Title: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
Author: Jamie Pacton
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Genre: YA Contemporary
Number of Pages: 384
Working as a wench―i.e. waitress―at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.
Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.”
Review: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher (Page Street Publishing) through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Kit Sweetly works as a Serving Wench at a medieval-themed restaurant outside of Chicago with her brother, her uncle, and a bunch of her friends. Kit dreams of rising up the ranks and being a knight, like her brother, but she’s repeatedly told that company policy only allows for males to be knights. One night, after Kit’s brother Chris, gets into a fight, Kit takes his place, and when she takes her helmet off at the end of the match, the crowd goes wild, and a movement is started.
My favourite thing about this book is the main character, Kit Sweetly. I love her determination, her fascination with history, and how caring she is. She has so many goals that she wants to achieve, but she also wants to help her family to make sure they can get by. I loved that Kit wanted to make waves and fight for changes at her workplace, and I love that she took her quest viral to make everyone aware of the discrimination that was going on.
Another thing that I loved about this book is all the supporting characters. I loved how close Kit is with her brother Chris. I loved how hard he worked to support himself and his family, while also finding time to help Kit with her dreams of overthrowing the patriarchy. I loved the friendship between Kit and Jett, and I spent the entire book rooting for them to become more than friends. I loved Layla and how she stood by Kit and offered her time and resources to help her with her quest. I also loved Penny, Alex, Mags, and Lizzy and how much fun the group of friends had while they prepared for their quest.
This brings me to another point I want to talk about, which is how diverse this book is. The characters in this book are diverse in gender, race, socio-economic status, and orientation, and it was so refreshing to see. I find that some books try too hard to be diverse, and it feels awkward or offensive, but the diversity in this book felt natural, and all the characters felt like real people.
I also liked that this book dealt with real issues. Kit’s family is struggling financially, it’s not uncommon for the power to get shut off, they’re struggling with the mortgage, and an unexpected bill would be devastating to them. Kit’s dad has addiction issues, and there’s difficulty with the divorce proceedings. A lot of the characters deal with various forms of discrimination, especially gender discrimination. I liked that Kit’s quest was to allow anyone to become a knight and that her cause was starting small but could be applied to a much larger scale.
I want to take a minute to talk about the romance in this book. This book does feature the friends-to-lovers trope, which is something that I am always a fan of. I liked that the romance in this book wasn’t a major plot point. Kit and Jett have their moments, and it’s clear that Kit has a major crush on Jett, but the book is more about friendship and smashing the patriarchy than romance.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It’s only May, but I already know that this book is going to be one of my favourite books of the year. It has a diverse cast of characters, real-world problems, lots of breakfast food, and sword fighting. I recommend this book to everyone, especially people looking to smash the patriarchy.
Rating: 4.5 Stars!