Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy + What if It’s Us

Posted October 17, 2018 by shooting in Book Review / 20 Comments

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

Review by Lauren

Source: ARC from a friend; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): 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.

Review: A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is by far one of my favorite books. It’s a humorous, historical novel, starring Felicity’s brother, Monty. While Felicity does appear throughout the book, Lady’s Guide is her story after those events. I like that Felicity wants to be a doctor and she’s determined not to let her sex stop her. She won’t go running home where it’s “easier” because she doesn’t want the life of a lady. However, I found Felicity’s narration to be less enjoyable than Monty’s. It was just a bit too repetitive in places, and Felicity definitely annoyed me at times.

Honestly, some of the most interesting parts are when Monty and Percy are there, or really, any secondary character. Lady’s Guide was a book that I enjoyed while reading but when I put it down, it didn’t really scream “pick me up, I need to keep reading!” and that’s unfortunate. Mackenzi Lee is a great author though, and I find the time period to be fascinating. I’ll definitely read more by her!

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What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Review by Lauren

Source: ARC from a friend; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

Review: What If It’s Us is definitely romance-focused, which is fine, because I don’t mind books that don’t have a ton of plot as long as I enjoy the characters and the relationship. However, I can’t say that I loved Arthur or Ben, or at least, not together. Arthur is definitely over the top, but he’d make a fun friend, and I love that he adores Broadway musicals so much, since I do too. In fact, the title is from a song in Dear Evan Hansen. However, he’s really insecure about his relationship with Ben and I don’t think he was always fair about the fact that Ben had an ex.

As for Ben, he seemed really judgemental about Arthur in the beginning, and I didn’t like that. It just seemed kind of out of place in terms of the rest of the book too. I did grow to like Ben more as the book progressed though, but at the same time, I kind of wanted a story about Ben and his ex, which is unfortunate, since I should have loved the story of Arthur and Ben. Also, Arthur does something to help find Ben after they randomly meet at the post office, and I have to say, I didn’t like it; he essentially outed Ben without knowing if it was safe for him. (Kelly talks a bit more about this in her review, if you’re curious)

Now, it’s not all bad. Like I said, I did come to enjoy both Arthur and Ben as the book went on. I also enjoyed-

Both Arthur and Ben’s parents; they were very accepting.
All the musical and fandom moments – they even have a Harry Potter party, you guys!
Ben’s best friend Dylan – I love that he doesn’t care at ALL that Ben is gay, he’s hilarious but also really smart and just an all-around amazing friend. I’d totally take a book about Dylan and his girlfriend, Samantha.

What If It’s Us is a solid three star read for me, so definitely a mix of good and bad, but I’m glad I read it!

20 responses to “Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy + What if It’s Us

  1. Jen

    The Petticoat book had me intrigued, but that’s kind of a bummer about it not being a “read me right now book”, or maybe that is good so I don’t put everything aside while I read 🙂

    Thanks for the reviews!

  2. I have read pretty amazing reviews for Lady’s Guide but I have a friend who ended up dnf’ing for the same reasons as you. And a lot of people seem disappointed in What If It’s Us.

    I have both coming up and I think I’m just going to dnf if the aren’t working for me by page 100 because your (& my friends) tastes kind of align with mine.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  3. I haven’t heard of the Lady’s Guide to Petticoats, but I’ve heard of What If It’s Us. Thanks for sharing your reviews. I might have to put What If It’s Us on my TBR list.

  4. I have been a little hesitant about picking up Lady’s Guide. I absolutely loved Gentleman’s Guide and I am not sure if I would enjoy this second one that much either. I know what you mean about liking a book, but it just doesn’t rivet you that much. I hope that you enjoy your next read a bit better! 🙂

  5. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy and the Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue are books I’ve never heard of before. But thank you for sharing your reviews. Will have to add to my reading list and I am always looking for humorous and historical reads.

    Albany recently posted: Give a Good Read for the Book Lover

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