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Review: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

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.

My thoughts
I wanted to love this book I really did. I've heard so many good things about the author's adult titles that I couldn't wait to get my hands on this but if I'm being honest I was left quite disappointed.

I have found of late that when an adult author announces they are writing a YA series set in the same world I ought to stay clear. I don't know what it is but I never ever enjoy them. Maybe it is because I don't read the adult series in question so don't quite get all the nuances involved but they never work for me.

My ultimate gripe about this book was that I was bored. Actually bored and a bit annoyed with the "Britishisms" which were not done well. Admittedly if you weren't British maybe you'd find them cute but honestly they were stereotypical and overdone. The story for me dragged on at a really snail pace and I never felt that we got to know the characters as a pay off for that slow pace and I just wanted something to happen that would hold my attention or get me even vaguely interested but it just didn't. Such a shame as the main character had the potential to be this kick ass girl and quite honestly she bored me. I ended up almost skimming the last 50 pages or so because I'd read so much I didn't want to give up on it (although I was tempted) and needed it just to be done so I could move on to something else.

Not the book for me and not a series I'll bother continuing with unfortunately


Awww, it sounded so promising from the description. Thanks for the honest review!
I did think all the Britishisms were cute but I'm American and I enjoyed the adult series too so that may be it. I was a bit disappointed in this one though because it seemed more MG than YA and just not as well done as other YA books I've read.