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When Will I Learn? Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Hello!

Okay, so I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t been reviewing books recently. and I came to the conclusion that I was feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the amount of books I had read and not yet written reviews for, but also by the time it takes to write a review.

I decided to try something new. Over the next few weeks you may see reviews pop up with different formats and lengths. I’m trying to figure out what is sustainable for me. I’ve also decided to forget about all of those unwritten book reviews piling up and start fresh. So bear with me!

Leviathan by Scott WesterfeldOverview

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

My Thoughts

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

This was the cover that kept me from this book for so long.

To be fair, I held off on Leviathan for years. I was intrigued by the story, but the cover was killing me slowly every time I saw it at my local library. I know I shouldn’t let that stop me from reading a potentially enjoyable book, but alas, it did. Everything in me revolts at this cover…I think it’s that protruding forehead bone. But I digress…

In need of a new audiobook, I found this one available on my library’s Overdrive account (if you haven’t started using Overdrive you should!) and finally decided to give it a go. I am so glad I did because Leviathan was such an interesting mix of alternate history and steampunk adventure. It reminded me a lot of Kenneth Oppel’s Matt Cruse trilogy, which I loved. The characters are interesting and are found in unique situations (by choice and not) and both are forced to deal with their own prejudices and misconceptions of others.

The steampunk/alternate history setting had me scouring the internet for more information. Of course I know the basics of how World War I began (thank you Social Studies teachers and Jeopardy!) but I had to know more about the details, which I then compared to Westerfeld’s version. Weaving in the Clankers and Darwinists was a brilliant way to illustrate the clash between eastern vs. western ideals that played a part in the start of World War I. Scott Westerfeld, you get mucho points on the world building scene!

Recommended For

Leviathan is not the book for every reader. If you’re already a fan of the steampunk sub-genre, than this one would get your little steam engine going right away. That being said if you haven’t delved into this sub-genre I think Leviathan’s story is strong enough to be a quality introduction. If you enjoy audiobooks, this was the perfect book to listen to and it was narrated by the amazing Alan Cumming. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and am embarrassed by how long it took me to actually read it…when will I learn?!

Details

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 6, 2009)
Format: Audiobook
Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
Series: First in a series
YA/MG: Both
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Completely Justified: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Welcome back!

I love it when you’ve been excited to read a book for years and when you finally get to that book you were completely justified in your excitement! Well, that’s what happened with The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron.

When Katharine Tulman’s inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronBut instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity. As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle’s world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it.

I don’t know why The Dark Unwinding isn’t talked about more by bloggers (maybe it was when it first came out?) but I think this is one of most underrated books I’ve read. There is just so much that I’m naturally drawn to in a story; romance, historical British setting, and mystery! It’s all here and it’s all combined to create a beautiful atmospheric read. The plot itself is abundantly creepy with it’s abandoned English manor house full of strange waxen models and perplexing house staff, and Catherine’s odd uncle with his strange preferences, but placing the story on an already bizarre historical setting makes it that much more unsettling!

We see Katherine, our narrator, as innocent, honest, yet conflicted and absolutely reminiscent of Catherine Morland in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.  She is sent to Uncle Tully’s estate, Stranwyne Keep, with what seems like a pretty straight forward task, only to be faced with an inexplicable situation; an uncle who clearly has what we now know to be autism, and two entire towns completely dependent on him for their livelihoods. Katherine wants to do what’s right, but feels stuck in an impossible situation and needs the help of other supporting characters. These supporting characters are all so bright and vivid that you begin to fall in love with them just as Katherine does (with one in particular!!).

The story has a slight steampunk edge woven into the real life historical setting. If you haven’t yet heard of the strange history of Welbeck Abbey (Nottinghamshire, England), once you’ve read this book you’ll rush to your laptop to learn more about this weird estate where every room was painted pink!

The Dark Unwinding is the first book in a series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book, A Spark Unseen. Middle grade readers and up who are interested in a light steampunk read will find The Dark Unwinding mesmerizing.

Author: Sharon Cameron

Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 27, 2012)

Format: paperback

Length: 318 pages

Series: First book in The Dark Unwinding series

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:

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Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This: The Matt Cruise Trilogy by Kenneth Oppel

Guys!

Do you ever just love a book so much you rip through the entire series in no time at all?

