Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger

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The Finishing School series, by Gail Carriger, is set in the same world as her previous series, the Parasol Protectorate. The first two books are Etiquette and Espionage, and Curtsies and Conspiracies. The Finishing School Series has been adopted as Teen Fiction but will be enjoyed by anyone who loves to read paranormal fiction.

The heroine of the series is Sophronia Temminnick, a 14 year old girl whose mother wants very badly for her to go to finishing school and learn to become a young debutante and lady of society. Sophronia, however, would much prefer her usual activities : spying on people, climbing the dumb waiter shaft, playing with newfangled inventions…When the headmistress for a finishing school appears with the intention of taking Sophronia away with her, the young woman has very mixed feelings. But Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is not quite what it seems…The school is actually a training academy for espionage operatives-just for young ladies of course, the boys have their own school.

Sophronia has finally found her calling in life, but there are some mysteries aboard the floating school that she cannot resist sorting out for herself-especially in this new world where she is surrounded by paranormal beings. These novels are very fun, and the audiobooks are really enjoyable too.

 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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Two women decided to risk their lives to serve Great Britain in effort to end World War II. One is a pilot, the other is an agent specializing in espionage. Proving themselves in a man’s world is the least of the problems these ladies face: one night, during a mission, the plane is shot down and the women are separated beyond enemy lines. One of them is brought into SS custody and placed in a makeshift prison to be tortured for information and held until she can be “dealt with”. The other goes into hiding with a solid plan : find her friend, rescue her, and get the hell out of France.

The situation is very, very dire…But the operation is not hopeless. These amazing women cannot be stopped, and the power of friendship is an impenetrable force. Secret codes, secret operations, espionage, targeting rogue enemy operators, and the strength of two remarkable women fill the pages of Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein.

If you liked reading The Hunger Games trilogy, you are likely to enjoy this novel. Reality is harsh, but inner strength and the power of love drive the heroines through the wreckage. If you can’t handle some allusion to POW torture techniques, however, I recommend you avoid this one. Code Name Verity is considered a Teen novel, but is very adult in nature. If you love espionage, especially with strong heroines, you won’t want to miss this one.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

High school romance…Sigh. We remember it well. Min Green and Ed Slaterton are an unlikely match-she’s a film enthusiast who plans to be a director someday and he is a basketball star. They have different crowds, different passtimes, different worlds. But one day Ed crashes her best friend’s birthday party and they find themselves exchanging phone numbers while his buddy pukes in the bushes. And the romance begins…

Like a modern day Romeo and Juliet, forces are set to drive the couple apart and they struggle against them to be together. However, when the novel begins, you know already that they have broken up. You just have to find out why-and Min tells the story in the form of a letter, in which she describes every item in her box of “Ed” memorabilia, collected in the duration of their relationship, and finally left on his doorstep.

Written for teens, this novel will take adult readers back to their own memories of high school-the sporting events, the dances, the jealousy, and the struggle towards adulthood with issues like love and sex sprinkled in to complicate matters. The easy language makes the audiobook, put out by Hachette Audio, an excellent choice for working out, driving, cleaning, you name it. The book is also available on Amazon, where it was named one of the Best Books of January 2012 by readers, so get your copy today!

Also, a website called The Why We Broke Up Project has been put up, where readers can post their own breakup stories for all to read-some of which can be quite entertaining!  Check it out for yourself and post your own high school breakup story.