Sophronia survived her first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality (Etiquette & Espionage you can read my review here), getting away with stealing a device, Sophronia is prepared to knuckle down to her studies. In Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger those studies include poisons, the proper way to curtsy and proper protocol for dealing with supernatural members of society all while traveling in a floating dirigible.
With an unexpected trip to London and several boys from the neighboring school for evil genius, Sophronia should be busy. But as usual, something clandestine is going on the school and it is up to Sophronia to figure out what it is before the long-term implications for society and the paranormal society take a turn for the worse.
Curtsies takes up where Ettiquette leaves off but where Ettiquette is a fun lighthearted humorous adventure story, Curtsies takes on a more serious note by the end of the novel with Sophronia growing as a spy and about living with the consequences of her actions. Just because she can achieve something without getting caught, should she?! Sophronia has grown, now 15, and I think Carriger has done a fabulous job having her age appropriately, getting more interested in boys and more adult but with enough light-hearted youthfulness to keep the reader quickly turning pages. Gail Carriger’s humor, interesting and, at times, ridiculous characters make her series (both the Finishing School and The Parasol Protectorate) a must read for me. I love how Sophronia jumps from level to level outside in the dirigible in her bustle and dress. I highly recommend this series and am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the Finishing School series.
While you could start the series with Curtsies & Conspiracies (Gail gives a little explanation about prior events) I honestly think you need to read Etiquette & Espionage first to really understand what is going on and the history of all the main characters.
You can read an excerpt here.
There is a really fun website at Finishing School where you can apply to attend.
Finishing School Reading Order:
Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies
Author: Gail Carriger
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 313
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Available for purchase: Amazon
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.
I realize I am a little late posting this (since the week is over) but I am so entertained by what books have been banned and why that I wanted to share with you readers. Buzzfeed recently posted 15 banned books and I have to admit I was shocked by some of the titles that were banned. I have to admit the most surprising to me was Where the Wild Things Are and the poems by Shel Silverstein. I have to admit that books being banned always make me want to read them to see if they are really as bad as they are made out to be. Two of my favorites are To Kill a Mockingbird and The Harry Potter series. Do you have any favorite banned books that I need to read?
Sophie Mercer is a witch who came into her powers at the age of 13, three years ago whose non-witch mother has been supportive but doesn’t really understand her powers and Sophie has never met her warlock father, only exchanged emails and cards. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins begins with Sophie trying to help a sad classmate by casting a love spell that backfires in a big way. As punishment for letting the humans know about her powers, Sophie is sentenced to finish out her high school years at Hex Hall, a boarding school for difficult supernatural creatures.
If Sophie thought trying to fit in with regular high school was difficult, trying to fit in supernatural high is even harder because Sophie doesn’t have the basic supernatural knowledge that a five year old supernatural child has. As if that weren’t enough, Sophie’s roommate is accused of attempted murder and it is up to Sophie to figure out what is going on.
Hex Hall has intrigued me for some time, one of those books that I have picked up several times but never purchased for one reason or another so when Amazon had it on sale I decided it was time to finally get it and read. Good choice on my part but it did lead to me purchasing the entire series and reading it in two days. Yep, I found them that good. Sophie is witty, clumsy, loyal and she is constantly mouthing off at the wrong time. I literally couldn’t put any of the books in Hex Hall down. Hawkins kept me flipping pages and continuing to read through the entire series and the one spin off novel, School Spirits.
You can read an excerpt here.
Hex Hall Reading Order:
Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Format: Paperback, Hardbound, eBook
Page Nos.: 352
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: February 2011
Available for purchase: Amazon
It is that fabulous time of year again, SUMMER, where it feels like we have permission to stop…take a breathe….and read without feeling guilty. Not that I ever feel that guilty for reading (although I probably should given the amount of time I spend reading) but it seems like it is more permissible to read without guilt during the summer time. I don’t know if it is the fact that most of us take a vacation, that everything seems to slow down or that it is just too hot to care about what we should be doing and instead do what we want. This has been on my mind for two reasons, 1) I just got back from spending a couple of days on a houseboat on Lake Powell (where I did get some reading in) and 2) it is SOOOOO hot here in Phoenix that I am refusing to go outside until it cools down a little. I didn’t get a picture of it (but I wish I would have) but at one point on the houseboat I looked up to realize that I and five of my extended family members were all reading books on ereaders.
For summer reading I have found that I like to mix it up, read some old goodies and some new possible favorites. I thought I would share with you some of the books on my summer reading list:
Frederica by Georgette Heyer
When Frederica brings her younger siblings to London determined to secure a brilliant marriage for her beautiful sister, she seeks out their distant cousin the Marquis of Alverstoke. Lovely, competent, and refreshingly straightforward, Frederica makes such a strong impression that to his own amazement, the Marquis agrees to help launch them all into society.
Lord Alverstoke cant resist wanting to help her
Normally wary of his family, which includes two overbearing sisters and innumerable favor-seekers, Lord Alverstoke does his best to keep his distance. But with his enterprising – and altogether entertaining – country cousins getting into one scrape after another right on his doorstep, before he knows it the Marquis finds himself dangerously embroiled…
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
A hidden truth.
With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness forces her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is the gorgeous, elusive Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.
Roses in Moonlight by Lynn Kurland
Can’t Stop Believing by Jodi ThomasIn New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas’s small town of Harmony, Texas, “there’s always something brewing” (Fallen Angel Reviews). Now, a generations-old feud is about to come to a head—and the stakes couldn’t be higher with two hearts on the line…Cord McDowell gave up his freedom at eighteen when he went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, ten years later, he’s about to give it up again for a piece of land. Nevada Britain, his neighbor, has just made him an offer he can’t refuse: If he’ll marry her, she’ll sign over a section of property that their families have been fighting over for a hundred years. Nevada refuses to explain why, but Cord knows the bargain is in his favor. He just has one condition—she has to sleep in his bed every night for as long as their doomed marriage lasts. Nevada only wants to maintain her family’s legacy—and redeem herself for a wrong she did Cord years ago. But as she spends more time with her husband of necessity, she discovers something unexpected—a love so deep it takes her breath away.