“We both tried to grab at the last copy of that desired book at the same time and had a tug of war.” (from this post)
Sterek ficlet, T, ~1.6k words. Basically, I was going to just do a tiny little drabble as a warm-up for working on one of my WIPs, and then I was having too much fun with it to stop.
(Btw, if you couldn’t tell, I totally made up the book series in question. Any resemblance to any actual book is completely coincidental.)
It’s definitely some kind of torture that on the day the seventh and final Path of Wolves novel comes out, Stiles still has to go to school like it’s not the most important day of the year or anything.
And okay, so it’s not like anyone else in Beacon Hills has even heard of these books except Scott, and then only because Stiles can’t shut up about them, but still. Stiles spends the entire day practically vibrating out of his skin with the anticipation. He’s pretty sure he hasn’t taken in a word any of his teachers has said today. The only reason he doesn’t try to make a break for it during lunch is that he can’t afford another detention on his record, and even so, he’s still sorely, sorely tempted to risk it. In the end, he has to get Lydia to hide his car keys from him.
(He was going to ask Scott to do it, but Scott would have caved as soon as Stiles started begging, and Stiles is definitely not above begging, so Lydia it is.)
The instant the final bell rings, though, Stiles is out of there, flying across the parking lot and gunning the Jeep. The bookstore probably only ordered a few copies, and if Stiles isn’t holding one of them by the time he leaves, somebody’s about to get murdered.
Not that he actually expects any competition, but it’s better not to let these things go to chance. He already messed up once by procrastinating on pre-ordering until they were sold out; he didn’t think it was possible for a Path of Wolves novel to be sold out. He was wrong, and now he’s paying for it by having to physically go to the bookstore to get it.
Either Stiles vastly overestimated how many copies the store was going to order, or else he vastly underestimated how many people in Beacon Hills read these books, because when he skids to a stop in front of the New Releases shelf, there’s only one copy left. One beautiful, perfect hardcover copy.
Lucky for him, one copy is enough.
Except that when he grabs ahold of it, someone else does, too.
For a long second, Stiles can’t even believe what he’s seeing. Another hand, on his book. Another hand that’s not letting go, even though Stiles has already clearly and unambiguously grabbed it by the spine and isn’t letting go, either.
Stiles turns his head incredulously to get a look at this usurper, and it’s Derek Hale. As in, made-of-muscles, leather-wearing lacrosse captain Derek Hale.
Until this moment, Stiles wasn’t even sure Derek could read, and now he’s trying to steal Stiles’ obscure eight-hundred-page fantasy novel. What.
This series from @thenovl and @gailcarriger is such a joy. Whether you read for clever girls who can handle fist fights as well as tea parties, adorable romances, paranormal creatures integrated into society, mechanical puppers, and/or some solid sneakytimes, you’ll find all these things in The Finishing School series!
Now I just need to be a good little reader and get my hands on the final paperback. SOAP, MY LOVE, I HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN YOU!
It just looks cool and sounds cool. Like, Victorian era hitmen - who are women. I don’t know. The title sounded cool and the cover was awesome as well.
From the Book
IT’S ONE THING TO LEARN TO CURTSY PROPERLY. IT’S QUITE ANOTHER TO LEARN TO CURTSY AND THROW A KNIFE AT THE SAME TIME. WELCOME TO FINISHING SCHOOL.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia Temminnick is a great trial to her poo mother - her atrocious curtsy is an embarrassment to the family name. So Mrs. Temminnick entrolls her daughter in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But Sophronia soon realizes that school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies certainly learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage - in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.
In My Humble Opinion
The language takes some time to get used to. In the beginning, I felt as though I was constantly re-reading passages because the wording didn’t make sense, but after awhile I got used to it and found myself wanting to speak all proper-like the girls in the book. Carriger also uses the vocabulary of the Victorian time, which obviously isn’t the same as today’s, so I had to look up a few things, like what the heck a ‘pinafore’ was!
I am by no means a “girly-girl”, I’m definitely a jean-t-shirt-sneakers type of woman, so hearing about all the layers of clothing that Sophoronia and Dimity had to wear… Oh hell no! No wonder women fainted all the time! They wore 3 layers of clothes plus a corset! I would be passing out all the time too! At one point Sophoronia lost her dress, and her outer skirt (?) but still had on her petticoat and underskirt (I think?)…
It made me think about what women of the Victorian era would say if they could time travel to the present and see how “indecent” everyone dresses! Especially since it’s summer and women are wearing booty shorts and halter tops and showing their bras; meanwhile guys are walking around in shorts and tanks that are just ripped t-shirts to show off their physiques (not that I mind). And then I thought about how confusing it would be to explain transgenders, lesbians, gays, or crossdressers!
This is the conversation I imagined: Victorian Lady: “How is one supposed to delineate between who is a man and who is a woman?!” Me: “Well… women generally have long hair and wear makeup, but there are also women who have really short hair and don’t wear makeup… And then there are guys who have long hair, and guys who seem to be wearing makeup… *scratches head* Um… It’s probably just best to just assume the people with breasts are female and the people with facial hair are males… though sometimes that’s not always the case… It’s very complicated!”
It kinda has a Harry Potter feel to it, in the sense that it’s a school with weird professors, like vampires and werewolves, that teach lessons not general found in normal finishing schools, like what plants or perfumes to use as appropriate poisons or knock out agents, or how to best hide a dagger in your petticoats. Plus the school floats and can move around, so there’s that.
There’s a lot avenues for this series to go - you have the flyawaymen and Picklemen, who are mysterious villains trying to obtain a prototype that they believe someone at Miss Geraldine’s school has; you have the boy’s equivalent of Miss Geraldine’s school - Brunson’s School to Evil Gentlemen - that’s teaching boys how to become evil geniuses; and of course a whole school of ladies learning how to spy and lie and potentially double cross each other, AND Soap and the other sooties who work in the boiler room that Sophronia visits, AND Vieve, the 9-year-old inventor who does her own thing and hangs with sooties, even though she’s a potential lady-in-training. So - lots of ways for this series to go! I’m definitely looking forward to it.
The language of the book takes some getting used to, but once you get past that, it’s a fun “girl’s Harry Potter”.
Speaking of books I’ve been reading, I finished Etiquette and Espionage in one day and can’t wait for the next installment! Steampunk fans may recognize Gail Carriger as the author of the Parasol Protectorate, and while this new Finishing School series is set in the same universe, the focus is less on romance and more on adventure and coming of age. The heroine Sophronia is deemed a mess and shipped off to finishing school, but the teachers turn out to be just as interested in teaching her the arts of poisoning and vampire assassination as they do improving her curtsy.
Gothic heroines can learn a great many lessons from this book, from the proper use of décolletage as a hiding place to how to fend off airborn highwaymen. It’s also fun to watch the tomboyish Sophronia come to appreciate pretty and frilly things while not losing her love of reinforced footwear, and I’m eager to see where her adventures take her.
can we talk about how genevieve was actually canonically in with the picklemen and joined a group of evil octopus scientists and has a slight phobia of becoming supernatural like she was obviously shaped by her time at bunson’s in more ways than one
A Pál utcai fiúk | The Boys of Paul Street (1969) “Boka János komolyan nézett maga elé a padra, és most először kezdett derengeni egyszerű gyereklelkében a sejtés arról, hogy tulajdonképpen mi is az élet, amelynek mindnyájan küzdő, hol bánatos, hol vidám szolgái vagyunk.”