Monday, July 18, 2016

A Vintage Reads YA Review: Etiquette & Espinage


Etiquette and Espionage (Finishing School, 1) by Gail Carriger, October 8, 2013 (originally published February 5, 2013). 307 pages. Published by  Hachette Little, Brown and Company. Source: Own/TBR.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia Temminnick is a great trial to her poor mother--her atrocious curtsy is an embarrassment to the family name. So Mrs. Temminnick enrolls her daughter 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 certainly 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.
First Sentence:
Sophronia intended to pull the dumbwaiter up from the kitchen to outside the front parlor on the ground floor, where Mrs. Barnaclegoose was taking tea. 


I have actually been meaning to read one of Gail Carriger's books for some time now. As my sister said her adult books probably wouldn't appeal to me due to content, I decided that it was high time I acquired a copy of one of her young adult books to see for myself what her writing and world-building was like.

  • First off, if you haven't read Etiquette and Espionage you should really change that. This book was incredible! From the world, the school, characters and plot, this book kept me hooked way past when I should have been sleeping. The writing just swept me away as everything, most especially the school, was so well done. I really just loved the setting as it was different and just fascinating. One of the better boarding school books I've read in some time.
  • Oh gosh! Sophronia was hilarious!! From the first moment she was introduced, and the unseemly scene she caused, I knew I was going to enjoy reading about her. There's a two-fold reason I enjoyed reading about Sophronia. Firstly, I liked how she was always ready and willing to chase adventure without a second thought. Secondly, as her character evolved, and as she got deeper into the intrigue of "finishing school", I enjoyed seeing the added polish to her personality. While she did mature some, she was in essence still the same girl she started out as, and frankly that was nice as you got to see a slightly different side of her.

  • Ah! If All of Gail Carriger's young adult books are as well written as Etiquette and Espionage, then she has garnered herself a new fan. Her ability to create as fascinating world setting and plot were what first captured my attention. I loved the care that was shown for the details in the world she created. You could tell that she really enjoys writing about it; which made it all the more enjoyable to delve into it. 
  • To be honest, I was unsure whether or not I was going to like this one. While it sounded interesting, I had been burned too many times this year with books that sounded better than they ended up being. So, it was nice to find myself unable to set this one down. 
Final Verdict: Etiquette and Espionage- So well written and the new angle on finishing school was, well, it was pretty awesome!! The world and writing were top notch!!

Etiquette and Espionage earns

I own a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.

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