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Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl Paperback – March 17, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Set during Louis XIV's reign in France, this steampunk tale features headstrong 16-year-old Lady Marguerite. A daughter of nobility, she is paraded around to prospective noble husbands. However, Marguerite's heart belongs to Claude, a smithy on her father's land. Claude breaks Marguerite's heart when he reveals he is leaving for a new life in New France (Canada). Her future appears even bleaker when given the choice between a forced marriage or boarding school for difficult ladies. Marguerite decides to run away to New France, find Claude, and convince him to marry her. She books herself and her best friend passage on the dashing Captain Laviolette's ship carrying single women to Montreal in search of husbands. When the ship is invaded by pirates, the heroine follows her instincts to fight back and help Laviolette save lives, if not the ship. Arrival in New France involves more heartache and disappointment, leaving her to find her own path and open her heart to new love. Marguerite's unconventional interests and independent spirit balance her stereotypical pining and running after "true love." Older teens may feel unsatisfied with the surface-level relationships, but the action will keep younger and reluctant readers turning the pages. Marguerite's ability to overcome loss and surmount obstacles while staying true to her nature creates a heroine worth admiring. VERDICT Readers new to steampunk will enjoy Statham's gear and steam-infused adventure.—Carrie Fox, South Park High School, PA
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I found Marguerite to be a really bratty and entitled. My first thought was, "Oh my god, I'm old and now I can't relate to YA characters anymore! :( ahhh!!" But once I finished this novel, I realized the character was a bit too immature. Marguerite was a little too dramatic, "poor little rich girl" for me that I think I just couldn't sympathize with her plight that much. I mean it sucked that her dad just wanted to sell her off to a rich husband, but I found her comments about the other girls on the Aership being "common" to be really judgmental. I did feel bad that no of them liked her and were super mean to her, but at the same time I couldn't really blame them.
I did really like the Victorian-era setting that was complete with the typical steampunk elements. I loved the bots and Marguerite's female-bot Outil. Honestly, I felt like she had more of a rounded personality than her owner. The Aerships and the mechanisms of those were really interesting, but you don't really get a feel for that until mid-way through the book. Once we did get to that point, that was where I think Marguerite started to shine, and she did win me over a bit. There is a huge battle on the Aership, and Marguerite is the one that gets everyone to safety. So at the end of this novel, I felt like she had redeemed herself a bit.
This series definitely has potential, I just want the character to not be so bratty and entitled to everything. That was my biggest pet peeve about the novel. If you are interested in steampunk, I would suggest you try it for the world building alone.
Happy Reads Everyone!
This is one to reread!
Descriptions in the narrative were clear, clever and intriguing.