Elise (TheBookishActress)'s Reviews > The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
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Her dark eyes meet mine and I look between her and Johanna. In the company of women like this—sharp-edged as raw diamonds but with soft hands and hearts, not strong in spite of anything but powerful because of everything—I feel invincible. Every chink and rut and battering wind has made us tough and brave and impossible to strike down. We are made of mountains—or perhaps temples, with foundations that could outlast time itself.

4 1/2 stars. This was lovely. And I want to reread the whole duology now.

So, first of all, Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue was one of my favorite books of last year, and I was really worried this would not live up to it. And it… was missing some of the best qualities of book one, but then had even more new stuff that was better.

I will say I think I also was not that scared that everything would turn out all right? like, you know from the beginning that Felicity will turn out all right with her dream just in a different way than expected. and that didn’t make the journey less fun but I guess... there was a lack of tension in the narrative.

So no, I didn’t love this on the same level as I loved Gentleman’s Guide, but they’re both very solid books in their own right, and this one does an excellent job of not being fanfiction of the previous novel, but an excellent novel in its own right. all of these new characters have solid arcs and their own personalities and it basically reads like a stand-alone with these two random side characters, not like a direct sequel, which is lovely.]

But then there’s so, so much to like about this book.

Felicity Montague really did that (found fulfillment in her own life without needing a romantic relationship but with two very close gal pals she loves very much and would die for)

Seriously, Felicity Montague’s character arc is so freaking exciting to me, on so many levels. Felicity being acearo and it not being questioned by the narrative at all!! And her having a goal and working so hard to achieve it, the whole book long, because girls can do anything. But she also gets the chance to grow and change and work through her own problematic mindsets.

So first of all, I love the entire arc around the not-like-other-girls trope. Can I just say, it is so refreshing to see a book powered by women being friends with each other. The whole arc around Felicity getting over her not like other girls shit with Johanna is so! perfect! It is so refreshing that we get this arc – as you start the book, you sort of think you know what you expect from Johanna, especially in a comedy like this. But no, this book is more concentrated around something far more interesting: the girl gang. The girl gang dynamic at the end is so! perfect! I honestly wish there was more.

In general, I really liked that Mackenzi Lee doesn’t shy away from the fact that her lead characters are of a privileged viewpoint. This comes in multiple shades. First of all, there is a lot of focus on Felicity working through her internalized homophobia, which is something that was definitely present - and highly annoying - in book one. But there’s also another shade to this: the narrative around colonialism.

So I adored how this book deals with colonialism in a historical setting. It’s great to see unveil, so I’m being vague, but I really loved all the stuff about Sim and her family. They are trying to keep the natural resources of their home safe while also trying to be a part of a global economy that wants them to fail from the start. Sim’s character, by the way? A sapphic hijabi girl? Talented. Brilliant. Incredible. Amazing. Showstopping. Spectacular.

In her ignorance, Johanna initially wants to take a role in the world of a colonizer. But the narrative is so quick to criticize those viewpoints, to depict them as wrong and awful [as they are]. And in the end, they have to realize that their white, European experience is not the only one in the world, and they don’t always have the answers. They are not always the saviors in their narrative, and that’s okay. Felicity and Johanna have a right to a role in the world as powerful women… but not in the capacity of colonization and appropriation. That’s Sim’s role, and she will kick ass within it.

Listen, it’s just… so fucking good, like so fucking good. I enjoyed reading this so much. Love that “acearo medical student goes on journey with her sapphic hijabi pirate friend and her more-feminine botanist friend” is a thing that I can enjoy in current literature. And I don’t know why you guys have to ask this so much, but yes, there are liberal Monty and Percy cameos. [Was that a question? That shouldn’t be a question. I love them and I would die for them.] Anyway, I absolutely adored this, and I can’t wait to read more by this author.

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Reading Progress

June 13, 2017 – Shelved
June 13, 2017 – Shelved as: desperately-awaiting
July 11, 2017 – Shelved as: marked-author-love
July 11, 2017 – Shelved as: releases-2018-desperate
September 24, 2017 – Shelved as: releases-2017-desperate
September 24, 2017 – Shelved as: releases-desperate
September 24, 2017 – Shelved as: releases-2017
October 6, 2017 – Shelved as: releases-2018
July 6, 2018 – Shelved as: arcs-digital
July 12, 2018 –
5.0% "man: randomly proposing to Felicity
me: bitch me too the fuck"
July 14, 2018 – Started Reading
July 14, 2018 –
65.0% "Sim and Johanna and Felicity are the girl squad we needed in our lives"
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: z-read-in-2018
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: books-released-2018
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: elise-reads-arcs
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: z-faves-of-2018
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: favorite-squads
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: favorite-friendships
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: favorite-characters
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: favorite-relationships
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: gen-nonfiction
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: that-lgbtq-rep-tho
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: this-was-laugh-out-loud-funny
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: that-feminist-classic-energy
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: gen-series-books
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: that-rep-of-characters-of-color
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: elise-recs-list
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: elise-unowned
July 14, 2018 – Shelved as: 5-star
July 14, 2018 – Finished Reading
July 21, 2018 – Shelved as: she-did-that
August 5, 2018 – Shelved as: gay-genre-fiction

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Pagones I think I may like this even better than the cover of the first one!


