What: The Girl In The Steel Corset
When: May 24th, 2011
Where: Harlequin Teen
How: For Review (BEA)
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch...
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help-and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her.
So I loved the plot. I love Steampunk because the entire idea of placing technology in a Victorian setting is the best of both worlds in the most awesome way. Finley's world has both corsets and automatons which is always fun. I loved seeing as her and the rest of the team banded together to solve everything that was going on with the Machinist while simultaneously trying to trust each other (particularly them learning to trust Finley). Something I didn't like about the plot was the fact that around the middle the book gets so, so slow. I mean, I seriously considered just skipping to the end at one point. But then it picks up again and i'm thrown into another clue and adventure and crazy theory.
I loved all the characters! They were well-rounded and felt real to me. Neither was just funny and just frustrating, everyone was both! Emily was a total sweetheart and my second favorite character. She was a total genius and I admired her a lot for that! I loved to hate Sam, because of his pig headed stubbornness and general douche-bag air about him. Griffin was lovely and sweet and forever logical, even though his sometimes hesitant nature made me want to pull my hair out. Jasper the American Cowboy was AWESOME and funny and flirty and I adored him.
Finley was fierce! It was so intriguing to read about her fighting the two sides of herself: one dark and violent, the other lady-like and timid and also watching them mesh together to form everything that was her. She was strong, confident, and way ahead of her time! Haha. And then we get to my deliciously multi-layered favorite character: Jack Dandy. Resident notorious crime lord and charming heartthrob. He was a bad boy in every way a man can't be one. Does that make sense? Let me explain:
He had a reputation. A bad one, obviously. But he was also a gentlemen and never a douche-bag, always willing to help Finley and be concerned about her regardless of whether or not she actually returned away of his feelings. And that is frigging amazing. But while he was my favorite character, Griffin was who I wanted Finley with most of all! They were so sweet together.
Probably my only other complaint: it kind of leaves you hanging, particularly with Finley's romantic relationships. You're like: alright, 400 pages and there's no real decision? Nada? Thank god there's a sequel. Because that ending? WHAAA?