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The Season Hardcover – March 1, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Regency London, Alexandra is about to embark on her first season of balls and dinners, and while nothing would steer her mother from the course of marrying off her only daughter, 17-year-old Alex is put off by men's seeming lack of interest in women with any amount of intelligence (Evidently, it scares eligible gentlemen off). Her opinions about romance change when she develops feelings for her brothers' friend Gavin, who is mourning the sudden death of his father (making Gavin the new earl of Blackmoor). Mac-Lean's debut is well paced, and as readers fill up on descriptions of dresses and society's rules, another plot line develops: Alex overhears a conversation proving that Gavin's father was murdered, and she puts her relationship, reputation and life in danger to help him. Readers will appreciate the clique lit/historical romance hybrid: headstrong Alex rolls her eyes and gossips with friends, but still knows the steps to the quadrille. Clever conversation in the spirit of Jane Austen makes this quite a page turner. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

MacLean’s debut plays with English high society: girls in swishy-satiny fabrics at balls; brooding, port-swilling boys; chaste but thrillingly clandestine kisses; and, oh yeah, a murder mystery. If this sounds like the makings of a Regency-romance primer for the middle-school set, that’s not far off. Alex, no blushing maiden, approaches her first “season,” when she is officially up for sale on the meat market, and balks at the idea of being married off to the highest bidder. But her mother insists that she marry well. It’s a good thing she begins to notice her brothers’ closest friend, Gavin, er, Lord Blackmoor. She notices his broad shoulders, gray eyes, and the knot in his cravat. She even notices his odd behavior around her, which obviously is nothing more than his worry that his father’s “accidental” death wasn’t all that accidental. Alex proceeds to do a lot more noticing en route to solving the mystery, as does Gavin. Bottom line: this is a good suggestion for readers looking for a PG version of a bodice ripper. Grades 7-10. --Courtney Jones
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545048869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545048866
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,374,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book. Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Megan Crewe on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sarah MacLean's THE SEASON has everything a reader could want--a strong, smart heroine who sticks to her guns and saves the day, a romance that will make even the most skeptical heart giddy, a suspenseful mystery that will keep you turning pages right to the end, and a vividly realized historical setting. The writing is a delight, full of humor and tension. I had so much fun with Alex and her friends, and I eagerly look forward to to rejoining them in the sequel (because there had better be one!). Highly recommended to all fans of historical fiction, romance, mystery, and fine stories in general!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Saundra Mitchell on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's About: Alex, Vivi and Ella are all set for their debut Season, but they're far from the poised, proper Regency ladies they're expected to become. Least of all, Alex, whose debut comes first, and somehow (perhaps because she just can't help but meddle) she ends up embroiled in the mystery of the Earl of Blackmoor's unexpected demise.

Even more unexpected, Alex finds herself falling for the new Earl of Blackmoor- a family friend she's known as Gavin all her life. Surrounded by a stable of over-protective brothers, and a society that demands nothing less than propriety, Alex is bound to have the most interesting Season yet.

MacLean has a gift for creating intricate settings- all the fine details that make up this regency world are beautifully drawn, but she never lapses into a place where the setting is more fascinating than the story. Each of her characters are handsomely drawn, from the spirited trio of girls that make up the centerpiece of the story, from the galloping hordes of Alex's brothers, to even the unnamed, but arched-browed ladies of the Ton.

I have to admit a particular fondness for secondary player, Freddie Stanhope- who swears to be a rake and womanizer of the worst sort, but whom I suspect (and I hope I will discover in future installments of this series,) is probably just a sweetheart, deep down inside.

Would I Give This Book to a Teen: The spirited young women in this novel play within the confines of the society in which they live, instead of shamelessly breaking them. Definitely a treat for young women who love Austen, historicals, and sweet romance.

Would I Give This Book to an Adult: Definitely to Regency fans, and to anyone with a taste for something satisfyingly romantic.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Deva Fagan on February 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a fan of Jane Austen, mysteries, and strong female characters, this book was the perfect thing for me to read curled up on a snowy day with a cup of tea. All too often I find romances in novels don't move me as I would wish, but I was completely enthralled by the complicated and conflicted relationships in The Season. It was also a very fun read-- I particularly enjoyed the scenes of Alex and her two best friends Vivi and Emma discussing all manner of subjects. I am very much looking forward to visiting with them again!
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43 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Peony on July 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The synopsis for this book was intriguing to me because it describes it as a thrilling murder mystery with romance for young adults all set in the Regency era. I haven't ever read a book described like this before, and it sounded really good, but it wasn't. What was disappointing about The Season was the ratio of romance to mystery. It was like a whole pie to a really tiny slice that your mom who is on a diet would order. I was waiting for the clues and the sleuthing but it never really came along until the last hundred pages and by then I was so exasperated I didn't care anymore.

I also found the characters flat. All Alex ever seems to talk/think/dream about is not getting married and not being chased by hotties and not I DON'T CARE ANYMORE I GET IT. Her best friends are pretty boring too, mainly because they're all the same and don't serve any purpose other than to agree with each other. "I hate marriage." "So do I." "Me three!" And not to mention Gavin (who is not `brooding' at all, book jacket), who is so obviously going to cure Alex's aversion to men that its sad.

Overall I would not recommend this book, because its not very good. If you want to read something with mystery and sweet, subtle romance and awesome BFFs, read Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Children's Book Reporter on October 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford (a.k.a. Alex) wants nothing to do with the demands of her first London Season in Regency England--in particular she wants nothing of what her mother sees as the primary point of the season: finding a husband. She is sure she will be bored to death by the countless young earls and dukes who care for nothing but her title and her good looks. However, the season turns out to be anything but boring as she faces some dangerous prospects: discovering a traitorous spy, solving a murder, and finding true love.
Sarah MacLean has a clear eye for unfolding both plot and a love story, and The Season was both exciting and romantic. It never felt completely true to the era--the language often seemed modern and the main characters' ideas and ideals at times seemed imposed upon them by a member of the modern world.
However, the intriguing plot and clear voice made the story quite enjoyable--and if you love lush descriptions of period dresses, you should read The Season at least once.
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