Does the book really get into the issues it’s trying to tackle? There are no right and wrong being addressed in this book. It’s really a book about experiences of different people – bisexuals, women who want more equality, people experiencing discrimination. The book does not claim to say that you are wrong for your ‘misogynistic/racist/discriminatory’ views but I think it does fairly display that these views feel wrong. And at the end of the day, Monty, Felicity and Percy are just youngsters who are trying to find their own principles based on what they know to be right and wrong vs what they feel to be right and wrong.
I say read this book. It’s a light-hearted read that deals with heavy topics in a light-hearted way.
"Under my watch," Lockwood says, "there will be no gambling, limited tobacco and absolutely no cigars." Well, this is turning a bit not good.