That’s exactly what happened with me and the Matt Cruise trilogy by Kenneth Oppel. Because I read all three books (Airborn, Skybreaker, and Starclimber) so quickly I thought I’d just review them all as a group.

So as not to give anything away I’ll only share the summary for Airborn, which is book one.

Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, Airborn by Kenneth Oppelferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt’s always wanted; convinced he’s lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist’s granddaughter that he realizes that the man’s ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.

In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creates an imagined world in which the air is populated by transcontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies.

I was immediately in love with these books from the very beginning. Oppel’s writing has a smart mix of suspense and wit to just keep you turning the pages and his characters are the kind you just fall in love with.

Let’s take our main character, Matt Cruise for example. Matt is the kind of character you miss once the Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppellseries is finished. Sure, Matt is humble, kind and hard working, but he also struggles with jealousy, can be overly sensitive, and is pretty darn stubborn at times. He is an all around regular, nice guy who you’d love to be friends with. Matt Cruise simply, put is a normal guy who ends up getting involved with abnormal situations. Most of these abnormal situations tend to come because of his friendship/romance with the adventurous, heiress Kate de Vries. Despite Kate’s stubborn single-mindedness and annoying tendency towards being haughty, you can’t help but love her.

Oppel’s world building skills are unbelievable. In this series he has created this alternate world that is very much like our own, however it’s just different enough to be interesting and make you questions things. For example, the Pacific Ocean is called the Pacificus and there are references to historical events that are similar to those in our history (the ill-fated airship Titanticus). The world Matt Cruise lives in is pretty much steampunk and the main form of international transportation is by transoceanic dirigible. TStarclimber by Kenneth Oppelhere is so much detail that you just completely believe that this world truly does exist somewhere out there.  Additionally, these three books are 100% page turners. Almost every chapter is full of action and suspense whether it be pirate attack or an airship falling out of the sky!

So, if you’re in the mood for some quality YA action and adventure, you need to read Airborn, Skybreaker, and Starclimber right away! I honestly think that YA just doesn’t get any better than this!

Author: Kenneth Oppel

Publisher: Airborn, Harper Collins (May 25, 2005)

Skybreaker, Harper Collins (November 29, 2005)

Starclimber, Harper Collins (February 24, 2009)

Format: Audiobook

Length: Airborn (10 hrs and 46 mins), Skybreaker (11 hrs and 26 mins), Starclimber (11 hrs and 44 mins)

Narrator(s): Full Cast Audio, David Kelly

Series: The Matt Cruise Trilogy

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Airborn Skybreaker Starclimber

 

 

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It’s a Weird One: Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Hi!

I recently finished Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve, after years of passing by it in my library as I straightened out the shelves and I have to say, this was such a weird book!

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.Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

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?

As I said before, this was a weird book. I originally wanted to read Fever Crumb because I thought it was steam-punk and that I’d really enjoy Fever as a character.  Well, the world Reeve has created isn’t quite steam-punk, in fact, Fever’s world is so far ahead in the future that it is this strange “futuristically backwards” society.  It’s almost as if society became so advanced that it had no where else to go and simply regressed, so much so that technologies like computers are considered ancient, yet most of Fever’s world runs on steam power. I do think I misclassified Fever Crumb at first, and it is not strictly steam-punk so much as it is just sci-fi, but readers who are fans of the steam-punk genre will probably enjoy this one too. Whatever it is, it’s an incredibly interesting setting.

I also originally thought I’d enjoy fever as a character, but I struggled to really like Fever. Because Fever was raised with the order of Engineers, she was taught that emotion was irrational and that practicality was key, she is rather unsympathetic. She could be so straight forward and harsh at the wrong times, which just make it hard for me to like her. In her defense however, after leaving the Engineers and experiencing the outside world, Fever does struggle with her own emotions verses being rational and she does learn that it can be a good thing to act on one’s feelings. She was just too practical for me to really love her like I was hoping I would.

Despite not really liking Fever, I was so engrossed in her story. The more time that she spends away from the protection of the Engineers, Fever’s personal history begins to unfurl and she starts to learn things about herself that she never knew. This is what I enjoyed about this book. I wanted to know where Fever actually came from and how she fit in with the turmoil of her society. The story really is pretty interesting and action packed, despite having Fever as a lackluster subject.

