Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Retro Reviews - Bloody Jack - L. A. Meyer

I first read this book when I was still in middle school, and I loved it. I loved everything about it. A few years later, I had the most amazing realization that this book was only the first in a series that I've followed since. The newest book in the series came out last fall, and I'm rereading the series again so I can continue on. That being said, I couldn't resist not throwing a plug out for one of my favorite series, or at least the first book.

Bloody Jack is the story of a young girl in London who is orphaned and thrown onto the street after her parents and sister die of disease. She survives on the streets in a gang, begging and stealing and sometimes reading signs for those who never learned, until the day that her gang leader is killed and she decides its time to try and move on. She dressed like a boy, Mary Faber, known now as Jacky, manages to get herself posted as a ship boy on the HMS Dolphin, at which point her taste for sailing and adventure blossoms.

I love this series, I really do. I love gender bending stories of all kinds, but Bloody Jack holds a special place in my heart because I love the main character so much. Jacky is a headstrong, stubborn, and practical girl that you can't help but fall in love with, particularly in later books, but in this one too. She's just this great character to read about, always doing something interesting and handling things in a practical way. And what's even greater about these books is that Jacky isn't some super special snowflake character who never has anything bad happen to her: she's stubborn and, frankly, badass in a lot of cases, but she's also very human and real. She's awesome, but she's still this very human little girl.

There's so much that I could say about this series that I'm resisting, because I don't want to ruin the first book for you, but I will say that this series is one of my absolute favorites. If you -haven't- read Bloody Jack before, you NEED to pick up a copy, even if it's just at your local library, to give it a shot. This series just gets better and better the farther in you go, so if you have read Bloody Jack, and liked it, make sure you pick up the sequel, Curse of the Blue Tattoo. Actually, BUY ALL THE THINGS, because this series is just amazing!

So if you're a fan of spunky and strong female characters who are still reliably human, give Bloody Jack a shot. If you like gender bending books, and especially if you are a fan of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, you need to try Bloody Jack. And if you're just looking for a good series to read, well, this book is definitely one you should pick up.

And if you like Bloody Jack, the series is currently nine books long, with a tenth on the way this year! So pick up your copy soon, so you can get started. You won't regret it.

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