Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Hyperion Book CH (January 22, 2013) pages
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I don't think you can hear about this book without hearing the whole "Gossip Girl Meets Downtown Abbey" comparison. While I haven't watched either show, the "Gossip Girl" part was almost enough to keep me away, but the "Downtown Abbey" part intrigued me enough to give it a chance. I generally adore books with the rich/poor theme. While I read a great deal of Christian historical fiction, I rarely venture into the secular YA historical world. This book was actually very similar, except with a *bit* more scandal than I typically encounter in Christian fiction, and of course, there wasn't the Christian aspect.
At first, I was a little overwhelmed. There are a great deal of characters introduced pretty quickly, and I was a little confused with some of them initially. I'd say the main characters are Lady Ada and Rose. We are let in on a secret between the two of them early in the story, but they remain in the dark. Lady Ada loses her virginity to a stranger(in the prologue)on her way home from India. She is left sorting through her feelings throughout the story as this boy re-enters her life upon arriving home. She soon meets her father's new wife, along her children, discovering that it's not possible to please everyone. Rose dreams of being a composer, but doesn't want to "put on airs". She is only a servant girl, after all. She soon becomes Lady Ada's ladies' maid, and enters a whole new world of living.
There's so much to like AND dislike about this book! Besides the huge amount of characters that are introduced in a small amount of time, there also the odd writing arrangement. I did read an e-ARC, so I don't know if it's different in the final copy, but one paragraph will be about one character and conversation. No warning, the next paragraph is a completely different conversation! I found myself confused often due to this, and did a good bit of re-reading in an attempt to figure out who I was reading about. I also found it a little slow at times.
I did enjoy the upstairs/downstairs storyline, though! It's always fun to get a good look at both sides. I hate to admit how long it took me to "get" the title. Despite my complaints above, I DO enjoy the author's writing style(for the most part), and I'm looking forward to seeing what she pens in the future.
Content: There is some mild profanity....Da** and Bas****. God's name is used in vain...Good G**, My G**, etc. There is a few homosexual characters that may bother some of you. As I mentioned earlier, one character does lose her virginity early on. There are no details! Despite some scandalous activities, everything is written pretty tastefully, in my opinion.
*I was provided an e-ARC through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.