You can ask anyone who knows me. I am easy to buy gifts for. Books and/or chocolate and you will get no complaints from me. My youngest brother got me this little gem for my last birthday. Apparently, he met the author somewhere and she chatted him up, and bam… off to Amazon.com he went. I liked this book, and I could have seen myself really liking this book if I were a bit younger. It is written for a younger female audience so its appeal is limited, but it was still a nice effort, and it looks like this might be the beginning of a series, so if you enjoy the characters there might be more to come.
The novel starts with Petronella getting ready for her coming out party. We quickly learn that her guardian, Uncle Augustus, is an eccentric man who only becomes more eccentric when he accidentally swallows a beetle and becomes strangely addicted to eating bugs. It is difficult to hide this odd disorder and only becomes more difficult when Generalissimo Reyes-Cardoza is kidnapped from the party. Add some unwelcome relatives and a slight crush on her best friend’s older brother, Lord James Sinclair, and you have some Regency Era silliness.
As I said, I could have really gotten behind this book when I was younger, but as an adult there were some slight issues. The whole thing was just a tad too self aware and precocious. If there are sequels I am willing to give them a chance because I think the voice might be toned down for additional books, or the Petronella character will grow on me and it won’t bother so much. I am definitely going to put this on the list of books to give my nieces when they are old enough, and to read with my own daughter.