26 April 2016
Manners & Mutiny
Series: Finishing School #4
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
No, wait just a minute! This series is already over???? They were only in finishing school for what? Like two years? Come on now. While the Finishing School isn't going on my must read series list, I was looking forward to some more assassin training and Sophronia and gang getting into mischief at school. And now, suddenly, it is over. And it feels like it is all too soon.
Like its predecessor, very little of this novel takes place with the actual schooling (though the girl do learn to use a crossbow; what fun!). The plot between the Picklemen, the vampires, and the werewolves takes center stage to wrap up the series. I must profess, this saddens me a little. I never really got invested into the whole 'control the mechanicals, control the world' plot that carries through this series. I have always been more interested in the teenage assassins in training, and the wonderful prose that Carriger crafts in order to juxtapose the two different types of finishing they are learning in their school.
Also, thankfully, there is a lot less of the love triangle playing a role in the final installment, since the prick showed his true hand in the last installment. I still found the romance with Soap, however, leaving something to be desired. I think the issue steams from the fact that Sophronia is too proper and inexperienced to flirt convincingly. So when she does interact romantically with boys, it feels out of character and forced, which I think is why the love triangle irked me all along. I never felt any chemistry between them, though I do like the fact that Carriger pushes for love through diversity instead of picking the wealthy, handsome punk. Though I will also say that inter-species dating grosses me out.
Overall, I still think the series failed to live up to the potential it could have had. Sophronia is such a sassy and independent character; a nice change of pace when it comes to YA heroines. And Carriger's writing style is unique and clever. If only the plots for the stories could have been a little more interesting to leave a lasting impression once the series ended.