Title: The Friday Society
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.