Book review: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Source: Purchased

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of 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 window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s 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 beneath the Atlantic.

It seems like every book I was anticipating was released in October this year. First there was Vengeful, then there was What If It’s Us, and now there’s The Lady’s Guide. I loved The Gentleman’s Guide when I read it last year and was so excited when I heard that Felicity was getting her own book in the series. (So excited that I actually preordered it, although that was mostly just so that I could get the novella as well.)

I absolutely adored the first half of this book. I loved every character, from Felicity to Johanna to Sim. I loved getting to see Monty and Percy again. I loved how snarky Felicity could be. When she turns down a marriage proposal because she has “so much to read?” Actually me.

But the second half of the book? I’m not sure what happened. It really took a turn and I just couldn’t go for it. This is definitely spoiler territory, so…

Click to expand!

The biggest problem I had with the second half was the introduction of the sea dragons. If this had been a fantasy novel, it would be one thing. But it wasn’t. It’s historical fiction about a girl in the 18th century who wants to be a doctor. I thought that the dragons really took away from the story.

Another problem for me personally (that wouldn’t necessarily be a problem for everybody) is that toward the end of the book, Felicity starts speaking in a much more modern way than she had been at the beginning. One example is her rolling her eyes and saying, “That sounds fake” when she learns about fuzzy cacti. It just didn’t feel like her voice anymore and it pulled me out of the story.

Was The Lady’s Guide an enjoyable book? Yes. But it didn’t really live up to my expectations and I found myself putting it down all the time to go do other things. I liked the characters, I liked the representation, and a lot of the writing was funny and sassy and wonderful, but overall… I just didn’t love this one as much as I’d expected.

#mm18: new or old

Have you read The Lady’s Guide? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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21 thoughts on “Book review: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

  1. onwardandupwardreviews says:

    I felt the same while reading this! I really loved the first half of this novel, but then I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that made me not like it so much by the end. I think you said it really well. It just changed a lot by the second half.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alex @ Alex Reads and Blogs says:

    Ok I’m skipping the spoiler portion of your post, but i have to say that i feel like gentleman’s guide did the same thing. I was loving the story and the adventure, but then it got so weird with the whole alchemy and philosophers stone bit. I didnt love felicity all that much…i enjoyed her snarkyness sure… but i did t love her as much as others seem to have. i am still looking forward to getting to this book, if just to see my boys Monty and Percy again

    Liked by 1 person

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