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Debutantes (Debutantes #1)

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  485 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Thefirst in a series of historical romances set in the roaring 1920s, perfect for Downton Abbey fans

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. L
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Pan Macmillan Childrens (first published August 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rebecca ♥ Matrim, Kishan, Magnus ♥
Mar 27, 2015 Rebecca ♥ Matrim, Kishan, Magnus ♥ rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Tweens who like dresses
The summary and title for this are rather misleading. The story revolves around 4 sisters, all named after flowers. The oldest is Violet at 18, Daisy and Poppy are twins at 16, and Rose is the youngest at 12. Each sister has a different hair colour; black, red, blonde, and brown, which is rather ridiculous and extremely unlikely. The MC is Daisy, 16, blonde, and an aspiring film director. Her and her sisters all have a hobby that keeps them extremely occupied. Daisy is constantly filming somethi ...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
Debutantes is going to be quite a challenging book for me to review. This is another book where I was quite honestly blinded by the beauty of the cover - just look at it, isn't it gorgeous? I did of course read the blurb and whilst I don't read all that much historical fiction, what I have read I have enjoyed, so I was excited to give this one a go.

I will admit that I wasn't immediately taken with this book when I started with it. It's a bit of a slow burner and rather than having much action or
Premeditating: I am incredibly wary of young adult historical fiction. I won't even look twice at those pretty dresses and flashy tales about young women in the hight of glamour any more. I have been disillusioned that a beautiful cover means it will be a beautiful book. ... But oh my god! This cover takes the cake. It. is. amazing. So yes, I will be reading this because of the cover, even if reviews start trickling in that call this another outright costume fiction flop. I am a proud cover junk ...more
Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
5 Words: debutantes, poor, family, friends, secrets.

Fluff, but it just didn't do it for me.

A lot of aspects were really annoying, like how they were so poor they couldn't have a fire in winter but all had pocket money. It was frustrating to read and didn't make sense.

Violet reminded me a bit of Rose in I Capture the Castle, but despite this I intensely disliked her. She was just such a cow. In fact, I don't think I liked a single one of the characters. Not even Daisy, who was probably the most l
Jun 06, 2012 Erika marked it as to-read
THIS is the most beautiful cover I have seen all year.
Aug 12, 2012 Naomi rated it really liked it
Debutantes is a fun, light and enjoyable read. Set in 1920’s England, the Derrington sisters each have different personalities, and they do not blend together – they all are individual characters, with different aspirations. The first book focuses mainly on Daisy, who is interesting and hopes to become a film director. Violet, one of her sisters, hoped to be a debutante and come out for a season in London. Poppy loved jazz and had a band with locals in their town. Rose wanted to be a newspaper e ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Shamsa rated it it was ok
I bought this book from one of the books on offer. Basically I got it for a very got price.
The setting of the novel is beautiful I generally love that time the novel was set in. Everything about royalty as well as the clothing and girly-ness of everything.

So let's get to the point ! The back of the book cover saying there was a secret and such ...
I expected more mystery in the story.
How Daisy easily found out who her mother is and such. I expected more of a difficulty and guessing it's someone
Whispering Words...
Nov 03, 2013 Whispering Words... rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Debutantes and found it to be a fun, light hearted read that transports the reader back to the glamorous age of the 1920’s. Full of vivid descriptions it shares the magical sheen of new technologies, risky fashions and scandalous love affairs unique to the time period. It is a must read for any fans of YA historical fiction!

Although the book is about all four of the Derrington girls, this story mostly focuses on the younger twin Daisy. A future film director to be – she is neve
Vicky (A Backpack Full of Adventures)
Originally reviewed at:

What caught my attention when I first heard about Debutantes was the fact that it’s supposed to be ‘the perfect read for Downton Abbey fans’. As a huge fan of this show I just knew I had to read this – and it blew me away.

At the risk of sounding terribly gushy, there was nothing I didn’t like about this book. The story centres around the four Derrington sisters who, a few chapters in, I became really fond of. I love the fact that th
Nov 19, 2012 VaultOfBooks rated it liked it
By Cora Harrison. Grade B+
Debutantes was my first encounter with the genre of historical fiction, and I am glad that I read it. Had it not been for this review copy I got, I would probably not be planning to try as many books as I can in this genre in the near future.
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 dresse
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
An unsolicited Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

