Author: Susanne Dunlap
Series: Stand Alone
Published: February 28th 2012 by Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: Eliza Monroe-daughter of the future president of the United States-is devastated when her mother decides to send her to boarding school outside of Paris. But the young American teen is quickly reconciled to the idea when-ooh, la-la!-she discovers who her fellow pupils will be: Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine Bonaparte; and Caroline Bonaparte, youngest sister of the famous French general. It doesn't take long for Eliza to figure out that the two French girls are mortal enemies-and that she's about to get caught in the middle of their schemes.
I Give This ...
I love historical fiction and while I've never read anything else by this author, that fact alone was enough for me to want to read it. Sadly this book did not live up to my expectations.
I was excited about the fact that this contained characters who were connected to some very powerful men. What were their lives like? Maybe I need to remind myself that in all honesty, they are teenage girls. But they came across as so petty and self absorbed in this book. They pay no attention to how their actions affect others. I wondered if their stations in life made them believe that they could do whatever they wanted.
That being said, they weren't all bad. Eliza had the most potential and I really think she learned to look beyond what was handed to her. She didn't start of the book that way, so I was pleased to see her progression. I was the least able to connect with Hortense. It's almost like she's use to being second to everybody around her so the book takes very little focus on her. I wish it wasn't that way because I think she might have had the most interesting story to tell. I never really warmed up to Caroline. She seemed calculating from the very beginning and I don't think she every changed her colors.
I enjoyed the political changes throughout this book. While the girls make the change in power seem like a trifle thing, I understand what's really happening. I don't think they fully understood what it all meant (another way they were completely self absorbed). Since it didn't really pertain to them, it didn't really matter.
I have another one of her books on my shelves and this one makes me hesitant to pick it up. I'm willing to give it a shot since it's a subject that I much more familiar with. I don't regret reading this one, it just wasn't all that I wanted it to be.