Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Season - Sarah MacLean

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford doesn't fit into the world of Regency Longdon -- she's strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and she absolutely loathes dress fittings.  Unfortunately, her mother has been waiting years for Alex to be old enough to take part in the social whirlwind of a London season so she can be married off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring.  But Alex is far more fascinated by adventure than romance.

Somehow between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet.  It's a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, suspicion, and love.  Romance and danger fill the air in this juicy paperback, as this year's season begins!  (Summary from book - Image from www.scholastic.com)

My Review:  I really needed this book.  I have been dealing with a lot lately and it was only a matter of time before I ended up uber-stressed, and desperate for some light, romantic reading.  I know you what you’re thinking.  You’re looking at the cover (or at least, now you are) thinking, “Wow, this book looks incredibly shallow.” And you are right.  It was shallow.  It was also utterly predictable, mindless, and I loved every minute of it.  It was like ice cream for my brain.  Rocky Road.  Or, perhaps, Midnight Truffle…in a waffle cone.  Nom nom nom!

Alexandra Stafford has been thrown headlong into London society by her marriage-minded mother and she’ s not the least bit pleased.  She and her two friends, Ella and Vivian, would rather die from spinsterhood than marry a man for his wealth or title, and they are determined to make it through the London season without garnering a single proposal from the boring, stuff-shirted dandies that prance around London.   Together the unconventional trio takes the season by storm, until their curiosity gets the better of them and they end up embroiled in espionage and murder.     
There are a kabajazillion romance novels out there that will let you escape reality and indulge in a little starry-eyed fantasy, but very few of them manage to do so without exposing an incredible amount of skin.  The Season sizzles quite nicely without crossing any lines.  It’s not Pride & Prejudice clean – and thank heavens for that – because I think we can all agree it would have been nice if Darcy and Elizabeth had enjoyed a least had one good clandestine make-out session.  Much like Elizabeth, love sneaks up on Alexandra.  Lord Blackmoor stole my heart the second he called her governess a “cabbage head” and I enjoyed their flirtatious banter and heated arguments.

Believe me, there’s plenty to criticize if you want to start comparing this book to award-winning literary fiction, but I decided to check my brain at the door (the one eating the all that delicious ice cream) and had a really good time.  If you like clean romance novels and have the ability to relax and read without obsessing over plot predictability,  character depth, etc., then you’ll probably welcome this thoroughly entertaining escapist YA romance.
Side(sad)note:  As far as I can tell, The Season is MacLean’s only YA romance novel.  She has no plans to write a sequel, though there is definitely room for expansion into a series, and her adult novels seem to be a bit more risque in nature (if the half-clad women on the covers are any indication).   
My Rating:  4.25 Stars.  (I really want to give this book 5 stars, because I really did enjoy reading it, but in a literary sense, I just can’t do it.)

For the sensitive reader:  I can’t think of anything objectionable except the fact that Alex occasionally referred to her romantic interest as her “savior,” when I really think “rescuer” would have worked just as well.  Personally, that word has a more spiritual meaning for me, so it was a little distracting when used in the romantic context.

Sum it up:  Ice cream for my brain!  Nom nom nom!

3 comments:

Amy said...

Isn't funny how what you are in the mood for in a book really influences your rating!!

MindySue said...

I know! Ratings are one of the hardest things for me to do because it is so relative. I try to compare the book to other books in a similar genre (since you can't really compare Dr. Suess to Alice Hoffman) and hope for the best.

Monica said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this read. Light and clean - love this era and enjoyed reading it without having to decipher Jane Austen's writting. Just a fun fluff of a read with an enjoyable love story and some adventure. I did feel that the use of OMG and such was used too much for my liking.

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