terça-feira, 23 de agosto de 2011

A Spy in the House, Y.S. Lee

I'm submitting this book to the YA Historical Fiction Challenge hosted by YA Bliss.

Review: Mary Quinn Lang is a girl of 12 about to be hanged for housebreaking. Fortunately, she is whisked away and sheltered by the Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls, an unusual school for girls that does some charity and admits intelligent girls that wouldn't have the chance to study otherwise.

Mary grows in the Academy to be a teacher, but at 17 years old longs for more. The head teachers, Anne Treleaven and Felicity Frame, propose she joins the Agency, a top secret detective agency that uses women as their agents, because they are less conspicuous when investigating.

With this premise, what's not to love? Mary Quinn is a very smart and independent girl, and the idea of the Agency existing in Victorian times is just awesome, albeit slightly irrealistic. Nonetheless, I think it shows that Y.S. Lee studied the Victorian times, because I felt at all times immersed in the story.

Mary is a very likeable character, as she is quite intelligent but also makes mistakes. She is self assured but also fears revealing her past, as she fears it might get people to treat her differently. She even hides it from her teachers (Miss Treleaven and Mrs. Frame), but I'll lose all respect for these two characters if they haven't guessed already. I mean, it doesn't take a scientist to figure out her parentage when her given surname is Lang. (Although she starts using the surname Quinn after escaping the gallows.)

The mistery at the center of the story isn't very hard to figure out, but satisfying. I suppose it took Mary more time to solve it because she gets entangled with James Easton, a young engineer that is reasearching into the same thing as she. Oh, how funny and adorable these two are. They are one of those couples that from the moment they meet (in their case, in a closet), they quarrel, and argue, and bicker, until sometime they figure out they've fallen head over heels for each other.

I guess it will take them a while, though. James was quite adamant somewhere in the middle of the book about marrying not for love, but for reasons of political or wealth nature. The fool! I'm sure he'll have to eat his own words soon. They sort of understand each other for a moment at the ending, but not the kind of understanding I was rooting for. Oh well, that's what the sequel books are for.

Back to the mystery part of the story, it was really engrossing getting suspicious of every character with the hints the author was giving us, but the fishy behaviour of the guilty party tipped me off. I'm wondering if said guilty party ever meets Mary or James ever again, in one of the next books.

I really enjoyed seeing the role some women took, or more accurately, had to take in society, and what they did to escape it, especially Angelica and Mrs. Thorold. I also was rooting for little Cassandra Day, as well, and I wonder if she will have a bigger role later, even become a Mary Quinn one day. I am also curious where the thread about Mary's father will lead, as someone's comment in the book left his fate somewhat open for me.

What else can I say? It's a YA historical that I would recommend to enjoy a good time, with a lovely description of Victorian times, with great characters, and an engaging mystery.

Pages: 352

Publisher: Walker Books

3 comentários:

  1. *Lol* É uma boa teoria essa, a da Mary ter demorado tanto a desvendar o caso porque andava a ser distraída pelo James, faz todo o sentido. xD

  2. Lol, passaram tanto tempo a distrair-se um ao outro com aquelas "discussões" que podiam ter descoberto quem era mais cedo. Creio que aquela troca de roupa da Mary na carruagem também deve ter sido algo distractiva para o James, coitado. xD

  3. Oh, sim, essa cena na carruagem só pode ter feito o cérebro do James esquecer-se de muitas pistas e outros pormenores do caso *eheh* o pobrezinho... não é fácil estar dentro de um cubículo com uma rapariga gira a trocar de roupa xD
    Eles são um máximo quando estão juntos :)