Saturday, August 6, 2016

Book Review: A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

A School for Unusual Girls
Author: Kathleen Balwin
Series: Stranje House (Book 1)
Publication: Tor Teen; Reprint edition (May 3, 2016)

Description: A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure "completely original and totally engrossing."

It's 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England's dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don't fit high society's constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies-plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father's stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible-until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads-or their hearts....

My Thoughts: Georgiana Fitzwilliam is a disgrace to her family. Her interest in science and scientific experiments does not endear her to her parents. When an attempt to create an invisible ink leads to burning down the stables and half of a neighbor's orchard, her parents decide to take her to Stranje House which is a school for incorrigible society girls.

Georgie's first view of the torture chamber is enough to make her want to run away. Unfortunately, she has nowhere to go. When she meets the other girls - Tess, Jane, Sera and Maya - she becomes suspicious about what is going on at the school. Attempting to escape through secret passages leads her to meet Lord Sebastien Wyatt who first rescues her and then annoys her. Lord Wyatt says that he is a diplomat though Georgie insists that he is spy.

Discovering that Miss Stranje has set up a stillroom for her scientific experiments and that her invisible ink is a crucial part of keeping Napoleon from escaping his exile at Elba and rekindling the war on the Continent. This story if filled with adventure and romance too. Despite warnings by older people, Georgie and Sebastien fall in love.

Sebastien is kidnapped and held in Calais until Georgie agrees to give a Napoleon sympathizer the formula for the invisible ink. Miss Stranje, Georgie and the other girls need to rescue rescue him which requires all their various skills.

This was a first person story told by Georgie about a young woman who isn't appreciated for her talents until she finds a place with other unusual girls. I enjoyed it very much.

Favorite Quote:
Instead of breaking my ribs against the sharp-edged chest and plummeting to the floor, I felt myself whisked sideways, swooped away from the furniture. An angel must have saved me. Or perhaps I had died and flown directly into heaven?

Unlikely, on several counts.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.


  1. Sounds fun. I think I'll give it a go. A like a strong female protagonist, especially one who strives against typecasting.

  2. I liked this one though I thought it took Georgie too long to cotton on to what was going on at Stranje House. I liked the sequel even more.


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