Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Finishing School series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This was a super fun read. Previously I had read Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series and really enjoyed it. So, I was very excited to see that Carriger was starting a young adult series set in the same world. The second book in this series, Curtsies and Conspiracies, is scheduled to publish in November 2013.
This story is about a girl named Sophronia Temminnick who is sent to boarding school for being an unmanageable young woman. When she gets there she finds that the boarding school isn’t teaching exactly what she expected.
This book is fast-paced and well written. It is a bit of a mystery in a Victorian setting and has steampunk elements throughout.
Sophronia is an interesting heroine. There’s nothing extraordinary about her except for the fact that she sees opportunities where others don’t and she’s practically fearless. I really enjoyed her pluckiness and her willingness to have fun and try new things.
The girls go to finishing school basically in a floating dirigible, this is super creative and interesting and provides a wonderful setting for the story.
There really isn’t any romance in this book, but Sophronia does make friends with many of the other girls. All of the girls are interesting characters and add a lot to the story. There is a lot about friendship and loyalty addressed throughout the book.
Along the way Sophronia meets a young girl named Genevieve who likes to dress as a boy and invent things…this is a character that we meet as an adult in the Parasol Protectorate series. It was kind of fun, having read the Parasol Protectorate series, to try and guess who was related to who from that series.
The book moves at a fast paced and is a super fun read. The story is well written and the plot keeps you guessing. I found the characters to be engaging and easy to relate to.
Overall this book was a great, light-hearted read and a wonderful beginning to new steampunk series. Sophronia goes on a number of wild capers and is just pure fun to read about. There is a lot of humor in this book but it never goes over the top. Highly recommended to steampunk fans.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– Get Steampunk’d Reading Challenge
– 150+ Reading Challenge
– Debut Author Reading Challenge
– Werewolves: Paranormal Reading Challenge
– Young Adult Reading Challenge