Author: L.A. Meyer
Publication Date: September 2002
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Copy provided by: Library (audiobook), I own a copy myself though.
Summary (via Goodreads):
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. . . .
Why I read this: This is actually a reread for me. I love these books and decided that this year it was time to catch up on the last two books out that I haven’t read and am hosting the 2011 Bloody Jack Reading Challenge. I decided, this time around, I’d try to read them all via audiobook.
Plot: Mary (aka Jacky) is orphaned at a young age and decides life would be easier if she dressed as a boy. She happens upon a ship and manages to become a ship’s boy. Only problem is, if someone finds out, it’s to the noose with her. This book is full of violence, romance, life-threatening situations, and some more serious subjects like sodomy, rape, menstruation and death. Definitely a book that will keep you reading (or listening) until the very end. This book also takes place during the early 1800s when Britain is at war with the French and there is plenty of danger on the sea. I love the historical backdrop to this book and mixed with Jacky’s cockney attitude, it certainly is a tale worth listening to.
Characters: I absolutely love Jacky’s character. She’s very much full of energy and mischief and has such a unique and hilarious voice that you can’t help but love her. And every person she encounters is unique in their own way, whether good or bad. Meyer does a fabulous job with his character and keeping them easy to tell apart with his fantastic characterization.
Relatability: Fans of Avi’s True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and really any adventure loving reader will adore Bloody Jack.
Cover Commentary: Definitely depicts where most of the book takes place. I do love the lettering on the cover and the colors.
Audio Commentary: The voice actress that does these audiobooks is fantastic. She’s got the accent and the attitude to pull off Jacky’s character and she does it beautifully. If you’re just starting to listen to audiobooks I highly recommend this one as one of the best.
Find it on Goodreads