Saturday, August 21, 2010

To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker - Review by Rissa

Once caught, it’s harder still to let a pirate go

When Annalisa Townsend’s ship is set upon by pirates in search of her father’s treasure, one of the crew, James Sterling, discovers her in the hold. When he moves to take her necklace, she begs him not to, as it is all she has left of her mother. He accepts a kiss in exchange for the necklace. “A fair trade, m’lady,” he tells her afterward, before disappearing.

A year later, with a forged letter of marque, Annalisa is intent on hunting down the wretched James Sterling and reclaiming her father’s treasure from him. But now she’s in danger of him stealing something far more vulnerable this time: her heart.


TO CATCH A PIRATE is unlike any other story I have encountered in my experience reading books of the YA genre. Within a few pages I was drawn into the pirating world and feel in love with the rougish James Sterling and wished I could be lucky enough to be Annalisa! I was also happy to find that it was entirely clean and well written, perfect for anyone who seeks a innocently romantic story which tastefully avoids sexual situations.


To be honest, the cover didn't sell me on this book, as the font and cover picture are reminiscent of a harlequin novel one might find in the local supermarket. Despite my loving the story, I have to say that if it hadn't been recommended to me I would probably not have picked it up for those reasons.


Two words, my friends. James. Sterling.
I was in love with this pirate from the first chapter. Roughish and forward, but gentlemanly, intelligent and charming all the same, Sterling is the perfect example of someone who is thrown into the water without a life jacket and forced to swim. He is a pirate by trade, and not to be mistaken for anything else, but when he is introduced into the fierce Annalisa he finds that she is unlike anyone he has ever met, and even as a young pirate he is unable to resist her charm. He, unlike others of his kind, seems to have morals and a conscience which will not let him get away with anything that is truly wrong.
Annalisa is everything one would hope for in a heroine, and I am pleased to report that I never once found myself calling her a Mary-Sue. She is strong willed and fully intends to turn in Sterling, even when she realizes that she is in love with him. She is anything but a cliche, and I found her character refreshing and unique.


I am a complete sucker for a historical based plot, and I was definitely thrilled to find one in this story. The author ties the once-realistic problem of pirates plundering the seas together with the romantic idea of a handsome pirate such as Sterling falling in love with a girl who was supposed to be nothing more than another victim to their schemes. Sterling never quite forgets the girl who causes him to lose everything, nor does she forget him. Annalisa dedicates her life to hunting him down, and when she captures him they go on an adventure to gain back the treasure he and his former captain, Crimson Kelly, stole from her father long ago. As their journey progresses Sterling and Annalisa find themselves slowly falling in love with each other, even though they know they can never be together. As a final battle approaches Annalisa finds that even though Sterling has proven himself to be honorable, he must be taken prisoner. The heartwrenching separation makes the reader feel their pain, and realize how much they have grown to love the characters.


Up until the very end the reader will be on the edge of his or her seat with anticipation. What will happen to James Sterling and Annalisa? Will they find a way to be together? Of course, I cannot give that away, but I promise that there is a plot twist that will take your breath away!

I absolutely loved this story. It was a little different than what I usually find myself interested in, but TO CATCH A PIRATE has definitely made a place for itself among my favorite books, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a light but worthwhile read.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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