#FinishingRA Update on Curtsies & Conspiracies, Part 1

Welcome to my first update for the FINISHING SCHOOL READ-ALONG, hosted by Dena @ Batch of Books and I (Tressa @ Wishful Endings)! There is still plenty of time to join if you haven't done so yet. You can go to the official sign-up here and the launch post, which includes an author interview and a giveaway here. 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.

We are currently through chapter eight in...

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)Curtsies & Conspiracies

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.

Here are my thoughts so far...

Thoughts on the first chapter and how the author carries over the story from the first book.

I liked how it reminded me of the main characters and of all the things Sophronia learned in the first book by the test she took. It also showed that Sophronia has a long way to go before she learns what she needs to and that she still doesn't know everything about the ship. I also liked that it started with some tension in wonder how each of the girls would do in the test. What I liked most was how immediately it reminded me of how intelligent Sophronia is and how much I love her! :)

Thoughts about the characters.

I love how each of the girls are so different in their own ways, which makes their voices easy to differentiate. Monique and Preshea are just as stuck up as ever and up to mostly no good. Then you have Pillover and Vieve who are so unique and add to the story (love Vieve!!!). There are the boys: Soap, Felix, and others that play a role here and there. I love both Soap and Felix so far and for different reasons. Then there are Sophronia's closest friends: Dimity, Agatha, and Sidheag. I love them all for different reasons as well.

Thoughts about the plot.

So far it is mysterious and intriguing while also being intelligent and humorous in parts. This is what this author does so well. The story is so balanced and so fun while also having an undercurrent of danger and seriousness to it. There is seriously something building and I'm still blind as to what exactly is going to happen.

Least favorite part so far, if there is one.

I don't really have a least favorite part, but I did get a little upset with Sophronia's friends in the first half of the book. You'd have to read it to find out why.

Most favorite part so far.

Hmm. It would probably be all the banter between Sophronia and Felix. I also loved when Sophronia had to defend Dimity and herself and Felix saves the day and the ensuing scene.

Any favorite lines or quotes? (These truly crack me up!!)
"Sophronia fished in her reticule and brought forth her latest prized acquisition, an ear trumpet. It had taken a good many letters to persuade her mother that she was losing her hearing and in desperate need of the medical device. It was invaluable for eavesdropping, and she'd decorated it to look like a morning glory flower." - p. 88-89 
"Many gentlemen were unable to cope with abundant chatter, which is why they so often married it." - p. 140 
"Sophronia's first thought was: Oh, dear, he's figured out how to get around the ship. Her second was: Thank goodness I wore a dress this evening. Her third was: Life probably would have stayed easier had Felix and Soap never met." - p. 141
Any predictions for the second half of the book?

I think Sophronia is going to be more torn between Felix and Soap and I also think they will both continue to play a role in the story. I also think something is going on with the Professor Shrimpdittle and Professor Braithwope and the vampires. I however, do not know what exactly that is and who exactly will play the villain this time around. I also know that if Sophronia and her friends live up to what I know, they will be getting into quite a pickle, but save the day in the end.

Other thoughts...

I just had to mention that I just love the slang and the names for things and people. Take, for example, Lord Dingleproops. Lol! I also love the name Bumbersnoots, which is Sophronia's mechanimal. I love the role he has played so far in this story.

Any questions?

- Who are the Picklemen and flywaymen again exactly? I know they were after Sophronia and her friends for the prototype in the first book, but I can't remember much else about them.
- I'd like to ask Gail a few things about the test from the first chapter.
- Are all the professors going to be suspect at one point or another?

Now it's your turn. If you're reading with us, what did you think? Do you have any questions for the author? She'll be stopping by again later on in the read-along.

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