Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ARC Review- A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Publisher: TorTeen
Publication: May 19, 2015
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Stars: 4.5

About the Book:
It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don't fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts...

ADD to Goodreads:

"You're here because you're odd. Exceptional. You're unusual Georgiana. And that is far more dangerous than any fire."

Can I please have the second one already? This is pretty much one of those books that you won't be able to put down. So do yourself a favor and preorder already! Georgiana has always been misunderstood by her family. Instead of being the lady they want her to be, Georgie is a scientist and instead of doing "lady-like" things, you can find her conducting experiments in the barn. One experiment goes terribly wrong; resulting in burning down her father's barn. 

It's sort of the last straw because her parents send her off to Stranje House; a school where "bad" girls learn to be ladies. Or so it seems. Georgie's parents are all to eager to leave her and never look back. Literally. They don't even tell her bye. What kind of parents would do that!? I'll tell you one thing, Georgie is better off without them. So called family-bah!! 

"One-Stranje House was no ordinary finishing school. 
Two-nor was it the cruel reformatory gossip purported. 
Three-Miss Stranje was up to something and we girls were to be part of it."

On the first night at the house, something is very strange-to put it lightly. When Georgie stumbles upon a conversation not meant for her ears, it's confirmed that the school really isn't what it seems! Then she meets the charming but oh so beautiful, Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Whose sole purpose it is to tease Georgiana until she can't take it anymore. Obviously, she secretly likes it and why wouldn't she? Lord Wyatt is hard to resist. Plus you know what they say about boys that tease? 

"Sebastian was as much a riddle to me as invisible ink. An insufferable devil one minute and a brooding angle the next."

The secondary characters were amazing. I loved how close the girls from the school got with Georgie. At first you can't really trust them but that quickly changes. I can't wait to have more of them in the books after. Headmistress Stranje was a favorite of mine. You'll see why. 

Georgiana is REALLY smart. That to me was just awesome because sometimes ( okay all the time) we get stupid heroines in YA. It's nice to see one who can think for herself AND doesn't need a man to help her do it. Also you'll be happy to hear that "A School for Unusual Girls" is a bit mysterious. It adds one to how great the book is. 

Overall, I give this five stars because it kept me engaged and the romance wasn't overdone. I still would have liked to see a little more from it and I'm hoping we get that in the second book. But for the most part, it's great that we have such great characters to look forward to reading about. If you're looking for a story about growing up, overcoming loss, and finding friendships in the most unlikely places, then pick this one up. You'll be glad you did. 

*Thank you to TorTeen for providing with a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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About the Author:
Life is an amazing adventure. Mom died when I was thirteen. But life rolls on. I roamed the Rockies, wandered the desert, enjoyed way too many classes in college, was stalked by a cougar, lost an argument with a rattlesnake, fell in love at least a dozen times, was proposed to eleven times, finally met and married my own personal hero, and together we’ve raised four free-spirited adventurous children.

I write for the fun of it. An award-winning author and illustrator - Kensington published four of my Regency romantic comedies, including Mistaken Kiss, a Holt Medallion finalist.

I adore the wit and humor of Oscar Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse, and Jane Austen. But my eclectic reading interests bounce from Frank Herbert to Meg Cabot, and on to the delightfully imaginative tales of Diana Wynne Jones.

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