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE


Elise (TheBookishActress) ilsa ➹ wrote: "WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE"

MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF EVER

Mary wrote: "I think I may like this even better than the cover of the first one!"

me too!! the model is so pretty


Eloise ITS SO BEAUTIFUL I CANT WAIIIIIIT


Kayla YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS


message 6: by rachael ♡ (new) - added it

rachael ♡ AHHHHHH I AM SO JEALOUS


Taasia ✨ Yay! Hope you love it!


Elise (TheBookishActress) Rachael I know I’m so sorry!! YOU’LL HAVE IT SOON


Elise (TheBookishActress) THANK YOU SO MUCH @TAASIA IM SO EXCITED


message 10: by Tucker (new)

Tucker You got the ARC... Lucky.. :(


message 11: by Tucker (new)

Tucker I am going to send a request for it... maybe they'll say yes.


message 12: by ashleigh (new) - added it

ashleigh AHHHH I'M EXCITED FOR THIS


Elise (TheBookishActress) Ashleigh wrote: "AHHHH I'M EXCITED FOR THIS"

ME TOO ASHLEIGH!!


prag ♻ elise


prag ♻ i just want to talk


prag ♻ i'm going to kick you out of funky fresh


Elise (TheBookishActress) just here for desi sapphics wrote: "i'm going to kick you out of funky fresh"

that will leave one other person in funky fresh


Elise (TheBookishActress) just here for desi sapphics wrote: "i just want to talk"

you LOVE me


prag ♻ Em wrote: "good"

the bold type featuring aisha dee katie stevens meghann fahey and nikohl boosheri


Finn Longman ahhh so jealous that you've read this already!


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Miriam aaaah I’m so glad I got the chance!! it’s really just Incredible I adored it


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Prag I support this concept it’s valid and good


Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader) But the important question is: Are there cute Monty and Percy moment in this?


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Hayley um hell yeah!! they cameo a bunch in the beginning and then a bit more towards the end. but also I need to reread book one now 😊💕


Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader) @Elise AHHHHHH! I’m so excited. I miss my boys. If you haven’t listened to the audiobook you HAVE to. It’s read by the guy who played Tom Riddle in the second Harry Potter aka the love of my 12 year old heart.


Elise (TheBookishActress) ♆Hayley wrote: "@Elise AHHHHHH! I’m so excited. I miss my boys. If you haven’t listened to the audiobook you HAVE to. It’s read by the guy who played Tom Riddle in the second Harry Potter aka the love of my 12 yea..."

I have, actually!! this will be my second reread oops


Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader) Elise wrote: "♆Hayley wrote: "@Elise AHHHHHH! I’m so excited. I miss my boys. If you haven’t listened to the audiobook you HAVE to. It’s read by the guy who played Tom Riddle in the second Harry Potter aka the l..."

YAY IT'S SO GOOD! Hahaha girl, I'm right there with you. After I finished it the first time I bought the audiobook and IMMEDIATELY started it. I still haven't been able to review it because I feel like I won't be able to convey how much I love it.


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Hayley even my review, which I spent FOREVER on, barely comes close. it’s excellent.


Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader) Elise wrote: "@Hayley even my review, which I spent FOREVER on, barely comes close. it’s excellent."

It's fantastic!! One of my all time favs. I told myself I would attempt to write a review after I read it a third time ha.


Elise (TheBookishActress) ♆Hayley wrote: "Elise wrote: "@Hayley even my review, which I spent FOREVER on, barely comes close. it’s excellent."

It's fantastic!! One of my all time favs. I told myself I would attempt to write a review after..."


oooh, i hope you do - I can't wait to read it!!


message 34: by Audrey (new) - added it

Audrey God bless I am SO excited for this and ur review made me even MORE EXCITED


Elise (TheBookishActress) Audrey wrote: "God bless I am SO excited for this and ur review made me even MORE EXCITED"

I'M SO GLAD AUDREY it's the best i was so blessed


Stella ☆Paper Wings☆ I. NEED. THIS. EVEN. MORE.


message 37: by Helena (new) - added it

Helena of Eretz ✰ This series looks like SO MUCH FUN 😍


message 38: by Jeanette (new) - added it

Jeanette I want to read this series so bad!! I heard great reviews on the first one.


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Stella I hope you love it oh my god!! I can’t wait for it to release.


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Helena it really is!! book one was my FAVE, I want to reread it again now


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Jeanette I hope you read it soon!! they’re actually more companion-novels than a series, but I totally recommend both.


message 42: by Camryn (new) - added it

Camryn This is really interesting! I thought I'd love it, but I felt a lot of white feminist vibes that distracted me. Monty and Percy are such a great OTP, tho


Elise (TheBookishActress) Camryn wrote: "This is really interesting! I thought I'd love it, but I felt a lot of white feminist vibes that distracted me. Monty and Percy are such a great OTP, tho"

that's fair, honestly - i think i read it very much as a dynamic the book was consciously critiquing, but it's still very much there. and aaaaaah yes they are i love them so much


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