Current Reads: Etiquette & Espionage

Hi guys! I’ve returned from enjoying the summer weather outside and a brief visit from out of town.

I am currently reading

Etiquette & Espionage
Etiquette & Espionage
By: Gail Carriger
From: My Kindle

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.

Lately I’ve been suffering from the dreaded “I don’t know what I want to read” syndrome. I haven’t made much progress with the books I mentioned in my last Current Reads post (I’ve read the first few chapters of both). But during all this, I was steadily reading Etiquette & Espionage on my Kindle, one small section at a time.

I originally picked up the book because I really liked Carriger’s steampunk series for adults, The Parasol Protectorate, and this YA book of hers takes place in the same universe. I only regret that I didn’t pick up a physical copy, since the cover is gorgeous! So far the book has been fun, although I’m not enjoying it quite as much as I did her adult series.

Last book I finished reading

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Notre-Dame de Paris / The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
By: Victor Hugo
From: My Kindle (Project Gutenberg edition)

Oh my gods, you guys, I ended up loving this book! The first third of the book was SO DIFFICULT to get through, halfway through I started to get interested, and the final third was so exciting! When Hugo actually focused on the main characters, everything was so wonderful. The characters were so conflicted, especially Frollo. In the beginning you learn that Frollo isn’t really a bad guy, and then to watch him change and move from one horrendous act to another… sigh.

I really could have done without the essays on architecture & descriptions of every single building one could see from the roof of Notre-Dame. The fact that the first part of the book focused on a minor, not that interesting character, didn’t help out, either. With that said, I loved the good parts with a passion. I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars. If Hugo had only focused a bit more on the main plot and characters, the book would have been not only a lot shorter, but a lot more captivating, and I would give it all 5 stars. I will definitely be re-reading this, but mightily skipping a lot of parts…


This post is linked at “It’s Monday, what are you reading?”, a weekly meme that tells us what the blogosphere is currently reading. It is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.


17 thoughts on “Current Reads: Etiquette & Espionage

    • Yes, it was definitely hard-going in the beginning… I think it took until literally the halfway point to pick up the pace! I vaguely remember starting to get interested when my Kindle showed about 45-50% completion.

    • I think I have a weakness for 19th century French classics – my favorites are The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte-Cristo by Dumas. Those are definitely easier reads than Hunchback. But if one doesn’t give up during the first half of the book, the rest goes by easily.

  1. Ah, Hunchback. Another classic novel I’ve been meaning to get to :) I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

    Have a great week, happy reading!

    • I do recommend reading it, one just has to be prepared to drudge through the first half of the book. Before I read Hunchback I couldn’t understand how people could publish abridged classics. After a couple of Hugo’s architectural chapters I understand! I still can’t pick up abridged novels, though, I hate not knowing what I’m missing.

  2. I am not a fan of classics especially slow starting classics. I think I’ll avoid Hunchback. I did like Etiquette & Espionage though I prefer her adult books set in that same world. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    • Yeah, Hunchback is definitely not for everyone. I just finished Etiquette & Espionage last night I agree with you, I liked it okay, but not nearly as much as her adult books!

    • Thanks! I know of the book because the movie came out, haven’t read or watched it since I thought I’d hate the main character, but one can’t be sure. I hope you like it!

  3. In answer to your comment on my blog. The cupcake book is so cute. It has recipes. If you like books about cooking, try THE LOST ART OF MIXING. It is very good.

    Silver’s Reviews

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