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Etiquette And Espionage (2013)

Etiquette and Espionage (2013)
3.76 of 5 Votes: 2
Hachette Little, Brown and company
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Etiquette And Espionage (2013)
Etiquette And Espionage (2013)

About book: Boring, boring, boring. How is everything I'm reading lately so painfully friggin boring?The premise of this book sounded so interesting and WOULD have been so interesting, if the author had bothered to write the story she advertised in the summary. I was under the impression that we would actually see these girls go through the training at "Finishing School" to become assassins and that something exciting would occur after.Neither of those things happened. The training was entirely glossed over (except for the eyelash fluttering which we had to hear about time and again.) and the spy portion of the plot was so childish, it was laughable. The entire thing was suited for younger girls, maybe thirteen at the most. I personally wouldn't have classified this as YA at all but whatever.Huge disappointment, definitely won't be picking up the second one. Etiquette &Espionage is the first book in the Finishing School series for young adults by Gail Carriger. Fourteen-year-old Sophronia Temminnick is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners. Mrs. Temminnick 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. Quickly Sophronia realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish everything. They do learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette; but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage, but politely, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.Etiquette &Espionage is a great start to a new series. The world building is seamlessly woven into the story, a steam punk world with all the trappings of polite society including corsets and stays. Sophronia, her family, and the girls she meets at the school all are like people you could meet anywhere- they have the traits you can find in any crowd, but with a twist of skill in espionage to keep you guessing of everyone's true nature and intent. I liked Sophronia's genuine nature, and interest in most unlady like things, as well as her willingness to go outside of conventions- and to accept others for their own quirks. There is the expected mean girl necessary in every book involving teens, but there is also aerobatic escapes, air battles, a werewolf attack, a vampiric professor, a ball, and some social commentary. There is a fun variety of people and characters, as well as a great layer of mystery and intrigue.I would recommend Etiquette & Espionage to readers that enjoy spy novels, young adult books, steam punk, historical novels, and good old fashion adventure. I really feel into the world, and have had trouble leaving it behind, thankfully the next two books in the series are waiting for my attention on my Kindle.
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I've been avoiding YA books, as I have trouble connecting with a lot of them and just find the characters annoying. I got this one by accident, not realizing it was YA. Though I should have realized from the description, I'm glad that I didn't and gave it a chance. This is really just a solidly entertaining book, and one I would recommend to junior high-age readers. It felt very Harry Potter-esque, with going to a new specialized and secret school, with a nice blend of steampunk and magical elements. It's a plot-forward book, there's several fun capers, and the characters still have some depth despite their one-note characteristics (which I just accept is the YA aspect of it). I found this book perfect for the commute home, where I want something to entertain me and am frequently just too tired to read anything too dense.
Very silly and very fun, this was a great break from my normal reading material. It suffers a bit by being too descriptive of fabrics, smells, etc but the adventures were very fun and kept me turning page after page. Most of the characters are fairly one-dimensional and unbelievable (for instance no one is really shocked when they realize they'll be expected to kill people & most characters are obvious tropes) but it's clearly meant to be flippant (boys going to school to be Evil Geniuses, werewolves wearing top hats, etc) so I won't hold that against it. A good chunk of the hilarity comes from the ridiculousness of it all. I'm not dying to continue the series but I probably will when I need a lighthearted read.
I normally don't like steampunk, but this was cute and clever.
Such steam punk fun.
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