Friday Favorites: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carrigar


Friday Favorites is a meme that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that I have loved, would recommend, and want to tell others about. You can see all of my Friday Favorites here. You're welcome to join in as well!

I enjoyed this second book even more than the first and can't wait to read the third book! It's my favorite to share with you today...

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)Curtsies & Conspiracies
(Finishing School #2)
by Gail Carrigar

YA Steampunk
Hardcover, 310 pages
November 2013 by Hachette Little, Brown & Co

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy--won't Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail's distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.
  

My Review

I loved the first book in this series, Etiquette & Espionage, and didn't realize how much more I could love these characters until finishing Curtsies & Conspiracies. The characters have begun to grow up a little more and it felt like coming back to old friends as I became reacquainted with them. The author continued to amaze me with her plotting, slang, distinct character voices, and overall brilliant story.

There were so many great parts, lines, dialogue, names, espionage... There were also some serious parts. I appreciated how the author let Sophronia realize that not everything is a game, that people can get hurt by actions and choices. This hit Sophronia rather hard at one point and it showed how she is maturing as the series continues. Another part of her growing up was the introduction of a little more romance. Sophronia wasn't quite sure what to make of someone showing interest in her at first. She's a quick learner though. I'm sure we'll see more of that and of her coming into her own as it goes and I'm rather looking forward to it. 

There were also some superfluous parts consistent with this series, parts that were exceedingly humorous, but also inventive and amazing at the same time. There was a situation towards the end of the book when it was complete mayhem, but actually well choreographed for a specific purpose and all came together in the end. I was literally about to die from worrying what would happen and laughing hysterically at the same time.

I continue to love these characters. Sophronia is just an amazing character! She is detached emotionally sometimes, but is becoming less so as she realizes how important those around her are, as her intellect is continuously challenged, and as she weighs her choices and who she can trust. Her friends were all fabulous again (except for one part that I have forgiven them for and will not bring up). Soap was another character that continues to grow on me and Felix was a fabulous addition. I'm looking forward to seeing more of both of these boys in Sophronia's life. It was also interesting to meet an influential dandified vampire that I'm sure we'll be seeing more of.

One of my favorite parts from the book:
     “You’re a wonderful dancer, Ria.”
     “Mademoiselle Geraldine’s takes such things seriously.”
     “Ah. And how many ways do you know to kill me, while we dance?”
     “Only two, but give me time.”
     “You have lovely eyes. Has anyone ever told you that?”
     “What rot. They are a muddy green. What are you about, Lord Mersey?”
     Felix sighed, looking genuinely perturbed. His air of ennui was shaken. “I am trying to court you. Truth be told, Miss Temminnick, you make it ruddy difficult!”
     “Language, Lord Mersey.” Sophronia felt her heart flutter strangely. Am I ready to be courted?
     “See!”
     - p. 261-262
If you enjoy reading YA, steampunk, stories with quirky, while also endearing and intelligent characters, fabulous writing, and superb plotting, then I would definitely recommend this series! I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Waistcoats & Weaponry!

Content: Clean
Source: Library

About the Author

headshotNew York Times Bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London. Gail's books are published in over a dozen different languages. She has received both the Prix Julia Verlanger and the Elbakin Award from French readers.



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