Thursday, August 6, 2015

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

    Title: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School)
    Series: Finishing School (Book 1)
    Classification: Young Adult Fiction (12 and up)
    Genre: Steampunk
    Format: Hardcover; 320 pages
    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (February 5, 2013)
    ISBN-10: 031619008X
    ISBN-13: 978-0316190084

Ms. Sophronia Temminick is by all accounts a troublesome young lady. She is a headstrong, fiesty fourteen year old who can't seem to resist urge of getting into mischief. She loves to spy on her mother and her friends, climb, and wear pants--all of which is the epitome of unladylike behavior. The last straw which sends her mother over the edge comes when her actions accidentally cause one of her mother's guest, Ms. Barnaclegoose,  to be covered in the afternoon's dessert. At her wits end, her mother decides to send her hopeless daughter to finishing school--Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality to be precise. While Sophronia is both upset and hurt by her mother's actions, she soon realizes there is something not quite right about Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing School. Something she's not all together certain her mother would approve of, if she had a clue. For it appears to be a place where Sophronia can fit right in and reach her full potential while becoming the person she was meant to be.

"What, precisely, will I be expected to learn here?"

Lady Linette twirled one curl of blonde hair around the tip of one finger. "Information gathering and object retrieval, of course. But mostly, you should learn how to finish."

"Finish what, exactly?"

"Why, anything or anyone who needs finishing my dear."

If you've read Ms. Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, then you know you're in for a real treat. This is the young adult prequel to that wonderful series. Now, I have to admit, people tend to either love or hate Ms. Carriger's writing style and I am one of the ones who absolutely adores it. It's quirky, funny, and at times a touch silly. If you haven't read any of Ms. Cariger's other books, Captain Niall is mentioned in Changeless and he had passed away prior to that book. I believe Captain Niall was the Alpha prior to Maccon. He apparently will marry Sidheag Maccon (aka Lady Kingair) so look out for sparks going off between the two. Also, The Great Picklemen revolt was talked of in Timeless, so I can't help but wonder if it takes place during this series? I'm crossing my fingers.

This book begins with Sophronia getting her first taste of Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing School and right from the beginning we know we're in for a wild ride. I love the concept of a spy school for ladies being disguised as a finishing school. It's inventive, it's creative, and so much fun. Sophronia is impulsive and too smart for her own good. Prior to her being enrolled in the spy school she kept finding herself in one type of trouble or another. Trouble that was most improper for a young lady in the making to find herself in. She is the first covert recruit in years to be recruited outside the normal family connections and she'll have to find her place among those who were born to be spies.

Favorite quotes:
- “It's no good choosing your first husband from a school for evil geniuses. Much too difficult to kill.” 

- “We are an institution of high learning and higher manners. We simply cannot shoot first; it isn’t done. Now, remember that, Miss Temminnick, do—a lady never shoots first. She asks questions, then she shoots.” 

- “What on earth could we girls possibly learn from a werewolf?" Sophronia wondered.
  "How to keep a hat on no matter what the circumstances?" hazarded Dimity.” 

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. I adore Ms. Carriger's sense of humor and writing style. It always gives me a good chuckle and leaves me grinning from ear to ear. It's fast paced, creative, full of action, and tickles my funny bone. What more could a person ask for in a book?

The Book Trailer:

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