by Gail Carriger
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: February 5, 2012
Book received from: Purchased
Genre: YA Fantasy/ Steampunk/ Historical Fiction
Series: Finishing School #1
Cover: Eye-catching and just absolute perfection.
Characters: Perfection. So many sides and so much to tell.
Quote: “It’s no good choosing your first husband from a school for evil geniuses. Much too difficult to kill.”
For Fans Of: Harry Potter, The Parasol Protectorate, Steampunk
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Worth the read? Absolutely. The world is just so much fun.
From the Cover: It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.
Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger’s legions of fans have come to adore.
The Short & Sweet of It: This was just amazingly fun to read. I have never read any of Carriger’s other work, but consider me an immediate fan. She packs everything in so easily and with so much quirkiness and humor that in really all just comes to life while reading. Werewolves, vampires, steampunk, great costumes, lively characters, adventure, intelligence, etiquette, and espionage all packed into a wonderfully beautiful package. Sophronia is someone I would have loved to have been friends with back in the day- heck, even now. She is imperfect, intelligent, and crafty, all equaling a perfectly delightful and lovable protagonist. The other characters all add so much to the story and none seem out of place in the least. To top it all off, the world-building is quite stunning and done with ease. I felt transported in the fantastical steampunk world and did not want to leave.
I will definitely be continuing this series, as well as reading The Parasol Protectorate series for Carriger’s older fans. If you like a good steampunk and a humorous cast and circumstances, this is one not to be missed. Yay for smart and crafty female characters.
Awards & Nominations:
American Library Association- Best Fiction for YA 2013 (Nominee)
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