So, if you enjoy sci-fi and strange futuristic worlds you may really like Fever Crumb. I recommend the audiobook too because it was narrated by the author which is always fun! Although it wasn’t my favorite, it was an entertainingly strange read!

Author: Philip Reeve

Publisher: Scholastic Audio (March 1, 2011)

Format: Audiobooks

Length: 6 hours and 59 minutes

Narrator(s): Philip Reeve (yes the author!)

Series: Book 1 in the Fever Crumb series.

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Fever Crumb

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Reading Wish List

Howdy!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) theme is centered around the idea of a reading wish list. I supposed we all have them, but I’ve been finding it a little challenging to put my wish list to words. Maybe I just want too much?! haha

Boarding School books. There is just something fun about students living away from home in a boarding school. ReadingGirl2

Lighthearted steampunk. I think I just want more people to write books like Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series.

Historical fiction/romance set in Colonial America. I want to read more about life in the colonies (before the war) and I want some kissing mixed in!

First Ladies as Teens. Haha This sounds really lame but I’d be interested in a YA or MG series that fictionalizes the teen years of some of the early first ladies. Maybe this would end up being too much like the American Girl books, but I think it’d be fun!

Jane Austen retellings. More creative YA or MG retellings of Jane Austen’s novels please!

Fairy Tale retellings. I know they’re all out there, but as Ariel said, “I want more!”

Short stories about the previous tributes in The Hunger Games. Wouldn’t that be a cool short story collection?  Little snapshots into the lives of some of the previous tributes? Very cool.

Reading GirlYA Amish Fiction. Ahh! I don’t know what I’d do if there were more YA Amish mash-up novels. I might not be able to handle it.

Upstairs/downstairs plots. One of the most interesting things about shows like Downton Abbey is the relationship between the people upstairs with those who work downstairs. I’d love to see all the intricacies of these two groups living their lives under the same roof written well.

So, I can only think of nine things I’d want on my reading wish list. Seriously, I’ve been staring at the screen and thinking about this for over twenty minutes. If I can’t think of a tenth after twenty minutes it is time to stop!

What is on your Reading Wish List?  I’m very interested to see what everyone else has on their lists, so please go ahead and share in the comments below!

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Hands Down! Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Hi!

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

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School)

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Waiting On Wednesday: The Clockwork Scarab

Hey there!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme I participate in (hosted by Breaking the Spine) because it gives me the opportunity to showcase some “coming attraction” books.

Today, I’m particularly interested in The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason! Just read this summary and you’ll find out why!

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen GleasonTwo young women of similar age and standing have disappeared: one found dead and the other still missing. The only clue to connect them is a small Egyptian clockwork scarab. Only Miss Stoker and Miss Holmes are well-positioned enough—similar in age and stature as they are to the victims—to investigate. An unlikely pair, the fierce Evaline Stoker and logical Mina Holmes must follow in the footsteps of their infamous families—Miss Holmes has inherited her Uncle Sherlock’s keen investigative skills, while Miss Stoker has accepted her family calling as a hunter of the undead. The partners must find a way to work together, while navigating the advances of a strange yet handsome American, a clever Scotland Yard investigator, and a cunning thief, to solve the mystery of the clockwork scarabs.

Guys! The Clockwork Scarab is set in London…steampunk London! Also, literary references: the families of Holmes and Stoker? YES PLEASE! Plus this cover is just so gorgeous!

I hope this one turns out to be a good read because it’s supposed to be a series!  It’s due to release on September 17, only a few short days away!

 

 

 

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Where Have You Been All My Life? Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Hello everyone!

Sometimes you come across a book that you just know you’re going to love. The title, the cover, and the summary all seem to fit your book love meter. And then you read the book (or in my case, listen) and you discover that you don’t just  love the book….

YOU FREAKIN’ ADORE THE BOOK!

Gail Carriger, where have you been all my life?! The steampunk debut, Etiquette & Espionage, by Gail Carriger is officially on my new favorites list!

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 Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Finishing School.

Sophronia Temminnick at 14 is a great trial more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners — and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Her poor mother, desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady, enrolls the lively tomboy in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But 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.

So, yes this fun, and light-hearted romp through a steampunk/supernatural world is  Carriger’s first YA novel.  Apparently she writes a steampunk series for adults (thank you internets!), in which some of the characters in Etiquette & Espionage make appearances all grown up.  I absolutely must add these to my To Read stack.

