The Friday Society

The Friday Society

Book - 2012
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Cora, Nellie, and Michiko, teenaged assistants to three powerful men in Edwardian London, meet by chance at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered man, leading the three to work together to solve this and related crimes without drawing undue attention to themselves.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780803737617
Branch Call Number: FICTION KRESS
Characteristics: 440 p. ; 22 cm


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sarahbru17 Jul 03, 2017

Characters: 8/10
Plot: 8/10
Writing: 3/10
I had starkly mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, the story-telling elements of setting, character, and plot were enrapturing and entertaining. On the other, the written style itself was horrible.
Let's start with the good stuff. I loved the setting. This was the first Steampunk novel I've read, and I was immediately pulled in with the mix of historical and sci-fi.
I'm also very fond of the characters. Michiko in particular was a pleasure to know; I loved getting into this viewpoint from a non-English speaker.
The plot was interesting. I loved piecing together the individual crimes to build toward the overall plot. I liked that there was minimal romantic sub-plotting and the girls really stood out on their own. Their individual plot lines and the central plot wove in and out of each other beautifully.
But, short of blatant grammatical/spelling errors, the writing itself was awful. Case in point from page 67:
"See Cora angry.
See Cora tired.
See Cora in a bright red dress that makes her look super hot without giving a @#!$."
I mean really? Really. I was distracted on a regular basis from the intriguing plot and characters by writing that made me cringe. There was so much telling it was painful. Lots of passive voice, unnecessary adverbs, and repetitive descriptions--all basic no-no's in the writing world. Some of the writing sounded like it was *intentionally* bad to make a point, but it just looked bad.
I would be interested to see if Kress could write another novel using her great storytelling abilities with improved craft.

Jun 29, 2015

I liked this book quite a lot. There were some spots that I think could have used a bit less "Michiko comes and saves everyone" kind of thing, and maybe more of the other girls as well? I also felt the language barrier between Michiko and Cora/Nellie was a bit too strong. Still, quite a good book!

Jul 07, 2014

I loved the book! it was very humorous and the characters were very enjoyable to read about during the story!

Aug 15, 2013

This book was extremely entertaining and humorous. I enjoyed the solution/ending. I have to say that Nellie was definitely my favourite character.

Aug 05, 2013

In this 1900‘s steampunk-based novel written by Adrienne Kress, the city of London is being faced with a problem: there have been numerous murders of innocent people, and no one to be held accounted for. So, it’s up to three teenage heroins to solve the cases.

We first are introduced to Cora, a strong-willed assistant to Lord White and a genius inventor. Next we have Nellie, a bubbly assistant to the magician/illusionist, The Great Raheem, and is one who tends how to attract the male’s eye without any effort. Finally we have Michiko, a striving-to-be samurai who’s master is an instructor of the defensive arts that really has no idea what he’s doing.

The three girls have very different stories, but they all join together in the end. Their first meet is at a gala, where they help one another out in a sticky situation. After that, fate has them running into each other on multiple occasions, and its clear that it isn’t a simple coincidence. The girls, now a trio, are constantly being introduced to new cases of murder, having seen quite a few happen themselves, which brings them the question: who is behind these murders? It is their quest to figure out just who the evil mastermind is.

I quite enjoyed this book. The main characters were all strong, independent women, who made smart choices and didn’t take their professions too lightly. They listened to their intuition and stuck to their instincts when it came to both dealing with criminals and boys, which kept them safe in the long run. Kress manages to place both comedy and heartfelt moments in the book, as well as true connections to the characters and their worlds. I personally felt I could relate to Cora, because her personality was much like mine. Also, she was quite a fierce character, and I enjoyed watching her grow as a main role.

In the end, I really enjoyed this read. There wasn’t a dull moment, and it was a quite rapid read. If there was something I could have changed, it would have been that we found out what happened to the girls’ masters, because at the end of the book we were left slightly wondering about what would happen to them (more in Michiko’s case). Either than that, Kress did a very good job at keeping the language, fashion, and overall setting to the chosen time period. This was definitely a book I was glad I picked up.

Jun 22, 2013

The girls carry this story. There's a flair to the third-person, anachronistic narration style that identifies each protagonist; it's this style that somehow distinguishes Cora (sarcastic, pragmatic) from Nellie (frank, cheerful; she's how I imagine a typical American Southerner to be like) from Michiko (dry, focused), and it's all done well. It's heartwarming to see Cora bounce off Nellie's nearly irrepressible cheer, and to watch Michiko decide whether she can dedicate herself to the samurai lifestyle. And the variety of secondary characters is wonderful: Raheem shows that not all older men are insufferable or self-centred; Hayao's bubbly personality allows Michiko's softer side to peek out. Our antagonists aren't as well-developed, but we still get a thoroughly creepy vibe from Dr. Mantis and understand the true antagonist's motive for turning so evil. The mystery is pieced together with cute-if-useless policemen, break-and-enters into mansions and investigations in Parliament. Throughout it all, bits of worldbuilding slide neatly into place like puzzle pieces -- Cora provides a commentary of Parliament, Nellie squees over a steam cab and Michiko rolls her eyes as her boss carries on an affair with a client. Action scenes occur in the London Tower (or "Bloody Tower") and in a tunnel used for London foot traffic. The finish is wonderful, pulling together the best elements of the writing style, the action sequences and the ultimate feel-good interaction between our gals. This is a book I'd reread. I hope most desperately for a sequel.

May 20, 2013

So, this was one of those funny book you read to pass the time. Or one of those books you read if you've got a thing for hot blonde VIctorian chicks. Which is something I don't have, so...anyway, pretty amusing. Love the author, but her other books are better.

May 13, 2013

I liked this one – it was fast, the three characters took turns narrating the story and as result there were numerous sub-plots that kept the story quite engaging. Honestly, the book had a little bit of everything – mystery, suspense, sword fights, chases, crazy inventions (steampunk, people!), humour, explosions, and a dash of romance. The three young women – I think they’re all 18-ish, if I recall – each come from such different lives that it’s quite enjoyable reading each character on their own and then reading the next chapter and seeing how the other characters react to her actions and words. A very complete story.

Mar 30, 2013

Couldn't get into this book at all. The characters and story were just meh.

ChristchurchLib Feb 05, 2013

"This fun, frothy novel is full of "girl power with glitter and goggles, lit by gaslight" (Kirkus Reviews) and introduces a dynamic trio: Cora, who has an incisive intelligence and assists a mad inventor; Nellie, a bubbly clever girl who likes sparkly things and is the beautiful assistant to a powerful magician; and Michiko, a skilled martial artist who longs to be a proper samurai but instead works for a washed-up, duplicitous swordfighting instructor. Brought together by their shared discovery of a dead body, the three become friends and work together to solve the mounting number of murders occurring in foggy, early-20th-century London. While it's not for those who value historical accuracy in their fiction, this fast-paced, fun adventure is a wholly enjoyable read." February 2013 Teen Scene Newsletter

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sarahbru17 Jul 03, 2017

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Oct 28, 2016

ecpvisser thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jun 29, 2015

Gr4c13 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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