I first borrowed a copy of Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy at the library. I was around twelve years old. After reading the first few chapters, I was completely hooked. I've read Bloody Jack multiple times since then. Six years later, I would still consider it to be one of my favorite books of all times. The eighth book in the Bloody Jack series has come out, so I'm reading through the entire series again. I thought I would go ahead and review all of the Bloody Jack books and you can decide for yourself whether or not they are right for you.
Jacky Faber is used to fighting for survival. For an orphan on the streets of eighteenth-century London, every day starts with begging and ends with an empty stomach. But now luck is finally on Jacky's side- a departing warship is taking on ship's boys, and Jacky jumps and the chance to pursue pirates and riches beyond imagination. 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...
What I Liked-
I love the character development in Bloody Jack. L.A. Meyer is a brilliant storyteller. I also love how Bloody Jack captures so many genres in one novel: adventure, action, historical fiction, piracy, romance... really, everything you need for a good read. Jacky is one of my favorite written characters of all times. I could see us being great friends. And I'm rooting for her through every adventure.
What I Didn't Like-
There are some cuss words in this novel. Think of the term "sailor mouth" and you'll know what I mean, as this is a book about sailors. In my personal copy of Bloody Jack, I've scribbled out every cuss word (mostly consisting words that most people wouldn't consider cuss words, but ones that I don't like, such as p!$$ and hell) so I don't have to read the words over again. If you plan to read the book more than once, I would recommend doing that as well. There are a few sexual insinuations throughout the novel and Jacky is nearly molested once.
I Recommend This Book For-
Anyone who likes adventure. Any girl who hates her history being confined to a young lady in a prim and proper dress. Anyone who simply likes a good, entertaining story. I would definitely recommend this story for people over the age of fourteen, despite the age recommendation on the book that says "12 and up." There are some mature themes in Bloody Jack and a few curse words as well, as I have discussed above.
Overall, I still love Bloody Jack, even after reading it more than ten times. It will never cease to capture my interest. I love Jacky and Jaimy and all of their adventures together. I just love this story in general. L.A. Meyer has definitely earned my approval as an excellent wordsmith and story teller.
Despite a few "iffy" parts- which you should consider before purchasing the book- for a historical fiction young adult novel, I still recommend it to teens.