by Jennifer Bradbury
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Reading level: YA
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Seventeen-year-old Agnes Wilkins is on the cusp of her debut season in London society. Beautiful, refined, and wealthy, she is viewed as a prize by her suitors and as competition by the other debutantes. But Agnes is not interested in debuts and balls; she would rather be studying foreign languages, reading Jane Austen novels, or eavesdropping through her father's chimney flue!
When Agnes finds a mysterious Egyptian relic at Lord Showalter's mummy unwrapping party, it sets in motion a series of events that could have dire consequences... not just for Agnes herself, but for all of England.
I didn't really know what to expect from this book. Was it historical fiction? Romance? A paranormal mystery? Actually, it was a little bit of everything.
This was the first book I've read in a long time that actually got my heart racing and kept me wanting to turn the pages. The story was well plotted and moved at a good pace. And I really liked the characters. In so many of the young adult titles I've read recently, the love interest has been handsome but bland. It's almost as if we're supposed to like him just because the author said so. But Wrapped offers a love interest that readers can fall in love with along with the heroine. And -- wonder of wonders -- he's neither vampire nor werewolf, angel nor wizard. Sometimes it's refreshing to see regular old humans cast as the heroes.
Agnes herself is an intriguing character. She's quite modern in her thinking and bristles at the unfairness of women's roles during the time period in question (the book takes place in 1815). I could understand her frustration and her situation certainly did elicit sympathy. However, this modernity is probably the book's biggest weakness (though it's not a major one). The narrative is related through the first person, and at times I would have to remind myself that I was reading a period piece. Agnes's tone seemed just a bit too modern at times (especially contrasted against the actual dialogue of all the characters, which seemed just about right).
All in all, this was an immensely enjoyable book. The ending was satisfying, yet open enough to allow for sequels -- and I hope there is at least one! I'd love to immerse myself in Agnes's world once more, especially after the events in this book's final act.
Overall: 4.43 out of 5