“All our days are numbered,” said Manny. “We just don’t know what the number is.”
We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler
Published February 3, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA
Format: e-book; 288 pages
Also By This Author: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Why We Broke Up, The Basic Eight
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My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
A boat has gone missing. Goods have been stolen. There is blood in the water. It is the twenty-first century and a crew of pirates is terrorizing the San Francisco Bay.
Phil is a husband, a father, a struggling radio producer, and the owner of a large condo with a view of the water. But he’d like to be a rebel and a fortune hunter.
Gwen is his daughter. She’s fourteen. She’s a student, a swimmer, and a best friend. But she’d like to be an adventurer and an outlaw.
Phil teams up with his young, attractive assistant. They head for the open road, attending a conference to seal a deal.
Gwen teams up with a new, fierce friend and some restless souls. They head for the open sea, stealing a boat to hunt for treasure.
We Are Pirates is a novel about our desperate searches for happiness and freedom, about our wild journeys beyond the boundaries of our ordinary lives.
Disclaimer: I know I gave this book a 2-star rating, but I do genuinely believe there are readers out there who would enjoy We Are Pirates, even if I am not one of them. That’s the reason I’m featuring this review on my blog.*
We Are Pirates, despite its friendly and attractive cover art, is not a happy book. For lack of better words, the characters are messed up. At the heart of the story lies a family of 3 self-centered people. Phil, the father, is the only one who shows some honest concern for someone else (specifically his daughter Gwen), but don’t let that fool you–he’s as broken as everyone else.
This novel is full of broken characters in broken relationships and hopeless situations. I feel like that is a current trend in novels at the moment. And despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy reading We Are Pirates, the story itself is intriguing simply because everyone is messed up and you can sense that everything will inevitably blow up. The plot was not predictable or clichéd. On the contrary, about 3/5 of the way through the book something so unexpected happened that I literally gasped out loud and I could feel my eyes widen in surprise (and I am not an easy person to surprise, you can ask my husband).
Read This Book If…:
…you’ve ever been curious about modern-day pirates.
…you enjoy books that focus on broken characters and relationships (the characters reminded me of the Sinclair family from We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, so if you liked that book you may enjoy We Are Pirates).
…you aren’t a queasy person and you like your novels a bit rough and vulgar.
Even though I wasn’t a fan of this book, it is possible that you may be! I’d suggest checking out my “Read This Book If…” list before downloading a free sample for your e-reader.
*Normally I only publish blog posts for novels I’ve given a 3 or more star rating to, unless it is a book I read for a reading challenge. The reason for this is that I don’t like to rant online about books I didn’t enjoy, and although I might write a negative review on Goodreads, I don’t find it necessary to publish negative book reviews on my blog. I’m not condemning anyone who posts negative reviews on their blogs! It’s just a personal preference of mine :)
6 thoughts on “We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler”
I’m on the fence about this one. It sounds interesting, but I’ll admit I found We Were Liars to be a bit hollow once I actually got through the whole thing.
I couldn’t stand the characters; they were atrocious. These characters are similar. But We Were Liars is better written than this book, I think.
I’m a fan of Daniel Handler’s writing in general, so I have a feeling this one may end up appealing to me, but I appreciate hearing your response to it. I have it on my pending list for the next week or two, so we’ll see!
I’ve never read any of his other books before so I couldn’t compare it! But if you do end up reading it, I hope you enjoy it :)
Hey, well, I admire you for being objective enough to realize that some other people would like this book even if you didn’t!
Thanks! It’s not always easy being objective!!