The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

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 Title: The Friday Society
Series: None
Author: Adrienne Kress
Published by: Dial/ Penguin Young Readers Group
Release date: December 6th 2012
Length: 440 pages
Genre: Steampunk, Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Format: Hard Cover

Why I read it: I love anything steampunk and the cover is so gorgeous.
What it’s About: Cora is an inventor’s assistant. She was taken in by Lord White when she was ten, and works in his secret lab. Nellie is a magician’s assistant. She does regular magic shows with The Great Raheem and loves it. Michiko is the assistant to a fighting instructor. She speaks very little English, and is a former samurai student. One night after a gala the three girls stumble upon a dead man in the street, after staying the night at Nellie’s place the three go about separately trying to solve the mystery of who killed the man. Meanwhile, there also happens to be a dead man in Nellie’s living room. The three girls keep running into each other and helping each other out of tight spots, so they come to the conclusion that they can work together and form the Friday Society.
The Review: Like I said above, I  think the cover is gorgeous. I saw it in the book store and was drawn to it. I read the blurb on the inside flap, and I knew I had to read it. I honestly could not put the book down. I HAD to see where this story was going. I stayed up way too late on multiple nights just so I could read this book. These are the things that Authors want and deserve to hear/read from fans. There were smart, Likable, independent characters, there was flirting, there was mystery. These are all things I look for in a book, at least in a YA book. This seems like the perfect formula, so….why do I feel so….empty after reading it?
What I liked: I liked all three of the girls. They were all unique and I loved that they were able to take care of themselves. A lot of people are tired of the “Women going against society norms” trope, but I personally love it. I loved the quirkiness of the chapter titles. Chapter 10 3/4 in particular made me giggle, as well as some of the titles. It was refreshing. I liked how there were crushes and flirting, but no real romance. The main focus of the books relationships were between the girls, and between them and their bosses.
What I didn’t like: It was sometimes hard to remember what time period took place in. Kress often used modern slang or phrases, and it read more Victorian than Edwardian to me. Which is fine, due to the fact that the book takes place in 1900, and it was the last year of the Victorian era. But it just felt more…Jane Austin when it should have felt more early Downton Abbey. My biggest gripe about the book overall is that the story didn’t match the title. First, the girls spent the majority of the book trying to solve the mystery separately, they just ended up at the same place by chance. It happened a lot. Also, the idea for them becoming the titular Friday Society didn’t happen until the last few pages of the book, and there has been no word or indication that there will be a sequel, or if it will be a a series. For now, I’m going to assume it will always be a stand alone, and that is disappointing.
Would I reread it? I doubt it.
Would I purchase it?  I did purchase it. Twice. Once in hard cover, once as a nook book.
Would I recommend it? No. Simply because it doesn’t have a follow up book.
Love it or Leave it? a mix of both actually. I loved the story itself, but the ending and, again the lack of a sequel, leaves me without a sense of closure.

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Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All the Wrong Questions #1) By Lemony Snicket

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Title: Who Could That Be At This Hour?
Series: All The Wrong Questions
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published by: Little Brown
Release date: June 17th 2014
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Middle Grade
Format: Paperback
Why I read it: I read Snicket’s previous Series of Unfortunate Events books, and loved them.
What it’s About: A teen aged Snicket becomes the apprentice of S. Theodora Markson, and the two travel to a small semi abandoned town to steal an object of great value. While in the town of Stain’d by the Sea, Lemony meets a series of…..interesting people and gets swept up in a bigger mystery than he realized.
The Review: This series is supposed to be a prequel to Snicket’s Series of unfortunate events books. And I read somewhere (maybe goodreads, I’m not positive) that as the books progress characters that we met in SOUE will make cameos. That being said, you do not have to have read SOUE in order to read this series. Or at least not this book. It reads like a stand alone series.
What I liked: The silliness was just a fun as it was in SOUE, in fact that was pretty much the only indication that it was even remotely related to SOUE. The wacky characters were funny and irritating at the same time. The setting was just as wacky as the characters and, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be half as entertaining to read if it wasn’t. Also the time period is ambiguous as it is with SOUE, and it has a feel that it could be set anywhere. I like how Snicket never mentions a recognizable landmark like Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty. You as the reader can imagine it taking place in any country you wish. I Also like how it wasn’t like SOUE. In SOUE, you knew that it wasn’t going to end well. Bad things were supposed to happen to the  Baudelaire’s, but in this series, the outcome could be good or bad.
What I didn’t like: Like I said above, some characters were irritating. Like The Mitchum’s. I understand that they were supposed to be the useless police officers, but they really were very useless, and their arguing was just tiresome. And don’t get me started on their kid. he was a nightmare. And Prosper Lost for me just wasn’t a needed character at all. He didn’t add anything to the story, and just seemed like a filler character.  Another thing I didn’t like was that Snicket gives very little background information on himself. I know that it’s supposed to add to the mystery, but when he says things like ” I had an unusual education” I’d like to know more about this education myself.
Would I reread it? Most likely, yes.
Would I purchase it? I did purchase it, and no regrets about it.
Would I recommend it? I would if you loved SOUE. I’d love for my 8 year old nephew to read it, but I think he thinks too literally to get the silliness.
Love it or Leave it? Somewhere in the middle. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars.