by Gail Carriger
Published: February 5th 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. Temminick 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.
Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger's legions of fans have come to adore.
PROS: I liked the whole secret-espionage-finishing-school thing. I would have loved to see more of the classes and what the girls were actually learning about. Vieve is the best character! (S)he (sorry for giving it away) is sooo full of life and spunk!
CONS: I have no idea what the purpose of the finishing school is. Why are they training these girls to be experts in killing people and fact-finding? I also think it was too reminiscent of Harry Potter in the fact that; student comes to school who has no idea what is going on - gets into areas she should - doesn't get in trouble - instead saves the day.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Even though I gave this book a low rating, I do plan on reading the next one in the series.