Ahoy there me mateys! This was an audiobook that I picked up because I was looking for a fluffy fun read and the cover, title, and the small part of the blurb that I read sounded appealing. The story involves a finishing school where girls learn the traditional arts like dance and how to curtsy and the not so usual arts of espionage like poison, knives, and seduction.
The cover looks like this:
Therefore I was surprised to find out that the main character was only 14 and that this was YA. I had assumed from the cover that the protagonist would be at least 16 but more like 17 going on 18. She does NOT look 14 in the cover. Apparently the author has another series called the Parasol Protectorate that stars an older spinster which is what I mistakenly thought I was reading. This book was part of the Finishing School series marketed more for the younger set. Should have perhaps read the blurb in full.
That being said, I got mostly what I wanted. I did like the protagonist, Sophronia. She is a bit of a special snowflake but I was won over by her in the end. The plot is fluffy and makes little sense at times but I did enjoy it. I chuckled at many parts which was nice. And I loved the pet “mechanimal” and its part in the story. The other students were fun but didn’t get nearly enough page time. I also would have liked more descriptions of the espionage training, especially in the use of the fan.
Light on plot and characterization but full of fun and silliness, I do think I would read the next in the series. I also am tempted by the other more adult series though I hear it is more of a romance. If the crew has any opinions on these series then please chime in!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
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. Temminnick 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.
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