#FinishingRA Update for Waitstoats & Weaponry, Part 1

Welcome to my third update for the FINISHING SCHOOL READ-ALONG, hosted by Dena @ Batch of Books and I (Tressa @ Wishful Endings)! You can go to the official sign-up here and the launch post here, which includes an author interview. You don't need to be a blogger to join, you just need someplace online that's public to post updates for the linky or just participate by leaving your thoughts and updates in response to Dena's and mine. Here's where we are:
Nov 7: Curtsies, chapters 1-8
Nov 14: Curtsies, chapters 9 -16, epilogue, and final thoughts on the book
Nov 21: Waistcoats, chapters 1-8
Nov 28: Waistcoats, chapters 8-16 and final thoughts on book
Nov 29: Read-along wrap up
Remember to use #FinishingRA on Twitter for updates. You can include Dena (@denabooks) and I (@tressherm) as well.

We're half-way through...

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)Waistcoats & Weaponry

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine's proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

Here are my thoughts so far (there may be some spoilers)...

Thoughts on the opening chapter.

Well, it definitely caught my attention. It's the first time I've seen Sidheag upset and it's an interesting start to this story. I guess it's the werewolves turn to be in the spotlight.

Thoughts about the characters.

I'm loving getting to know these characters more and seeing them mature as the story continues. Sophronia has such a curious mind and basically nothing is off limits. I love how she thinks. It's fun to see more of Soap and Felix as well. It's also interesting to see another side of Sidheag and see the connection between her and Captain Niall.

Thoughts about the plot.

We really know so little about the werewolves and I'm really curious about what will happen and how Sophronia and her group will mix with them. There has been plenty of adventure and excitement so far and I'm loving this plot!

Least favorite part so far, if there is one.

Hmm. Maybe Sophronia's silly sister and mother who are so oblivious. Although, it's also rather humorous and interesting to see Sophronia handle them.

Most favorite part so far.

I think it would have to be the adventure to get on the train. That was so fun!

Any favorite lines or quotes? These are more on the sweet and a little funny side, but lovely all the same.

     "Miss, we need to crank up the stair."
     Sophronia turned to find Soap, standing shipside.
     He looked about to crack one of his customary cheeky smiles. But the moment he saw her expression, he schooled his own and flitted over to join them. "What in all aether's happened? Sophronia, are you hurt?" Usually he was punctiliously formal. They must look truly upset for him to call Sophronia by name.
     "We don't know." A great deal of frustration colored Sophronia's voice.
     Soap's eyes bored into hers, as if they were alone. "Not you?" His gaze flicked to her bandaged arm.
     Sophronia shook her head. "No, I'm well. Just a little scrape with a fan. It's Sidheag."
- p. 33

     "You already have eyelash fluttering and flirting with fan and parasol, now let us consider holding a man's gaze with intent and purpose. This can be perceived as a bold stance, an outright challenge, or an unspoken offer. Let me demonstrate." Lady Linette came before each of them and with a few micromovements of lashes and lids demonstrated the differences among the three gazes. Each girl tried each gaze in return, feeling awkward, and then practiced on a partner for several minutes, feeling even more awkward. Periodically, fits of giggles interrupted the concentrated staring.
     Eventually Dimity said, "Lady Linette, I don't mean to be ignorant, but what, exactly, is the unspoken offer? I mean to say, how do I know if I don't know, as it were?"
     "Ah, yes, seduction. Have you read some of those horrid Gothics floating about? Oh, now don't be coy, I've seen copies of The Monk passing from hand to hand. It's not forbidden, not at this school. Such an offer can encompass all things that men, as a general rule, require of women-from a kiss on the hand to one on the neck to the lips and beyond."
     Dimitry's eyes went owlish. "There's a beyond?"
- p. 37-38

     Sophronia felt on safer ground now that he was flirting. "Lady Linette has been teaching us seduction techniques." She lowered her eyes and then looked off across the gray moor, presenting him with her profile, which was rather a nice one, or so Mademoiselle Geraldine told her.
     The statement successfully shocked Felix. He swallowed a few times before saying, his voice almost as high as it had been a year ago, "Really?"
     "Oh, yes indeed. Would you like me to show you? I could use the practice on a real man."
This time he actually squeaked. "That might be nice."
     Sophronia demurred, still gazing over the nonexistent view, then said, "We are to start with longing looks."
     "Oh, are we?"
- p. 82

     "Now, now, Ria, you think I don't remember that look of yours?"
     "What look?"
     "Not unlike a hound on a scent. A very pretty hound, of course."
     Sophronia sighed. "I know, it's my worst giveaway. I'm mostly good at schooling my features for anger and love and suchlike emotions, but curiosity gets the better of me."
- p. 86

     "Well Ria, this is nice," said Felix
     Sophronia was plastered against him. She struggled to roll away. He put one skinny arm about her, keeping her close.
     It was a bit too good feeling. Sophronia had a brief hysterical thought that perhaps Felix was like figgy pudding. Rich and delicious but best sampled in moderation. A seasonal treat. He smelled amazing.
     Sophronia righted herself and shrugged Felix off...
- p. 145-146

Any predictions for the end of Waistcoats & Weaponry?

I'm afraid. I'm afraid that Sophronia might be losing two of her closest friends by their own choices, but still. I can see that they could be good connections to have, but it would make me so sad.

Other thoughts...

Nothing right now, except maybe that I think I'm in Soap's camp.

Any questions?

- Did Lord Akeldama give Sophronia the fan or is it another interested party?
- Will we actually get to see Lord Akeldama in this book?
- Will a friend or two of Sophronia's stay with the werewolves?
- What caused the mechanicals to malfunction and does that instance play a role in the plot as it continues?

Now it's your turn. If you're reading with us, what did you think? If you haven't entered the giveaway yet, I've included it below.

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