Review and Giveaway: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

12:00 AM

Title: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)
Author: Gail Carriger
Release Date: February 5, 2013 (hardcover)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Source: ARC received at Second Annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up

Overall: 5 Stars

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. 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 the 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's legions of fans have come to adore. 

My Thoughts: 
Set almost 25 years before her adult Parasol Protectorate series, Gail Carriger explodes onto the YA stage with her debut Etiquette & Espionage. With Carriger's witty and humorous writing style, the novel is simply irresistible and impossible not to like. Etiquette & Espionage combines the best elements of steampunk and the supernatural together in a way that's refreshingly exciting to read from the very first page!

Much to her mother's exasperation, Sophronia Temminnick loves to explore and ask questions, rather than dress up and act accordingly in polite society. When Sophronia's latest escapade leads to embarrassment, Mrs. Temminnick ships her daughter off to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality hoping she'll be reformed and return back as a proper young lady. Sophronia is less than thrilled to leave home... that is, until she realizes Mademoiselle Geraldine's is no ordinary finishing school.

Sophronia is such an awesome heroine! When she finds herself in a tricky or dangerous situation, she doesn't wait to be rescued like a damsel in distress. She readily adapts to her surroundings and finds a solution on her own with her quick-thinking, inquisitive mind, but also doesn't underestimate the power of teamwork either. Sophronia may not be a legacy like the other girls in her first-year class, but she's an absolute natural and eager learner in all the methods of etiquette and espionage. The young ladies are encouraged to embrace their feminine strengths and use it as a source of power. Could a man ever curtsy with grace and poise while throwing a dagger at their target at the same time? I sure don't think so!

There wasn't any romance in Etiquette & Espionage, but the book honestly didn't need it anyways; Sophronia's budding friendships with her new school friends play a much more important role. She's never been particularly close with her siblings, so she's happy to finally have friends who share her not so common interests, and better yet, they accept her as she is. Soon enough, Sophronia's motley crew includes an inventor, an evil genius in training, a sootie from the boiler room, and a best friend who faints at the sight of blood. And she's going to need all the help she can get to prevent a mechanical device falling into the wrong hands....

Gail Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage is a fantastic introduction to the Finishing School series! I hope other publishers are taking notice because I'd love to read more YA books just like it. I absolutely can't wait to find out what sort of adventure is in store next for Sophronia in Curtsies & Conspiracies, the second novel in the series!

Thanks so much to Hachette Book Group Canada for providing this review copy! You can also check out the book trailer below and visit the official Finishing School website to learn more about the series!


Giveaway! I have an extra ARC of Gail Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage, so I'm giving it away to a lucky follower!
  • please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter
  • giveaway is INTERNATIONAL
  • giveaway will end at 12:00 a.m. on February 27, 2013
  • winner will be contacted by email afterwards
  • do not leave your email address in the comments 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I absolutely loved Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. It was my introduction to Steampunk. Her characters are sarcastic, funny, and kick-ass! I can't wait to introduce this new book to the teens in my library. I'm sure it will make some new Steampunk converts.

  2. I loved the first Parasol Protectorate book! :) (Still need to finish the series!) It also reminds me a bit of YS Lee's The Agency series but with steampunk. It sounds fun! :)

  3. This is my kind of finishing school!

  4. I love steampunk, so I'm dying to read this!!

  5. I love book set in schools, like Hex Hall!

  6. I love the fussy/tech world she's created. Can't wait!

  7. Sounds great. I've enjoyed stories that take place at boarding schools in the past, so I think the finishing school part will be cool.

  8. I love that it is kind of steampunk, like her other novels, but all about spying, which is cool.

  9. I love Gail Carriger's other books, and I've been dying to read this one since I first heard about it. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

  10. i like steampunk and this author was recommended to le so wining this would be great

    thank you a lot for opening this to international

  11. I love this genre of book! It seems like a steampunk version of the Ally Carter series, which I love

  12. Great review hun, well written and I enjoy that you went into depth regarding the summary,plot, and characters

  13. I loved Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, so I think I will really enjoy her new YA book!


  14. I, myself likes the life in boarding school and the fun you have. The review is good and the book seems cool.

  15. Gail Carriger is extremely unique in her writing! I am also intrigued by this books story line! I really really want this book! I cannot wait to read this! Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway!

  16. I'm excited to read this because I've always wanted to read a spy novel that stars a girl. I'm also a fan of Gail Carriger's books.

  17. The cover and the story piqued my interest!

  18. Ohhh, Espionage now is it? With Ettiquite.... There's no way I'd EVER miss reading this book! :)

  19. I haven't been able to read Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series yet, but have wanted to read Etiquette & Espionage for some time now, even before it was released. Now even more so that the cover and blurb for Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger has been released.