Author: Sarah MacLean
Publisher: Orchard Books
"Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford doesn't fit into the world of Regency London - she's strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and she absolutely loathes dress fittings. Unfortunately, her mother has been waiting for years for Alex to be old enough to take part in the social whirlwind of a London season so she can be married off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance.
Between sumptuous balls, lavish dinner parties, and country weekends, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. When the Earl of Blackmoor is killed in a puzzling accident, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover espionage, murder, and suspicion. As she and Gavin grow closer, will Alex''s heart be stolen in the process?
Romance and danger fill the air, as this year's season begins!"
For me, this book was the perfect historical fiction book for teens. I mean, it's got it all, really... balls, boys, gowns, love, murder, and more. The story takes place in London at the start of Alex's first season. I almost immediately loved the character of Alex - being so intellectual and not fitting in to her society. And the characters of her brothers and her best friends keep the book lively and fun. They do all seem a bit more modern than their set time period indicates, but that will keep readers interested.
I'm definitely recommending this book to teens who love historical fiction. It's a fun story with plenty of intrigue. Older readers might find the one-story-line thing a bit irritating. I was waiting for one of the friends or brothers to have some sort of love interest or issue or something... but it never happened. The one story you DO get is great, don't get me wrong. I was just wanting a little more meat in the background. I do have to say that the romance in this book is enough to make any girl swoon :). Great for any romance lovers!
Also, I paused at the several mentions of gothic literature - like Pride and Prejudice. It made me look up to see when it was published to make sure they could have read it in that time period... which is cutting it a little close, by the way. So, I dunno if all the logistics are right, but it will certainly appeal to teens (and possibly get them interested in other historical stuff).