#FinishingRA: Read Along Update #2 on Curtsies and Conspiracies


We are half way through the FINISHING SCHOOL READ-ALONG hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings and I (Dena @ Batch of Books)! There is still plenty of time to join if you haven’t done so yet. The linky is at the bottom of this post and you can go to the official sign-up here. You don’t need to be a blogger to join, you just need someplace online that’s public to post updates for the linky, or just leave a comment on either of our blogs.

This week we read chapters 9-epilogue of Curtsies and Conspiracies.  The second half of the book was even better than the first!  I loved the way everything wrapped up.

Curtsies and Conspiracies:

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won’t Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this bestselling sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail’s distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

My Thoughts on the Second Half:

My thoughts about the characters
We learn a lot about the characters in the second half, especially Vieve, Sophronia, and Sidheag.  Motivations, flaws, and consciences play a big part.  Of course, I still love Soap, Felix, and Dimity.  I must admit, I was glad the way Monique’s part wrapped up.

My thoughts about the plot
Now that I’ve finished the book, I’ve noticed that the plot was very similar to the first book, but it threw enough curve balls that I was engaged and surprised the whole way through.  I liked this book even better than the first one!

My least favorite part, so far (if any)
The Vieve moments no longer confused me, but there is one scene where Sophronia witnesses the terrible consequences of some choices she made.  I had a hard time reading that part, mostly because I felt worried for her and the other people involved.

My favorite part so far
My favorite scene in the book is at the very end, when Sophronia and Sidheag race to the rescue of their friends.  The chaos that ensues was hilarious and I laughed out loud when Bumbersnoot played his part in the whole thing.

Favorite quotes

Dimity sighed. “I should tell Lord Felix Mersey that the way to your heart is paved with infiltration apparatus.”
Sophronia pretended horror. “Don’t you dare! I like watching him struggle.  He’s so handsome when he’s flustered.” (65%)

Monique was all tall blonde elegance, with Preshea the velvet night to her moon. Blast it, thought Sophronia, they look so good I’m coming over poetic.  How humiliating. (81%)

“I will not be used as some boyish excuse for rebellion.”
“You see what I mean? Difficult! I like it.”
“You’re a loon.”
“And you’re a silver swan sailing on liquid dreams.” (83%)

Predictions for the Waistcoats and Weaponry?
I think that things are going to progress somehow with the Picklemen and vampires.  I also think that Sophronia is going to get in deeper with a certain vampire or two.  She may also have to start making a choice between two young men that both seem smitten with her. 

Final thoughts
Even though I had a hard time reading about Sophronia’s Big Regret, I liked that part because it shows her character.  It makes her human and shows how insensitive (or sensitive) she and her classmates could be.  It was an interesting point in the book because a lot of secrets come out and a lot of character traits are revealed.

I was also really happy with the way things ended.  It really couldn’t have been a better ending.  Now I can’t wait to start the third book so I can see where the story is going next!

Who are the bad guys (if any)?  Or are they all bad guys?  This is one of Sophronia’s big questions, but it’s definitely one of mine, too.  I’m horribly curious about the Picklemen, the supernaturals, Madame Geraldine’s, and what they all want from each other.  I also wonder how the Queen of England plays into this.  She’s mentioned a few times, but she’s been kept pretty mysterious the entire time.

Your turn!  What do you think of the book?  Do you have questions for the author?  If you do, post them in a comment!

Want to join the read-along? You can participate and much or as little as you want. Just add yourself to the linky and you’re good to go!  We’ll be posting  another update next Friday for the first half of Waistcoats and Weaponry.

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  • Reply
    November 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I loved Curtsies & Conspiracies even more than the first book 🙂 It's neat how the plot looks like it's going to tie back into her Parasol Protectorate series. I'm curious though to see how she'll finish, or maybe she won't finish at all. Sophronia seems more torn about what she has to do at the school than the other students, but maybe it's a result of her being a covert recruit, as opposed to the others who've lived with this for most of their lives. I'm also curious as to what Agatha's secret is (she seems to have one) and how Lord Akeldama plays into the plot.

    • Reply
      November 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      I haven't read the Parasol Protectorate series, but one of my friends told me these books do tie into those a little bit. At least there is some crossover with characters and such. I am also curious about Agatha's secret!

  • Reply
    Tressa S
    November 17, 2014 at 5:41 am

    I loved this one more too. And all those quotes!! Favorites as well – that first one especially! Seriously cannot get enough of this series right now. Chat again soon… 😉

    • Reply
      November 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      I almost wish I would have waited for the fourth book to come out before I read them so I didn't have to wait for the next one!

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