Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton. This tour is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.
The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
by Jamie Pacton
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: May 5th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Kit Sweetly slays sexism, bad bosses, and bad luck to become a knight at a medieval-themed restaurant.
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.
I adored The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly. That title is so long that it didn’t fit in my planner. But it’s actually perfect. This book is funny, but there are so many layers to it. There are harder topics including divorce, addiction, not having enough money to live on, and inequality.
Kit Sweetly is a seventeen year old girl with a plan. Actually, lots of plans. Kit plans for everything, but life isn’t happening the way she hoped. Kit and her older brother, Chris, work at the Castle. Their uncle runs this location. Their mom works multiple jobs and still can’t pay the bills. Chris and Kit’s dad left years ago, even cleaning out the college funds. The family barely has food to eat and the electric is turned off a lot. Kit’s best friend, Layla, is super rich and Kit doesn’t invite her over anymore. She doesn’t want anyone to feel bad for her. Chris works as a knight at the Castle. Kit is a serving wench. Yes, a serving wench. That’s her title. Kit’s in love with history and knows there were some badass women, but the Castle is stuck in the past.
One Friday night, Kit pretends to be Chris and rides out as a knight. After her performance, she took off the helmet and yelled “I AM NO MAN”. The place went crazy and Kit figured she could get things to change there. Uncle Len shoots that down quickly. Corporate policy states that only men can be Knights. Kit wants them to realize that all genders should be equal and she comes up with a plan.
Kit’s other best friend, Jett, starts filming a short documentary. Kit got a handful of others from the Castle to start practicing the knight performance in secret. Layla starts working on a website and merchandise. They need it to go viral so they can pack the place for their performance. Kit is told by corporate and Len that it won’t happen. It will only be men. She keeps this secret from her friends until she’s outed and mostly alone. Kit is also sort of in love with Jett, but they made rules that they would never try to date and ruin their friendship. While all this is going on, she realizes how far she’s falling for him. But rules and plans are important. Except when nothing goes as planned.
The sibling relationship between Kit and Chris was something that really stood out to me in this book. I loved how close they were.
I gave this book 4 stars. Thank you to Page Street for my review copy. All quotes come from an ARC and may change before publication.
Warnings for drug and alcohol abuse, foreclosure and not enough food, teens smoking and drinking, sexism, anxiety, and parental abandonment.
I love this little family of weirdos, and it cannot all go away. It’s too perfect. Too magical. Too much mine. We cannot lose the castle.
I smile to myself. Jett, like Layla, is the best kind of best friend. Positive, affirming, fierce, and not afraid to push me when I need it. I just hope I’m as good a friend to him as he is to me.
One thing I’m always forgetting about the Middle Ages is how badly everyone must’ve smelled.
“I can wear dresses and still do things like fight as a Knight. That’s kind of the point.”
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 a sword?
Jamie Pacton writes all sorts of books: dark, feminist YA fantasy; contemporary YA stories with a funny + geeky bent; funny MG adventure-fantasy; and, even the occasional adult rom-com. She was a Pitch Wars mentee in 2015 and she mentored YA in 2016, 2017, and 2018. She grew up minutes away from the National Storytelling Center in the mountains of East Tennessee; she’s the oldest of ten kids; and, she currently lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband, their two kids, and a dog named Lego. The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly (forthcoming May 5, 2020) is her Young Adult debut.
Prize: Win a copy of THE LIFE AND (MEDIEVAL) TIMES OF KIT SWEETLY by Jamie Pacton (US/CAN Only)
Starts: May 5th 2020
Ends: May 19th 2020
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My Bookish Escapades – Review + Favourite Quotes
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Magical Reads – Review + Playlist
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Confessions of a YA Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes