by Carrie Vaughn
A YA book with a heroine who figures things out fairly quickly (yay!) though she does do a few dumb things, she also knows how to fence and sort of randomly gets sucked back in time to hang out with pirates.
Jill wants to get back home to her time, especially because she hasn’t been so nice to her parents, but she has made some good friends among the pirates and has a little crush developing as well. It is sweet.
The pirates are people, a few are caricatures, but not all. Some are quite real feeling.
“If I don’t understand, it’s because, you see – I’m sure you’ve seen – that most of us don’t have anything to go back for. This is all the family we have, and all the world we need. Heaven and hell together.” (pg 228)
Things are romanticized a little bit. Yo ho, yo ho… and there are female pirates, plus Vaughn assembled a bunch of the big names in one tavern (she admits it’s not historically possible, but she couldn’t resist). So we even catch a glimpse of Blackbeard. Yaaaar!
“You still don’t understand, do you? It’s not about what happens. We may all be dead next week, eh? It’s about what you’ve got now. The wind and the sea. A bottle of rum and a ship of your own. Don’t think about what happens next.”
But you get a decent idea of what it might be like to live on a ship amongst pirates. Though pretty much the Disneyfied version. It is funny, while reading this I realized that a lot of YA has characters that are unhappy, think their parents are stupid and basically hate their lives UNTIL they are sucked back in time or kidnapped or something that forces them to work, barely keep themselves alive and scrape by so that they realize their parents were keeping them safe and cushy in the lap of luxury. This book is no different. In fact, she mentions how she now knows where the term “back breaking labor” comes from.
There is a tiny paranormal voodoo element (hello, sucked back in time) and a wonderful growing up story line full of self-realization and growth and a few sword fights. It is great. I enjoyed it. I would LOVE it if they made a movie out of this book. It would be a lot scarier visually and a good swashbuckling adventure. It was easy peasy and fun, 3.5 steel stars washed up in the tide, rusted and flaking from years in the ocean.