Round 1, Match 4: Jellicoe Road vs. Kat, Incorrigible

1_4Judged by Cait • find her on Goodreads and Twitter

Full disclosure: Neither of these books are ones that I would have ever picked up on my own. Both of them have elements that I normally stay well away from when looking for books to read (Middle Grade fiction for Kat, Incorrigible and an Australian author for Jellicoe Road). In the end, I think that was probably best for me, because it meant neither book had an early advantage.

Or at least, that was until I read Kat, Incorrigible. Four chapters in, and Jellicoe Road had no chance. The first things that come to mind when I think of Kat, Incorrigible are a whole lot of adjectives like adorable, precious, charming and fantastical. (Also, as an aside: the cover is really great. There are sparkles and a magic teapot!)

The short blurb for Kat, Incorrigible is that it’s a story about a girl who has magic abilities in Regency England. The long blurb is a little more complex. The story isn’t only about Kat and her discovery of her magic, although obviously that is a big part of the book. It’s about Kat and her sisters. It’s about Yorkshire. It’s about villains. All of these just add to the slightly twisted coming of age story here. It may be because I don’t read a lot of fantasy, but this felt like such a novel plot to me. Part of it is because Kat is so young, 12 rather than the 16 or 17 year old heroine that tends to be found in coming of age tales. The magic, too, adds a little hint of something extra to the story. Not only does Kat not know about her magic at the outset, she also has to have a crash course in mastering it pretty fast; all this leads to as faster building plot than is often seen in coming of age stories. On the surface, these are little details. But combined with everything else, it’s these little details that take a great book and make it magical.

I will admit I have one slight reservation about choosing Kat, Incorrigible over Jellicoe Road. Competitive and stubborn person that I am, I can’t help but think Jellicoe Road would be more competitive down the road. Because, as much as I loved Kat, Incorrigible, Jellicoe Road, on paper, has more marks in the plus column: it’s YA (which, for what it’s worth, I think a YA book will be the ultimate champion), it’s a unique story, the heroine is relatable, and the author is a fan favourite. I just never connected with it in the way I did with Kat, Incorrigible. That’s more a statement on how great I think Kat, Incorrigible is, rather than any negative thoughts about Jellicoe Road.

And that is the difference, and the reason Kat, Incorrigible has won my heart, and this round of the battle: Jellicoe Road might be good, but Kat, Incorrigible is magical.

Congratulations to Kat, Incorrigible, which moves on to Round 2!


8 thoughts on “Round 1, Match 4: Jellicoe Road vs. Kat, Incorrigible

  1. Four chapters in, and Jellicoe Road had no chance.

    Aw, poor Jellicoe. (Though I love your competitive rationale! Though, naturally, as a stubborn person myself, I am now considering doing everything I can to NOT pick a YA as the winner. ;))

    I do think Kat, Incorrigible is a pretty unique book! Even just the fact that it’s Regency middle grade! WHAT. THAT IS SO COOL. I haven’t seen the Regency era much at all outside of, you know, the historical romance genre, where it’s everywhere.

  2. I still hold the beginning of Jellicoe against it, personally. I like so much about that book, but the beginning made it feel needlessly dsytopian and when I picked this up, I was very much burned out on dystopias.

    And now I have to read Kat, Incorrigible. Because regency anything gets added to the to-read list.

    1. You will love Kat, Incorrigible. It reminds me of a younger Sorcery and Cecelia (which you will also love).

      I may or may not have attempted to manipulate the bracket to try to get Kat to go up against Sorcery. (It didn’t work, obviously.)

  3. Now I’m really intrigued by Kat, Incorrigible. Also I love this because basically Cait and I had the same opening lines. I hope you realize Beth, that I am planning on working my way through most -if not all, of these books by the end of the year.

  4. I’m trying to remain deeply mysterious and keep everyone guessing (even our fearless Beth!) until next week, but I can say that I’d have chosen Kat too.

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