Today I'm reviewing Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger.
Description from GoodReads:
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
Etiquette & Espionage had all of the necessary elements: Steampunk, Sassy Heroine, Cute Mechanimals, & A finishing school that's way more than it initially seems. And yet, for me it still fell flat. Maybe that's my fault, I went in with the hopes that it would be a steampunk version of The Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter. For me, E&E suffered from the same problems as The Selection (though to a lesser degree). It got so caught up in the character being cutesy and funny that the plot itself seem completely unnecessary. That being said, I'm hoping it's just a problem with the first book and that the second book is more plot driven. If you're going to read this, I'd definitely recommend getting it from your library before purchasing it outright.