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Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School) Hardcover – November 5, 2013

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Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School) + Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School) + Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Series: Finishing School (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031619011X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316190114
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Six months ago, Sophronia was a covert recruit in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy (Etiquette & Espionage, 2013). Now she’s earning top marks in such areas as “tea and delusions” and “portion allotment, puddings, and preemptive poisonings.” While her etiquette—ahem—still needs work, her naturally curious and calculating mind is so adept at espionage that even the teachers are wary of her. So when the floating school journeys to London to witness a technological breakthrough—travel through the aetherosphere made possible by a new guidance valve—Sophronia suspects that this is more than just a field trip. While the other girls plan shopping trips and parties, Sophronia uncovers a conspiracy to control the patent and production of the valve, which every faction has a stake in. Carriger’s second steampunk adventure exceeds the first with its (slightly) more plot-driven story, but the fun, again, is in watching ever-practical Sophronia sneak and scheme her way into sometimes dangerous, sometimes riotously funny, situations—and even learn a few sobering lessons about consequences along the way. New characters, including a pesky lord enamored of Sophronia, round out an already quirky but lovable group of friends/collaborators. We repeat: This witty, lighthearted series is not to be missed. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The short nine-month span between first and second volumes says much about the publisher’s eagerness to capitalize on the heat. Fans won’t have a second to breathe. Grades 8-11. --Krista Hutley


Praise for Curtsies & Conspiracies:

* "Carriger's second steampunk adventure exceeds the first... the fun, again, is in watching ever-practical Sophronia sneak and scheme her way into sometimes dangerous, sometimes riotously funny, situations.... We repeat: This witty, light-hearted series is not to be missed."

Booklist (starred review)

* "Teenage and adult fans alike will rejoice that Carriger retains her flair for musical prose, over-the-top names, clever wit, and strange yet helpful mechanical devices of all kinds. Carriger's blend of comically exaggerated characters and madcap action will easily win over readers once again."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

* "[A] world of manners, steampunk, and the supernatural. [Carriger] again manages to blend the rules of etiquette with inventions and creatures effortlessly, creating a diverse world of wonder."—VOYA (starred review)

"The language is every bit as delightful as in Sophronia's first adventure... even in this weightier tale."—Kirkus Reviews

"[Carriger] jumps right into the thick of the action, developing a fast-paced plot that is sure to keep readers' attention...this is a must-have purchase."—School Library Journal

"The strength, wit, charisma, and sheer likeability of Sophronia is a refreshing and welcome change from the typical protagonist of today's young adult novels...Teenage girls will laugh, cheer, and empathize as the girls at the academy experience all of the same emotions they do, but in a Victorian steampunk fashion."—Library Media Connection

Praise for the New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage:
An ALSC Notable Book for Children
A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
A Horn Book Summer Reading List Selection

* "Carriger's YA debut brings her mix of Victorian paranormal steampunk and winning heroines to a whole new audience...with cleverly Victorian methods of espionage, witty banter, lighthearted silliness, and a ship full of intriguingly quirky people."
Booklist (starred review)

* "Carriger deploys laugh-out-loud bon mots on nearly every page...Amid all the fun, the author works in commentary on race and class in a sparkling start to the Finishing School series."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

* "[A] delightfully madcap espionage adventure..."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

* "Carriger's leading lady is a strong, independent role model for female readers... Ladies and gentlemen of propriety are combined with dirigibles, robots, werewolves, and vampires, making this story a steampunkmystery and an adventure mash-up that is sure to intrigue readers..."
School Library Journal (starred review)

"Blending intrigue and elements of the school story, Carriger introduces teen readers to a supernatural-meets-steampunk world full of action and wit."
Horn Book

"If spunky Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey happened onto a steampunk set, she might look a lot like Sophronia Angelina Temminnick."

Related Media

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend to any fans of Gail Carriger.
Jennifer Bush
A ladies finishing school that teaches the young women how to be spies!
Shannon Scollard
Great writing, very funny and great character and world development.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Believer on February 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
"Curtsies & Conspiracies" is the second book in Gail Carriger's young adult "Finishing School " series that weaves the fashion and etiquette of Victorian England into mystery and adventure aboard a dirigible school for young ladies learning the art of espionage.

In this story Sophronia Temminnick has just completed her first six months of training and is being ostracized by her schoolmates because of her exceptionally high marks. Undaunted, she prowls the airship at night, listening in on teachers' conversations and spending time with Vieve, Soap and the sooties in the boiler room. What she learns is that a trip is being planned to London and that boys from Bunson and Lacroix's Boys Polytechnique will be travelling with them. Her curiosity aroused she uncovers clues to a plot to kidnap two of the students, and a conspiracy that involves supernaturals and humans. In this comedy of manners and espionage Sophronia begins to hone her skills as a rooky intelligencer, and finds herself lured into a love triangle.

