Thursday, September 10, 2015

Author Spotlight: A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM



Kathleen Baldwin loves adventure in books and in real life. She taught rock climbing in the Rockies, survival camped in the desert, was stalked by a mountain lion, lost an argument with a rattlesnake, enjoyed way too many classes in college, fell in love at least a dozen times, and married her very own hero. Together they’ve raised four free-spirited adventurous children.
She's written several award-winning Regency romances for adults. A School for Unusual Girls, is her first historical romance for young adults. It is a Junior Library Guild selection. Publisher’s Lunch listed it in their 2015 Young Adult BookBuzz, Scholastic licensed it for book fairs this fall, and New York Times Book Review called it “enticing from the first sentence.”

Title: A School for Unusual Girls
Author: Kathleen Baldwin
Publisher: TOR Teen
Publication: May 19th 2015
Cover Rating: 4/5


As with almost all other Historical Fiction, A School for Unusual Girls is a book where you either love it or you don't. There is no in between. I have recently found a love for Historical Fiction but I have come across a few books that I did not like one bit. Luckily, I loved this book. 

Georgiana was perfect. She was smart and funny and didn't let things like ballgowns and gossip change her. I loved that she didn't let society define her. She knew the things she enjoyed weren't normal for a young woman but she did them anyway. She didn't let herself believe that she would ever be loved or sought after which was a little sad. Everyone deserves to be loved.

Sebastian was a tough case at first. I could tell he felt some attraction towards Georgiana but the way she talked about herself made it seem like she was this hideous ogre that no man could ever find attractive. He teased her and was a complete jackwagon for most of the book but no matter what time period it is you can always tell that is how a guy treats a girl he likes. 

The other girls in the book were so awesome. The different personalities and things they could do were pretty extraordinary and that is what led to them being put in Stranje House. One of my favorite things about the girls would have to be the rat thing. I know many people have rats as pets but I could never picture them being the way they were in the book. It was actually kind of cute.

The School was meant to be this scary torturous place and that was definitely what I was expecting but that IS NOT what I got. Miss Stranje was not what I expected her to be at all. She was described as some sort of mistress of pain. Not that I didn't enjoy what really happened but I would love to read a book where the synopsis played out exactly as it sounded like it would for this book.

The entire book takes place during the war in Europe. Georgiana lost someone very dear to her in the war and ever since she has been trying to come up with this special 'weapon' that can be used to make sure no one else dies the same way, or at least that is what she hopes for. She has to perfect this 'weapon' ASAP and hundreds of lives depend on it. 

I cannot wait for the next book! I need to know what happens. I know this is such a vague review but I do not want to spoil any of it. It is so amazing and you can never really guess whats going on. 

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.



1) What was the inspiration behind A School for Unusual Girls?
 I’ve always written about strong-willed smart young women who don’t fit in. That’s my thing. Every writer tends to have a theme in his or her work. I suppose that’s mine. Secrets also fascinate me. So, spies and mysteries are a natural fit for me.

The Regency era is a fascinating little corner of history, ripe with bizarre social behaviors, many of which were just plain silly. That silliness contrasts sharply with Napoleon trying to conquer the world, making it also a tumultuous time full of loss and pain.

The perfect setting for a school filled with girls who don’t fit into society.

2) What is your favorite book?
This is such a hard question. I have so many favorites and it changes from time to time. Right now, I think it is Marissa Meyer’s fabulous Lunar Chronicles, I found CRESS un-put-down-able. But I just read and loved Robin McKinley’s BLUE SWORD.

3) Which do you prefer? Men from the 1800's or men from the current time?
You may have read the dedication in A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS and guessed that I’m madly in love with my husband, and he’s current. If he lived back in 1814, I would find a way to get there. He would be cool no matter when he lived.

4) Which would you rather keep as a pet? A rat or a wolf?
Wolf

5) Chocolate chip cookies or brownies? And would you have milk with them?
Chocolate chip! Yum. Oh, Jenn, you’re making me drool. No milk required.

6) What is the most cherished thing you own?(Mine is a stuffed mouse I've had for 26 years.)
We moved a lot growing up, so I’m kind of wild at heart and a roamer. I never get very attached to anything material. Although I do have an awesome recording of my youngest son playing my guitar and singing (he has an amazing voice) sitting on top of a huge sandstone spire overlooking the canyonlands (he rock climbs). I think that’s my most cherished thing.

7) If you had been born in the 1800's would you be a proper young lady or would you have been sent to an asylum/school for bad girls?
I would have tried to be well behaved, really I would, but eventually they’d have sent me away to a school for unusual girls — no question.



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