Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies
Series: The Finishing School #2
Publication: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Around the World Arc Tours
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 school 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 bestselling author Gail Carriger's YA debut 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.
Sophronia's become isolated from her friends; she doesn't understand why they are all ignoring her. They all recently got tested to see how they're developing as spies and somehow Sophronia's marks are high for her year. Instead of privately receiving their assessments, the teacher announces them in front of everyone, which makes them distrust Sophronia. Alone but not deterred she still keeps her nose in everything and discovers that someone is after her friends, which leads to a discovery that will rock the world she come to know. Can she gain their trust again before it's too late or will all be lost?
Sophronia has grown to love espionage. It's a wonder she didn't want to attend but it's perfect for her being that it's not your normal school for making young women ready for society. Most girls dream of marrying and raising a family but these girls think about the same thing just with killing a few husbands or two. Sophronia seems perfect for gathering information; she's developed a talent for spying, which comes in handy for learning about the true reasons for their departure for London. She also has a few romantic admirers, one by the name of Felix, who enjoys playing a verbal tango to garner her attention. He comes off as a snob but I think he's cute. Soap seems to like her more than she realizes but she's afraid of what that could do to their friendship and she doesn't feel that way about him or maybe she does.
I really like this series and wish I had discovered this author before now. Hopefully I'll get to read her other books. Her style of writing is fun and witty, which translates into how the characters speak and respond to each other. Sophronia is a great female lead and it's nice seeing her gradually grow into herself. She's loyal, curious and smart, which leads her into trouble sometimes but she has a way of working her way through pass or fail. Overall, the setting, plot and writing are good. This is a fun read that I think anyone will enjoy.