The well-written plot set in a steampunk setting is filled with twists and turns as Sophronia grapples with a plan to stop a conspiracy that endangers not only her best friend and her brother, but the welfare of her country. As events progress our heroine is not only troubled by the paranormals and humans that invade her life with all their idiosyncrasies , but she's mesmerized by technology and inventions ; the guidance valve, hurlie, obstructor and sputter-skates that fascinate the reader as well. As the tension mounts and the action escalates Sophronia struggles not only with the forces that endanger her life but with her heart as it drifts between two boys from different classes and an unwelcome attraction to a vampire.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tiana Smith on April 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoyed reading this one, but like the first, I was still mildly confused at times. I don't know if it would help were I to read her adult books that take place in this world, but I'm going off what I've got. There's just a lot to keep track of. For example, you have werewolves, vampires, picklemen, the government, the shadow council, the boys school for evil geniuses and the girl's schools for espionage. Those are all the groups or factions involved. Plus, you have steampunk world building, paranormal, and an altered historical type setting. Every group has their own agenda and history, so I got a bit lost.

That said, these books are fast and fun to read. I think Soap is my favorite character and I can't wait to know his full story and background. He's obviously more than he makes himself seem, so I'm surprised Sophronia hasn't figured that out yet.

While inappropriate for younger readers, the description of male genitalia made me laugh - the rest of the book is clean for younger readers though. It's really just that one paragraph that made it obvious she's more used to writing for adults.

I'm excited to pick up the next one to see where she takes this series. Though, I wish I had read this on Kindle rather than hardback - she has a wide vocabulary and I didn't know some of the words - which is definitely unusual for me!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kat Hooper VINE VOICE on March 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature:

Such games we play…. As if I didn’t have to hedge and speak in code most of the time, I must now do it as part of regular social interactions. No wonder Mademoiselle Geraldine’s has such success training the female aristocracy to be intelligencers. It’s most of our life already. ~Miss Sophronia Temminnick

The intrepid girls of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality have returned in another completely charming YA adventure! After having possibly saved the world quite recently, the girls are back in school learning how to dance, do household accounting, speak demurely, faint properly, flutter their eyelashes, and assassinate people at the dinner table. Sophronia, our protagonist, isn’t quite sure why she’s learning these things or who she’ll be working for — all she knows is that she’s having fun and she does not want to be sent home.

That is, until she makes the highest grade on the exam and invokes the jealousy of her classmates. Now she’s being ostracized, even by her best friend Dimity. What makes it worse is that Sophronia suspects there are evil plots and conspiracies afoot — they involve the werewolves and vampires and the first transcontinental airship flight through the ether. Oh, and of course, the mysterious “prototype.” While her friends aren’t talking to her, it seems that Sophronia will have to save the world without their aid. Fortunately, she has an arsenal of new skills, and she can always get some help from the sooties in the boiler room.

As was its predecessor (Etiquette & Espionage), this second book in Gail Carriger’s FINISHING SCHOOL series is a fun blend of steampunk, mannerpunk, and paranormal fantasy aimed at young adults but certain to be enjoyed by any age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By heather on February 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Just like the first book, I didn't want this one to end. I savored this book, the characters, language, humor, it's been awhile since I thoroughly enjoyed a story. It's definitely a school that I would want to attend. I know it's two different genres, but it would be hard to pick between Miss Geraldine's and Hogwarts.
I almost want to say that I liked this book even more that the first. The conspiracy wasn't as hard to follow as the 1st. And having the boys around increased the humor and wit.
I so hope that there is a 3rd book, can't wait!
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More About the Author

New York Times Bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She survived her early years by reading most of her local library and memorizing Greek battles. Eventually, she escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. In pursuit of further finishing, Ms. Carriger traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London.

The Parasol Protectorate books are: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless & Timeless. Soulless won the ALA's Alex Award. There are manga versions of the first three books all called Soulless (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 & Vol. 3). All the books were NYT bestsellers. The Custard Protocol spin off series, which begins with Prudence, releases in March 2015. Her young adult Finishing School series includes Etiquette & Espionage (debuted at #9 on NYT), Curtsies & Conspiracies (NYT #5) and Waistcoats & Weaponry. With the final volume, Manners & Mutiny, releases Nov. 2015.

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