Hands Down! Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger


I’m pretty sure that Gail Carriger is in on a conspiracy to make me want all of her books. My favorite new series of 2013 was her Finishing School series, hands down! You can read my review of book one, Etiquette & Espionage here. I may have done more gushing that I should have but if you’ve read it then you’ll understand!

Because of this love for the first book, I was incredibly excited when the awesome people at Hachette Audio offered Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carrigerthe audiobook of Carriger’s second book, Curtsies & Conspiracies for review I had to take them up on their offer! (Thank you!)

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.

Guys. Seriously. THAT COVER!

I’ve said it before. It’s like Carriger has a secret window into my little book lovers’ heart and knows exactly what I want to read about. Her opulent steampunk world is exactly where I want to spend my afternoons and evenings. This setting is just so well-imagined and there is so much depth yet to be explored that it reminds me a lot of the wizarding world that J.K. Rowling creates in the Harry Potter series. It’s richness promises more books, which makes me incredibly giddy just thinking about it!

Curtsies and Conspiracies picks up at the start of Sophronia’s second semester at Madame Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality with the girls’ sixth month review underway. While the first book is full of nothing but fun, this second book starts to bring a little more seriousness with it. For example, Sophronia’s group of friends are all fighting and a spectacular weekend in London is dulled by threat of a dangerous evil plot. Even the lessons the lessons the students’ are learning begin to take a turn for the dark. This step towards the serious actually reminds me a lot of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series (which I ALSO LOVE!) because Sophronia’s world is beginning to open up and the stakes are getting higher. Don’t think that Carriger’s signature wit and humor are missing in all this newly found seriousness, however, because they are still there!

We have the beginnings of a serious love triangle here, ladies! I don’t mind a bit of a triangle so it makes me happy to see Sophronia struggle with her growing feelings toward two boys; one of which would be socially uplifting and the other which may be frowned upon for numerous reasons. I do think both boys are not exactly as they seem however…there are hints of things to come hidden in their actions and words!

Not only are these potential love interests well written and interesting, but Carriger’s cast of supporting characters are just as captivating as they were in book one. My favorites are Sophronia’s friends, of course.  Dimity, Sidheag and Agatha are so warm, loving, and fun that I want them to be real so I could hang out with them! I love how each one of them brings something different to the table and the way in which they all challenge one another to step out of comfort zones. They’re exactly the type of friends I’d want if I were a boarding student in a flying dirigible spy school for young ladies.

All in all, Curtsies and Conspiracies was on my favorites of 2013 list for a reason. If you haven’t already given the Finishing School series a chance, then make sure you do! You won’t be disappointed I promise! I also highly recommend this series on audio; it is hands down a fabulous listen!

Also…have you seen this book trailer?! I don’t know how I missed it until now, but I think it is absolutely brilliant!

Author: Gail Carriger

Publisher: Hachette Audio (Little, Brown) (November 5, 2013)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 9 hours and 30 minutes

Narrator(s): Moira Quirk

Series: Second in the Finishing School series


Buy the Book: Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School)


Book Trailer of the Week: Reached


Here at BookTasty I have a deep appreciation for book trailers.  So, every week (almost) I post a Book Trailer of the Week to spread the word about a book trailer that has recently caught my eye.

This week’s book trailer is for Ally Condie’s Reached, the final book in the Matched trilogy.

The first two books in this series make it one of my favorites and Reached has me very excited (I am reading it while I’m on vacation, actually!). I’ve always loved the whole glass bubble theme on all the covers and it’s significance, which makes me love all the Reached by Ally Condiecracking glass bubbles in the trailer!

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

I appreciate a good, short and to-the-point trailer which is another reason why I like this one so much-it’s the perfect length for the morning announcements. I’ll be using it at school as soon as possible!



Book Trailer of the Week: Infinity Ring

Welcome back!

Today is Friday which means that it is officially Book Trailer of the Week time! Every week I love to exhibit my love for book trailers by showcasing one that has caught my attention.

