Books,  Reviews

YA Review: The Curse of the Blue Tattoo

The Curse of the Blue Tattoo by L.A. Meyer
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell
Genre: YA, historical, adventure, Audiobook
Publisher: Graphia /Listen & Live Audio
Publication Date: 2004

Jacky Faber is back! When we last left Miss Faber, her female identity had been discovered by the crew of the H.M.S. Dolphin, leaving her in the direst sort of situation for a young girl on a British Naval vessel. In order to keep her safe, they’ve imprisoned her in the brig and now the men in charge have a plan for her; they are going to drop her off at the Lawson Peabody School for girls in Boston.

Jacky is, to say the least, displeased with this idea, but still, she goes. Soon she discovers how different and in some cases, more horrifying, a school for girls can be.  She’s got rules and regulations about where she must be and what time she must be there. There are expectations about how she must sit, eat, walk, talk and act at all times. Her rule breaking days must be behind her now….or are they?

As Jacky settles into the school, life is anything but calm. Snooty girls who have been raised with money and manners surround her and it seems everything she does is wrong. Life on the streets taught her nothing about spoons, forks or public comportment.

However, as we learned in the first book, Jacky should never be counted out. Though her letters to Jaimy aren’t being returned and she’s not sure how she’s going to proceed, Jacky overcomes, endures, and even solves a great mystery.

Once again, this young girl’s adventures are hilarious, fabulous and at times, exceptionally heart-warming. Jacky is, if nothing else, vigilant in her survival techniques. It’s a delight to follow her as she gets into and out of her extraordinary messes. Things that seem absolutely inconceivable seem to gather around Jacky and throw a party in her presence.

The parent’s view on this one stays the same as the first. Though these books aren’t for the very young (Jacky is pretty open about more mature things and some of her situations are definitely more on the mature side.) I can see how they’d be highly entertaining for high school or college students. Or if you’ve enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll love these books. If you’re a parent, these books are listed for 7th grade and up. That age strikes me as pretty young. I’d consider 14-15. If you have a mature reader, you might want to read along with them. The first few books in the series are definitely okay for this younger range but as Jacky gets older, so do her adventures, so keep that in mind if you’re starting a younger reader on this series.

Now I need to take a moment to talk about the audiobook version. Once again, I was completely enthralled with these audiobooks. If you don’t have time to sit down and read but you’re in the car for a commute, working out, or just want some relaxing time with earbuds in, these audiobooks are MUST HAVE. I have listened to many audiobooks in my time and some are definite misses. These are must have. Even if you own the hard copies of the books and have read them, these audiobooks bring new life to the series. Far more than just listening to someone read a story, these are like movies that play out in an audio format. Excitement, adventure and intrigue follow these stories and I cannot possibly recommend the audio versions more highly.

Rated PG-13: At the least I think these books should run for 14/15 year olds. Jacky’s adventures involve some very adult things. Though sex isn’t one of them yet, we do know that some of her adventures have taken place in some very unsavory places with some exceptionally unsavory characters. Keep this in mind if you have younger readers.

Review copy provided by the publisher and Listen and Live Audio. Thank you!