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Review: The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

Title: The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Year Published: 2018

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 442
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map)UK, Germany, Switzerland, Gilbraltar

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Felicity Montague is through with pretending she prefers society parties to books about bone setting--or that she's not smarter than most people she knows, or that she cares about anything more than her dreams of becoming a doctor.

A year after an accidentally whirlwind tour of Europe, which she spent evading highwaymen and pirates with her brother Monty, Felicity has returned to England with two goals in mind--avoid the marriage proposal of Callum Doyle, a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh, and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a small window of hope opens. Dr. Alexander Platt, an eccentric physician who Felicity idolizes, is looking for research assistants, and Felicity is sure that someone as forward-thinking as her hero would be willing to take her on. However, Platt is in Germany, preparing to wed Felicity's estranged childhood friend, Johanna. Not only is Felicity reluctant to open old wounds, but she also has no money to make the trip.

Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity's way, so long as she is allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid. In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl's true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking below the Atlantic.

Review: This book is the second in a series, the first being The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. The first book centered on Monty and this one follows the adventures of his sister, Felicity.

I like that Felicity is a strong female in a time when women really weren't give much due (mid-1700s). She is smart, feisty, wants to be a physician (which was not allowed), and she isn't afraid of an adventure.

I also still like her brother Monty and his partner, Percy, who are now living together blissfully in love. For a book that takes place about 300 years ago, it is quite progressive in its inclusion of gay men as well as people of color. I like that.

While the story is full of swash-buckling pirates, crazy adventures, betrayals, and wealthy men who are nefarious, it also manages to poke fun and have a good time; it's a wonderful combination.

One of the coolest things is that at the end, the author gives the historical background about women in medicine, piracy, and naturalists. It makes the book even better to learn this stuff at the end!

Challenges for which this counts: 

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