Thursday, June 27, 2013

{YA Review} Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School Book the First) by Gail Carriger

{YA Review} Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School Book the First) by Gail Carriger


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. (Blurb via Goodreads)
{Details} Hardcover, 307 pages, Published February 5th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Source: library

{Rating} 4/5

{Review} So much fun. There is etiquette, espionage, friends, enemies, vampires, werewolves, mysteries and intrigue.

Sophronia Temminick is a great heroine. She's unique, clever, forthright, adventerous, brave, tenacious, loyal. I loved her attitude. She takes things in stride, she's attacked and thrust in a world she doesn't understand but she just keeps going, keeping her calm.
"Finishing school? Then I'm not being sent to the vampires? Relief flooded through Sophronia, instantly followed by a new horror. Finishing school! There would be lessons. On how to curtsy. On how to dress. On how to eat with one's finger in the air. Sophronia shuddered. Perhaps a vampire hive was a better option." (Carriger 9)
Carriger is so imaginative. I loved the setting of the finishing school -- floating! I had the feeling of Howl's Moving Castle (the version at the end) and Harry Potter with a big dash of 19th century Nancy Drew. The coursework was interesting, learn about poison, seduction, fan maneuvers, dancing, household management, how to identify vampires and so much more that every proper young lady should know.

I found myself looking forward to the addition of new characters just to read what name she would give them. Carriger's names were whimsical, amusing and downright odd. Who else would come up with Pillover Plumleigh-Teignmott? Picklemen? The Great Chutney?

I loved Carriger's writing style. I was immersed in the storyline, connected to the characters and unwilling to put the book down until I was finished. I can't wait to read book 2, Curtsies & Conspiracies, which will release in November.

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