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REVIEW: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

Title: Etiquette & Espionage
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date of Release: February 5th 2013
Pages: 307

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.

Fun and adventurous, this story explores the life of a 15-year-old-girl faced with the responsibility of becoming a proper woman advanced in etiquette... but additionally a twist of danger with classes of espionage. The cover is gorgeous! The dress is beautiful paired with the bright pink background with embedded delicate artwork, it is completely stunning.

Miss Sophronia Temminick is not what you would class as a proper lady in the 1800's. When she is invited to the exclusive Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, Mrs Temminick what not let her waste this wonderful opportunity to turn her daughter into her sisters. However, Finishing school is not what Sophronia expected, and not what her mother would approve of as Sopronia is spun into a world or secrecy, danger, mystery and espionage as she is taught to fight and defend herself but in the most discreet manner.

Miss Sophronia Temminick is a mature woman who knows exactly what she is doing. She has determination to train and uses her skills of climbing to their uses, she is also not afraid of the unknown and embarks on all adventures she can take. Additionally, I enjoyed the fact that she was open to new ideas and didn't perform everything the same way as others, she had her own personality and was not embarrassed by her fasicination for technology and the workings of contraptions.

I absolutely enjoy reading story's of espionage and historical fiction, meaning I was delighted at the prospect of two of my favourite genres to be combined. Furthermore, it flowed seamlessly! It was engaging and enlightening, learning the lives of a 15-year-old girl amongst others with advanced skills in espionage showed you how a girl was to behave in a variety of situations. Furthermore, it was interesting the way the plot went making me want to find out more about Monique and her position at the academy.

I additionally loved the tie in of paranormal creatures, for example vampires and werewolves adding a twist and more danger to the plot. This story is fun and easy to read, with engaging events. You also see the value of friendship between spy's and how they help each other through mysteries and events, also the division between people and their lives. Furthermore, the way that a female spy can use the rules of etiquette to their advantage to plot the perfect act of espionage!

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