Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (Book 1 in the Finishing School Series)
YP FIC CARRIGER
Sophronia Temminnick (age 14) is incorrigible, or at least her mother and most of her family think so. She likes to climb things, such as people, trees, and dumb waiters. She is also very forward in her ways (doing things that are "not done" by "proper young ladies") So when her mother learns about Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, she decides to send Sophronia there. Unfortunately for her mother (and very fortunately for Sophronia), this is not exactly the kind of finishing school that her mother thinks it is. An attack on the group on the way to school is the first clue. The mention of a "prototype" carried by the woman who came to get her is the second. The werewolf that gets them on board the giant derrigible, which is the school, is the third. What Sophronia does not expect is to fit in so well to her new school so well, or to make some good friends along the way. Will her new skills, new friends, and incorrigible nature help get her through her first year in finishing school, get her hands on the "prototype," and foil the schemes of resident mean-girl Monique?
Having read Gail Carriger's Soulless, I had high expectations for Etiquette & Espionage, and I was not disappointed. Sophronia is a lot younger than Alexia, but still has the same independent and capable nature. Carriger always impresses me with her witty dialogue, and she can write a simple phrase that just has me rolling with laughter. This a very fun read, and I highly recommend it.
Written in the same world as her Parasol Protectorate series (set 25 years earlier), Gail Carriger takes a YA look into Victorian England and Steampunk, along with series like The Steampunk Chronicles Series by Kady Cross (The Girl in the Steel Corset, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, The Girl With the Iron Touch), The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess), The Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan, Behemoth, and Goliath), and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volumes 1 and 2 (the graphic novels) by Alan Moore.
The second book in the series, Curtsies & Conspiracies was recently released and can be found in the New YP book section.
If you are interested in more Steampunk, check out the Steampunk display next to the catalog computers.