It’s 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away.
Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet, however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country.
But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans—ruin everything—forever.
When i read the synopsis for Debutantes I thought "Oooh! Nice! A fluffy historical with a gritty side", I'd read Harrison's Jane Austen books and though I really enjoyed them I did think they were all fluff and not too much substance and I was hoping Debutantes would be different to that. It was different, but it was also not as gritty as I was expected. I was expecting secrets and betrayals but the big secret I had figured out a quarter of the way in, making the book predictable.
I liked the setting of this book, it's set in the 1920s and gives you a look into an era not well explored in YA fiction. I for one was unaware that the traditional coming out parties and presenting at court lasted into the 1920s. I really liked seeing the fashion of the 1920s and all of the references to flappers and fashions, I was honestly sucked into the setting.
Daisy, Poppy, Violet and Rose were such lovely characters, all unique and all with their own aspirations, my favorite was by far Daisy, but I have a big soft spot for Rose, she was a little cutie. I also really liked the backing characters, Justin was romantic and I loved the love story between two of the supporting characters, Morgan was fun, for a chauffer. I also liked Elaine, despite the fact that she was very haughty.
The pacing of this book was very slow. I enjoyed it but kept putting it down to do other things, maybe because it was so predictable. For a book on the shorter side it took me a while to read.
Overall, a good book with great setting and characters but I struggled with the pacing and it was very predictable.
Overall rating: C+
Book released August 2nd 2012 by Panmacmillan
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Other books by this author:
I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend (Jane Austen #1)
Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend (Jane Austen #2)