Reviews on our favorite and newest teen and tween books!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Robot Stole My Hairbrush

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1) by Kady Cross
Genre: YA Steampunk
Published: May 2011

It may be 1897, but Finley Jayne is no Victorian miss. At sixteen, she has more to deal with than the average teenager. With her inability to hold down a job and a seriously dark alter ego that comes out unbidden whenever she’s threatened, Finley doesn’t know if she is insane or what. So when her employer, known for making untoward advances to his maids, crosses the line, Finley gladly puts him in his place. Which happens to be on the floor, unconscious, with a broken nose. Afraid she’ll be sent to Bedlam, Finley makes a run for it…right into the pathway of a velocycle.

Taking in a stranger wasn’t exactly what Griffin King, Duke of Greythorne, had in mind. But when you hit a girl with your steam-powered bike, you can’t exactly leave her lying in the road. Sadly, Grif has bigger problems to deal with - namely catching ‘the Machinist’ who nearly killed his friend and is responsible for a slew of seemingly random crimes across London. However, with a penchant for taking in strays (Emily – the brilliant inventor, Sam – the protector, and Jasper – an American cowboy), Griffin decides to help Finley learn how to control her other self.

I received this book as an ARC to review from NetGalley, and I have to say, this is my favorite YA steampunk novel to date. Finley’s Jekyll/Hyde personality really brought the book to life. The story was told from alternating perspectives (which I usually can’t stand), but Kady Cross made the transitions so smooth that you didn’t even notice. By writing in this way, the characters become so much more 3-D than if it was solely written from Finley’s perspective. The only (small!) problem I had with the book was that there wasn’t much focus on setting. I knew they were in London, but beyond that the description was fairly basic. Nevertheless, this book is fantastic and a wonderful debut for Kady Cross.

For those of you who haven’t read steampunk before, this is definitely a great book to start with. Steampunk is alternative history science fiction set in Victorian times. Kady Cross’s website says it best “History, Twisted.” The gadgets are cool, the heroes/heroines have attitude, and the clothes are awesome. If you like Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices or Frank Beddor’s Looking Glass Wars, you will love The Girl in the Steel Corset.

Check out this awesome book trailer put together by Harlequin:

Posted by Ashley D.

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