Title: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
Author: Jamie Pacton
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
Source: Author (Thanks, Jamie!)
One Sentence Synopsis
Kit Sweetly works as a wench at The Castle, a medieval themed restaurant which is distinctly patriarchal, but wants to fight as a knight and decides to make that happen.
This quote is from an uncorrected copy and may change in the final version
“Well, at first, I didn’t think I was going to be able to change or prove anything – I was just helping my brother out. But, as I was fighting, I realized I liked it. I wanted to show kids they can do anything, regardless of gender identity. So, yes, it might be symbolic. But what better way to smash the patriarchy than with a lance and sword?”Jamie Pacton, The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
As you all probably know, I’m rather new to the whole book blogging thing. I haven’t even been doing this a full year yet! So I’m always a bit shy when it comes to jumping at bookish opportunities because ya girl has a fear of rejection. But, when I saw the call go out to join the street team for The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly, I took a chance and signed up! I had been hearing about the book already and it sounded right up my alley, so I crossed my fingers as I hit submit. I’m so glad that I got accepted because being a part of the Round Table has been such an amazing ride! And, bonus, I got to read this incredible book early!
The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly follows our titular character, Kit, as she’s navigating life as a high school senior trying to plan her future. Kit is a history buff who loves the medieval times, so you would think that working at a medieval themed restaurant named The Castle would be a dream come true. But Kit wants to do more than work as a wench; she wants to fight as a knight. Unfortunately, The Castle has a strict “cis males only” policy when it comes to who gets to wield a lance. One knight, through a series of circumstances involving her brother, Chris, Kit ends up in full armor on the back of horse. She finally gets to do what she’s been dreaming of and it’s just as fun as she thought it would be! But one night of being a knight (haaaaaa) turns into something bigger than Kit could have imagined.
Y’all. This book! I started reading it when I was supposed to be starting my O.W.L.s books at the beginning of April, but, as soon as I got through the first chapter, I didn’t want to read anything else. It was so compelling and engaging and just freakin’ GOOD!
Let’s talk about the characters. I fell in love with the characters pretty much from jump. Kit is such a relatable character. There were moments as I read about her journey that made me flashback to teen Kerri right before college. I remember the stress of applying for colleges and worrying about how I was going to pay for it. I remember the experimentation, the feeling like everything was changing, and Kit brings it all back so clearly. She’s just a beautifully flawed and amazing character.
Also, her perchance of thinking that she has to solve all her problems by herself… it me. Kit is me. I am Kit.
But Kit is not the only shining star in this book. All the other characters in this book are nuanced and wonderful. You all know that I love a book that has well-written characters and this one does not disappoint. Also, can we talk about how diverse the cast is? Because we love a YA novel with casual diversity in this house. Jamie Pacton does a wonderful job developing this cast of characters in a real and fulfilling way that makes you want a book about each of their lives!
And, though I am but a newbie when it comes to romance, can I just say that the one in this book is ridiculously adorable? Jett is Kit’s best friend and she is mortified to find out that she’s developing feelings for him. Watching the two of them interact and watching Kit try and deny her feelings made my heart do little flips. Do I… do I like friends-to-lovers now? Do I like it more than enemies-to-lovers?! I think this book makes a strong case for the trope! It was just so sweet and I couldn’t help but cheer them on. And also want to shake them because JUST KISS ALREADY!
I think, beyond the awesome characters, the thing that made this so enjoyable was the writing. It was just so much fun! I was pulled in immediately and had a blast the entire time. For a book about tackling the patriarchy, which is frustrating on the best of days, I had a damn good time. I felt the highs and the lows and there were definitely a few “Huzzahs” that escaped during certain parts. I do love a book that can get me that wrapped up in it. That’s not to say that everything is a bucket of fun. This book touches on some serious topics, like poverty and drug abuse. It does so in a pretty unflinching way, as well. I honestly appreciated that the author shows us every aspect of Kit’s life, the good and the bad. It was well-written and added a different level to the book that made it connect that much more.
Needless to say, I have a pre-ordered copy ready to be sent to me on May 5th and I cannot wait! And thank you to Jamie and all the members of the Round Table for making my first street team experience such an anjoyable one 💕
Final thoughts: I guess what I’m trying to say is that I loved this book! It was feminist, it was fun, and I had such a blast reading it! If you like people fighting for equality, medieval themes, and a sweet romance, you would adore this book.