|Cover from Goodreads|
Author: Gail Carriger
Published: February 5th, 2013 by Little, Brown Books
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
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.
This one was another amazing read for me! I've been excited about this one since I read about it last year when searching for books to look forward to in 2013. I read the summary on Goodreads and thought, "Well, this kinda sounds like the Gallagher Girls series, but taking place in the Victorian Era and maybe a little steampunky. I'm down!" I haven't read the series this is a spinoff of, but I plan to soon. One thing I will say is I don't think you had to be a long time fan of the main series to enjoy this book. It was very welcoming to newcomers.
I really liked all the characters, hoping to see more of them in the next installment (Which comes out THIS November! EEEEH!). I'm sure some of them were thrown in for long-time fans of the first series, but I couldn't tell the difference between new and old. I loved Sorphronia as a protagonist- she is very smart and a little sassy to her elders and I love her passion for invention. Also enjoyed Dimity and other minor characters.
The plot was fast moving, definitely felt immersed in Victorian culture, had some slang I didn't get due to not being familiar with the time period. In the beginning, I was a little confused as to what was going on, which I think was intentional on the authors part, since we see things through the eyes of Sorphronia. Really looking forward to the next one.
This book fulfilled part of my reading challenge as: Read a book that takes place in a state you have never been in. If you have been to all 50 states, choose a book that takes place in a country you have never been in. Also do the latter option if you are not American. Though I have not been to all fifty states, I ended up doing this as a country I have never been to.