From Goodreads: 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
Erin’s Thoughts: Absolutely enchanting, completely delightful, funny, and just plain fun. I’ve now listened to the first three books in this series and I am desperate for the fourth to come out because they make my car rides and workouts amazing. I have to admit that I didn’t think that steampunk was really “my thing”, but these books have proven me wrong. Carriger’s writing is full of humor and those great tongue in cheek moments that I always love so much. The narration by Moira Quick is so well done! Her voices make the characters completely come to life. Plus, how could you not love a finishing school for intelligentsias, mechanical pups name Bumbersnoot, and ridiculous characters with names like Lord Dingleproops. These books are such a treat! While the Finishing School series is Young Adult, I’m excited to check out Carriger’s adult series, The Parasol Protectorate and The Custard Protocol.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
From Goodreads: A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book; a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-first birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, “Nell” sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell’s death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go.
Jennie’s Thoughts: Is there anything as perfect as a Kate Morton novel? I’m really certain there isn’t. The sweeping storylines, the characters so real, the twists and turns and decades and romance…perfection. And this novel ranks right up there as my new KM novel of all. (PS, she has a new one coming out in October this year!)
The mystery of the tiny girl kept me guessing throughout the entire novel. Just as I’d be sure her parents were this person and that, things would upend my suspicions completely. And, the descriptions of the setting and Blackhurst Manor…oh, how they had me daydreaming about flights and vacations. I wanted to stroll through the forgotten garden, and fall in love with a new place alongside Cassandra.
My review isn’t doing this book justice, so I’ll finish up just to say, this book will be within my top ten books of 2015, no doubt. So, read it and fall in love as I did!
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
From Goodreads: Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it’s just the risk she’s been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.
A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Jennie’s Thoughts: If you haven’t picked up a Trish Doller book, DO SO NOW. She writes H-O-T romances and beautiful hearts and real emotions and crazy awesome suspense. For example, this book here. From the very first page, I knew this book would be the type that would keep me up overnight listening for bumps and bangs from the boogeyman. I had to force myself to stop reading it at bedtime…okay, okay, an hour past my usual bedtime.
I finished it the next day during the kiddo’s naptime and I was still totally creeped out, even in the daytime. The end was heart-pounding action and I probably left finger imprints on the library book’s binding from gripping it so hard.
Cadie was the perfect teen narrator, not perfect as in does no wrong, but perfect as in, a real person frustrated and overwhelmed, with dreams worth going for. Only she gets a little turned around with the hottie cousins she meets at a campground one night and things get insane.
I highly recommend this book!