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A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes Novel) Paperback – January 3, 2017
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—What if Sherlock Holmes's great-great-great-granddaughter went to boarding school with Dr. Watson's great-great-great-grandson? They might strike up a friendship as sophomores. Charlotte Holmes and James Watson do, at the money-conscious Sherringford, a prep school in Connecticut. Holmes (as she is known) has an analytical, antisocial bent and a bit of a drug problem. Watson, who narrates, has a short fuse and quickly becomes a suspect in a date rapist's murder. Together they begin an investigation, putting their inductive and deductive skills to the test. A familiarity with classic Arthur Conan Doyle tales is helpful, though most references are explained in the story. Both Holmes and Watson are prickly teenagers in a plot that includes poison, explosions, Moriarty's descendant, and a deadly virus. The case wraps up neatly, with the indication that Holmes and Watson will team up again in the near future. This novel presents a dark view of boarding school, with some drinking and other risqué behavior. Suggest to fans of Maggie Stiefvater's "Raven Cycle" series (Scholastic). Slightly younger readers might try Colleen Gleason's "Stoker and Holmes" series (Chronicle), featuring Holmes's niece and Bram Stoker's sister. VERDICT An additional selection for most school libraries.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“A thrilling twist on a classic. Readers will be pulled in by both the riveting mystery and Charlotte Holmes, a brilliant heroine with secrets of her own.” (Maureen Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of the Shades of London series)
“Cavallaro’s crackling dialogue, well-drawn characters, and complicated relationships make this feel like a seamless and sharp renewal of Doyle’s series. An explosive mystery featuring a dynamic duo.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred))
“Debut author Cavallaro brings Arthur Conan Doyle’s sleuths (or their distant relatives, anyway) into the 21st century, casting Holmes as a brilliant young woman and Watson, who narrates, as her admirer and accomplice...An involving murder mystery, and a promising start to a planned trilogy.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Fans of television’s Elementary and Sherlock will avidly devour this book...a joyous excuse to watch one of the literary world’s most beloved pairings come together.” (Booklist)
Top customer reviews
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It was interesting, but as another reviewer has said, there are just some elements of the story that I didn't like.
I was down for the teen descendants (if they were real people) meet-up thing, but to be quite blunt - all of the Holmes family seems very dislikable. Sherlock Holmes was prickly and not particularly personable, but not the same vibe for me. I didn't really have an issue with Watson being attracted to Holmes, but that's because they are different people than the originals.
There is a lot of reference to drug use (yes, Holmes had an issue) by teens - especially Charlotte. There's also allusion to one character drugging a female character so he can rape her (no details). Plenty of strong language and teenage rebellion, so I can see where parents might have some concerns.
I liked the whole part where the mysteries were taken out of Holmes' stories, but as Charlotte Holmes herself says, that was the only interesting thing.
There's also a somewhat distracting subplot with Watson and his father having issues.
Bottom line: I don't regret buying it or reading it, but I'll skip the rest of the series..
Firstly, I absolutely loved how "Sherlock-like" Charlotte is portrayed. She is twisty, damaged, brilliant mini-version of his, represented in the 16-year old girl's body, all the way to small details and bad habits. Definitely, not your typical young adult heroine, and I loved her all the more for that. I'm still not sure what exactly made Jamie Watson be so drawn in to her (a kind of moth to the light effect, I suppose), but the good part is that Jamie doesn't really know either. The relationship between characters are complicated, deep and are being questioned by both parties all the time, hence it gives it much more credibility, without making a reader consistently ask "Why the hell are they even talking to each other?". Truth is, they both aren't sure themselves. I really appreciated this dark. thought-provoking portrayal of main heroes in the book - it's definitely engaging and makes you contemplate while reading.
What I appreciated even more, is that this whole Charlotte/Jamie "thing" didn't take over the mystery itself, and the events unfold at the very fast pace. Murder-solving is definitely very involved, and I was holding my breath while reading to see what happens next. Needless to say, the climax was fabulously deviant and tied up rather nicely. Definitely, job well done here!
I've noticed that, for the most part, people either really do or really don't want to read anything that has connection to Sherlock Holmes (there is rarely a gray area), so being a fan of everything Sherlock-related, I highly recommend this YA mystery to all those from former category. It's a quick, gloom-themed pleasure that will remind you why Arthur Conan Doyle was a genius, and why you keep reading everything that has to do with a character he created many decades ago.
This book definitely kept me enthralled and invested in these characters and their quest. The writing in this book was really well done and there were a lot of great witty phrases. For me the best part of the writing was the dialogue. It was so well done and made the story.
The only real issue I had with this book was the pop culture references. I only mind them because it dates the book and makes it relevant now, but potentially not in the future. However, I cannot wait to read more from these characters and see what Jamie and Charlotte get up to next, I believe this is a trilogy and I'm already eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Completely, unrelated but the epilogue to this book is spot on. It really tied the entire story together and made it that much better.