This week’s book trailer is for The Infinity Ring series.  This is Scholastic’s next big series and it follows in the footsteps of The 39 Clues book series. The trailer is super quick so let’s check it out!

All the books in the series will be written by different authors.  James Dashner (whose books I love!) wrote the first book in the series, A Mutiny in Time by James DashnerA Mutiny in Time, so you know it’ll be good!

History is broken, and three kids must travel back in time to set it right! When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the secret of time travel — a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring — they’re swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course.Now it’s up to Dak, Sera, and teenage Hystorian-in-training Riq to travel back in time to fix the Great

My students were rabid fans of The 39 Clues books so I know they’re going to eat The Infinity Ring right up!  You better believe I’ll be playing this trailer on the morning announcements soon!


Book Trailer of the Week: The Vampire Stalker

Hi there!
I’m back with this week’s Book Trailer of the Week!  Every week (eehhmm…almost every week…) I like to place the spotlight on book trailers because I think they’re awesome.  I use them at my school all the time and they’re a great way to promote books!

This week I’m featuring the book trailer for a book that has been incredibly popular with the students in my school, The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen.  You may remember that I reviewed the book last year, but I also really like the book trailer and think it captures the viewer’s attention well.

The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van DiepenTeenager Amy has a major book crush on a fictional guy; Alexander Banks, the gorgeous vampire hunter in the wildly popular Otherworld trilogy. Her love is so deep that she even writes fan-fiction about Alexander.  Even her screen name,  “MrsAlexanderBanks8021″ is an homage to her obsession!  Amy pretty much spends much of her time wishing and dreaming that Alexander Banks was a real person.

Then late one night, as Amy is walking home alone she is saved from a violent attack by a boy who looks strangely like Alexander Banks.  Amy soon realizes that he is in fact the real Alexander Banks; her love from the books and he needs her help!  The evil and unstoppable vampire Vigo has mysteriously entered Amy’s world and Alexander is determined to stop him from destroying Chicago like he has done to Otherworld.  Together, Amy and Alexander must track Vigo and figure out how and why Alexander crossed over into her world and time.  After chemistry seems to spark between her and Alexander, Amy questions whether or not she even wants him to return to the world of fiction.

So, what’d ya think? Did the book trailer do it’s job and make you crave the book?


Book Trailer of the Week: The Kill Order

Hi there!

I adore book trailers done well.  So, every week I like to shine the spotlight on a book trailer that I think deserves a little love and attention.

The Kill Order by James DashnerThis week I’m pretty impressed with the book trailer for James Dashner’s newest addition to the Maze Runner series, The Kill Order.

Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease.

Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and they survived. But surviving the sun flares was easy compared to what came next. Now a disease of rage and lunacy races across the eastern United States, and there’s something suspicious about its origin. Worse yet, it’s mutating, and all evidence suggests that it will bring humanity to its knees.

Mark and Trina are convinced there’s a way to save those left living from descending into madness. And they’re determined to find it—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some, you’re worth more dead than alive. The prequel to the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series.

My husband and I absolutely adore The Maze Runner series so this prequel is highly anticipated in our house. I know, I know it’s already been published but we still haven’t read it yet. The book trailer totally makes me want to read it even more than I already did!

I feel like all the book trailers for Dashners’ books are fabulous and this one for The Kill Order doesn’t disappoint.  What’d you think?


Book Trailer of the Week: Mystic City

Book Trailer of the WeekHello!


It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted a Book Trailer of the Week!

Seriously. Things have been super busy.  Life and work got in the way, but then technology issues happened too.  Blech. Well, that’s over with and the book trailers are back! WhooHoo!

Mystic City by Theo LawrenceThis week’s book trailer is for Theo Lawrence’s Mystic City.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

Doesn’t it sound like an interesting sci-fi/fantasy read?  I’m already interested reading the summary, but the trailer makes me even more intrigued!

Also, I completely think the cover for Mystic City is pretty cool. It always catches my eye when I see it online! I love the sparkly lights in the background.   If Mystic City sounds like something you’d like it was just released on October 9, so you can make your way to the store as soon as possible!


