Review: A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

A School for Unusual Girls
Kathleen Baldwin
Tor Teen: 2015
Paperback, 334 pages



It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And at Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, five young ladies are secretly being trained for a 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 into 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…



What a fun and different sort of YA novel to come out. I loved that it was set during the 19th century and that our characters are not the usual 19th century girls. Don’t misunderstand me – I love those novels too like A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray and The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. But in A School for Unusual Girls, we have these unusual girls – girls who don’t fit into society. And unlike other novels where these beautiful but unique girls find ways to love and happiness as they survive in the society, our girls here at Stranje House are being trained as spies. If that isn’t intriguing and completely new, please feel free to recommend me other novels that take this unexpected turn.

I loved the slight humour and big adventures of Georgie and her new friends. And Kathleen Baldwin plays a bit with the history at the time – considering how the world as we know it could be changed by one defining moment. If King Louis the XVIII was assassinated. If Napoleon regained power in Europe.

Such a great novel and another series that I’m interested in continuing. Be sure to check it out – I’ll be in search of the sequel myself.



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