Etiquette & Espionage By Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
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. 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.
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.
Etiquette and Espionage has been one of the books on my TBR pile for a long time. The synopsis is great and I have heard wonderful things about the series from bloggers and readers alike. I am happy to say that I really enjoyed this book and flew through it. The plot was mysterious but also full of action and adventure and at every turn of the page I was captivated by the characters, the language, and the details Carriger put into the storytelling.
We follow Sophronia through her first experience with Finishing School. Not knowing what she has gotten herself into but little by little learning how to cope with the craziness that this particular school. Sophronia comes off as a strong female in a time when strong females aren't really allowed and uses it to her advantage. I really liked how her character was portrayed throughout the book, as able and bold. The other characters were just as engaging and spurred feelings across the board.
As for the plot, as I noted, it was a mystery, an adventure and a but of whimsy all rolled together to form this delightful package. I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to young adult readers. I am already preparing to read book two.