Book Trailer of the Week: Unearthly

Book Trailer of the WeekAnd a Happy Friday to you!

Book Trailer of the Week is a weekly feature where I showcase a new (or sometimes not-so-new) book trailer that has caught my attention. Why book trailers? I just love this underused media and I use them at my school as much as possible to promote reading and books among my students!

Unearthly by Cynthia HandSo, last week was the first week back to school with students and I kind of forgot about posting a Book Trailer of the Week…OOPS!

But never fear! I am back with one to share!

I recently purchased some new titles for my Media Center and at the recommendation of some other book bloggers I bought Unearthly and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand. I have quite a few girls at school who simply go nuts for supernatural YA so new this one needed to be in my catalog. I put my “Bright and Shiny New Books” display up pretty early so it’d already be up for the start of school and Unearthly has been majorly tempting me! I tend to love books with girls in pretty gowns on the cover, so this one has been calling my name for a few weeks now!  I can’t read it yet because I still have to read the last three middle grade Sunshine State Books, but as soon as I’m finished with those you’d better believe this one is on my list!

If that didn’t intrigue you, the summary sounds interesting too!

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out-of-place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

You bet I’ll be sharing this book trailer with my students!


Book Trailer of the Week: Across the Universe

Book Trailer of the WeekHappy Friday!

This is my last free no responsibilities Friday of the summer.  Oh summer, how I shall miss you!Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Every Friday I post my Book Trailer of the Week Feature where I highlight a book trailer that has caught my attention.  This week’s trailer is for Beth Revis’ Across the Universe.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

I actually recently finished listening to the audiobook for Across the Universe but had never seen the book trailer.  I was incredibly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! I don’t know why, but I never expect to love sci-fi and then I totally do! Well, obviously you can tell I loved Across the Universe and I can’t wait to grab the audiobook of book number two, A Million Suns.

So, without further ado, check out this book trailer!


Book Trailer of the Week: Strings Attached

Book Trailer of the WeekHowdy!

Strings Attached by Judy BlundellIt’s Friday-day! (That’s how one of my students used to say Friday! So cute!)  Every Friday I like to highlight a book trailer that has caught my attention.  It may be an older trailer or one for an upcoming title, but I always look for trailer that I can use at school to promote books with my students.

This week’s trailer interested me primarily because I realized it’s for a new title by Judy Blundell, Strings Attached. I read her historical coming-of-age story, What I Saw and How I Lied  and absolutely loved it, so I was excited to see another one that sounded similar.

When Kit Corrigan arrives in New York City, she doesn’t have much. She’s fled from her family in Providence, Rhode Island, and she’s broken off her tempestuous relationship with a boy named Billy, who’s enlisted in the army.

The city doesn’t exactly welcome her with open arms. She gets a bit part as a chorus girl in a Broadway show, but she knows that’s not going to last very long. She needs help–and then it comes, from an unexpected source.

Nate Benedict is Billy’s father. He’s also a lawyer involved in the mob. He makes Kit a deal–he’ll give her an apartment and introduce her to a new crowd. All she has to do is keep him informed about Billy . . . and maybe do him a favor every now and then.

Now, checkout the trailer

I love the old-timey film noir feel of the trailer.  Makes me want to read the book as soon as possible!


Book Trailer of the Week: Fever Crumb

Book Trailer of the Week

Hi there!

On Friday’s I like to give some love to book trailers.  During the school year I use book trailers in my Media Center and on the morning announcements as much as possible because they’re a great tool for promoting books!  Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

This week’s featured book trailer is for Fever Crumb by Phillip Reeve.  I haven’t read this book yet, but the trailer really makes me want to!

Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order.

Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb – nearly the only person she’s ever known – to assist archeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven. The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated.

All Fever knows is what she’s been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

Sounds great?! Well, check out the book trailer – it’s pretty enticing!

Have you read Fever Crumb yet?  It’s on my To Read List and I hope to get to it soon!