While we are dedicated patrons to our favorite library of all times, we also love to visit our local small town library. The selection might be a bit smaller but they are friendly, helpful, and have a nice mix of old and new books. We never leave empty handed! One of the best ways we can help our local library is by pushing those circulation numbers up. We try to do our part.
In the children’s department, they have a small display of books that are a part of NC’s Battle of the Books. We are a homeschool family and the Battle of the Books in our home is a hearty discussion on who is first to read a book. Or perhaps a heated debate on which author is better. As I am always looking for new reads, I check the Battle of the Books stash each time we go.
It has lead me to some great reads such as Counting by 7s (I think everyone should read this) and Brown Girl Dreaming. So a few weeks ago, I noticed Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger and it looked like a book my two older girls would enjoy.
Sophronia Temminnick is being sent away to finishing school. It is high time she learned to curtsy, make herself presentable and well, not be such a trouble to her mother. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is not your average finishing school. Yes, Sophornia will learn all the skills and arts of a fine lady but her education goes a bit further. Finishing at this school means dealing out death.
Etiquette and Espionage had me doubting from the beginning if I could enjoy this young adult Victorian steampunk novel. The story seemed a bit slow and I wasn’t finding the characters engaging. I hate to leave a book unfinished so I pushed through. Expectations, I think, are what made this a disappointing read. After reading the book synopsis, I was expecting a bit more in terms of this “finishing” school. For me it all seemed a bit shallow. Despite the subject matter this is not a dark, gruesome read. It is more a lighthearted, fun read about an ordinary, young girl who finds a place to belong. For the young adult audience, character development and conflict should have been fleshed out a bit more.
If you have teens who enjoy steampunk and fantasy, then Etiquette and Espionage could be a an enjoyable read. This is not a deep, powerful read but would serve well as a read for a long weekend or rainy afternoon.. I have no hesitation sharing this with my oldest girls. Etiquette and Espionage is Book One of a series. If you enjoy it, you might want to check out the others.
Have you read Etiquette and Espionage? Thoughts? Where do you find new books to read?