Etiquette and Espionage is kind of like a Gallagher Girls book (by Ally Carter- which I also LOVE!) set in a steampunk setting. It’s a boarding school for girl spies, with a twist! I am craving so much more of this alternate steampunk world with vampires, werewolves & evil geniuses!

I had fun with all the exaggerated Victorian fashion. And the fact that your pearl necklace may or may not be useful as weapon! Also, I’m a huge fan of boarding school books, but a boarding school for spies and assassins – a FLYING boarding school at that?! I want to go to a flying boarding school for spies and assassins!!

The plot and mystery in Etiquette & Espionage were on the mild side, with most of the story detailing Sophronia becoming accustomed to her new school and home, but this was a good thing as it enabled Carriger to focus on introducing and letting us get-to-know characters. I really enjoyed Sophronia, the main character (although she can be a little too perfect sometimes) for all her progressive thinking and climbing skills.  Overall she is spunky, smart kindhearted and a fun character. If I was a student at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s I believe I’d want to be one of Sophronia’s good friends. Additionally, all the other debut students were well written and interesting, especially the reluctant Sitay, and the ever colorful Dimity!  My favorite character though, was the mechanical dog (mechanimal) named Bumbersnoot.  YES.

The narrator, Moira Quirk, was really entertaining to listen to. Her accents and voices were perfect and made me so happy that I listened to the audiobook instead of reading it myself. And let’s not forget this absolutely stunning cover! I want this dress. Seriously. The  hot pink against the black is eye-catching and the cogs and gear pattern is so smart and perfectly matched to the story.

Do you like steampunk? Do you enjoy reading YA? Are you in the mood for an audiobook? Well, Etiquette & Espionage comes recommend with the BookTasty stamp of approval! I believe that middle grade readers and up will have as much fun with this book as I did!

Author: Gail Carriger

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (February 5, 2013)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 9 hours and 1 minute

Narrator(s): Moira Quirk

Series: First in the Finishing School series

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School)

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Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I Want More Of

Well hello there! Welcome back!

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, which is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish that I participate in on a weekly basis. This week the theme is Top Ten Settings I’d Like to Read More Of.  I’m not sure why, but this was a difficult list for me to create. But I did finally manage it! There are probably tons of books with these settings out there but I just need to find and read them!

So here we go:

1. London: Be it historical or contemporary I love books set in London. Really, I’ll take stories set anywhere in the UK! I’m a total Anglophile and proud of it!London

2. Boarding Schools: If your book is set in a boarding school chances are I’ll pick it up. I just love the idea of being away from home and kind of on your own in a new place.

3. Under the sea: I’ve only read a few mermaid novels, but I think I could really get used to this genre.

4. Amish Country: The Amish are completely fascinating and I am always up for a story set in this community.AmishCountry

5. Colonial America: As a history major in college American colonial history has always intrigued me.  Give me more of this!

6. Florida: Who doesn’t want more books set where they live? It’s fun to read about places you’re familiar with!

7. Wild West Space: Like my beloved Firefly. I like to believe that the future is actually more like the wild west with space travel and Chinese curse words.

Firefly8. Fairy Tale Lands: Fairy tale retellings are one of my favorite genres so I will gladly accept any novels set in fairy tale lands!

9. Steampunk worlds: I think I just need to read more YA steampunk novels because I know they’re out there. Although I love this genre I think I prefer a mild steampunk setting to a high one.

10. Futuristic dystopian societies: I know this sounds super trendy, and some people may be over dystopian fiction, but I sincerely love this setting and have since I read A Handmaid’s Tale in high school. More YA dystopia!

So there you have it! My nerdiness has been revealed now that you know I want more Amish, steampunk and mermaid themed settings in books! My husband will laugh at me if he reads this post…haha

Am I the only nerd out there or are some of these settings that you’d like to read more of?

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Waiting on Wednesday: Etiquette and Espionage

Hi there!

Wow! It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written a Waiting on Wednesday post! It feels good to be back. :)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers get to showcase an upcoming new release that we’re especially excited for.

This week I’m excited about Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage.

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 the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea–and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right–but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

I have a major track record of really liking boarding school books and this seems like it might be similar to Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series – only more steampunkish!

This is slated to be the first in a four book series called Finishing School and is expected to be released by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on February 5 this year, so I won’t be waiting too long!

Are there any particular upcoming titles you’re waiting on this week?