- Page Count: 336
- Release Date: June 19, 2018
- My Rating: 2 stars
A clever, romantic novel based on the true story of a girl who disguised herself as a boy to sail with the infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Calico Jack—and fell in love with Anne Bonny.
There’s no place for a girl in Mary’s world. Not in the home of her mum, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy granny, where no girl can be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s livelihood—and her safety—depends on her ability to disguise her gender.
At least, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and in the midst of the gang of cutthroats, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate.
The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain, earning herself the chance to join the account and become a pirate alongside Calico Jack and Anne Bonny.
For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything—her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life.
Breathlessly romantic and brilliantly subversive, The Unbinding of Mary Reade is sure to sweep readers off their feet and make their hearts soar.
I think the idea of this book is awesome: it’s based on the true story of a girl who disguised herself as a guy so she could sail with a lady pirate… and they fall in love.
However, almost nothing about the book worked for me. The writing was extremely average and awkward at times, the characters were dull, the plot was boring (HOW can you make pirates boring?!), and so much of it just felt… off. The main character definitely felt younger than 17, yet I wouldn’t recommend this to a younger audience because there are some triggering moments with topics like rape.
The whole thing read more like a draft than a finished book, but I do want to emphasize that I LOVED THE IDEA… so maybe another publisher can pick up something similar? Just don’t go into this looking for some Lila Bard adventure or expect anything too complex.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.