The Derrington sisters Violet, Daisy, Rose, and Poppy all live in London all longing to be part of the rich lifestyle they used to live in. A lot of their wealth has been depleted due to their father's business decisions. Their only hope is for the eldest sister Violet to marry, and to debut her place in society as a dutiful wife to a wealthy man. The plo
Nov 22, 2012 The-vault rated it liked it
By Cora Harrison. Grade B+
Debutantes was my first encounter with the genre of historical fiction, and I am glad that I read it. Had it not been for this review copy I got, I would probably not be planning to try as many books as I can in this genre in the near future.
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 dresse
Oct 25, 2012 Kirsti rated it did not like it
Such a beautiful cover; such a waste of time! I was not planning on buying a book that day, but I loved how pretty the cover was, and the story seemed interesting. Instead of the interesting story however, all I got was predictable plot, extremely bad writing, and zero connection. This story is told in such a dispassionate way that not only could I never like the characters, most of them left a bad taste in my mouth as well. I couldn't even keep up with which sister was which; they're all named ...more
Sep 06, 2012 Natalie rated it it was ok
The blurb and cover of this book made it look much better than it was, especially due to the tagline: "The season of parties, romance and secrets is about to begin..." First of all, we are only told that the parties were attended by Violet, although are given very little detail about what happened at them. There is literally NO romance throughout the novel, and there's one secret, which I guessed right at the beginning, before Elaine was even introduced. Also, the blurb says that "Daisy is about ...more
Sep 28, 2012 Ade rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
I really wanted to love this book. I mean, who wouldn't with such a gorgeous cover? I just.. Couldn't get into the book at all. The life-changing surprise wasn't actually much of a surprise, and it could easily be guessed about 1/4 of the way through the book, and I didn't particularly like any of the sisters. I didn't DISLIKE them exactly, but I wouldn't have cared much if something happened to one of them. Basically, the thing that annoyed me most was Violet. Violet is incredibly focused on ma ...more
Feb 24, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Beth

Sweet and sugary, Debutantes is a novel which is filled with girly excitement and enjoyment. Told mainly from the point of view of Daisy, the budding film director, we’re led through a journey of 1920s England and the lives of the four Derrington sisters. Each sister has her own dreams and aspirations and is fearless and enjoyable in her own way. As the first of a series it’s clear to see how Harrison is setting up her readers to experience things from the point of view of each sis
Megan (The Book Babe)
The Book Babe

Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

I'm a big fan of historical YA as a genre. That being said, I wasn't a big fan of this book. It was heartbreakingly slow-- to the point that nothing really happened. I may like historical, but I like a little mystery or intrigue. This didn't deliver on that front.

There was a mystery, but I found it trivial. The hints weren't very well done, because I figured out the mystery long before it was time. I'm not a huge fan of that, but in a world where
Kirsty (overflowing library)
Debutantes is a really interesting read which I enjoyed.

The story revolves around 4 sisters who come from a formerly wealthy family who have fallen on hard times but trying to keep up appearances within a society bound by strict class divisions. I loved getting to know the girls and their different personalities and views on the world.

The one thing I really enjoyed about this book was the insight it gave you into the historical setting. You get a real feeling for the glitz and glamour of the 192
Annabel Alder
Oct 15, 2014 Annabel Alder rated it really liked it
This book was one of those that you finish with no comments other than 'well that's a load of time I'll never get back.' I'm not sure if I like it or not. Sure, I gave it four stars. Three for the cover. AHHH! It makes me think of cake! Two for the gorgeous time period and settings. And minus one for the misleading blurb.
This book follows the lives of four young girls as they 'escape' from their massive, beautiful country home to cold, dingy London for a season of partying. The story is mainly t
Jan 17, 2014 Clare rated it liked it
A fairly predictable, two dimensional story. The characters were all described in one way and then locked in that description for the rest of the book. Violet- a debutante, vain, beautiful, obsessed with rich men. Poppy, a musician, selfish. Daisy, film director, manager of everyone. Rose, writer. And they acted like their chosen careers All. The. Time.

Rose was always making up headlines or stories about everything that happened, Daisy was always filming everything and so on and so forth. After
This is more like a 2.5 but I'm not feeling particularly generous with this book so rounded down rather than up. I can't complain too much because I was after a bit of fluffy light relief and that's exactly what I got but the whole thing was just so .... meh!

Along with that light relief, I got characters (every single one of them) with absolutely no depth and forced personalities, next to no story and a ton of words in which it was told, the touch of controversy that could have possibly saved th
Mar 17, 2016 Ashling rated it it was ok
The best thing about this was the cover. I mean, look at it. LOOK AT IT. It's gorgeous. It's perfect. It's amazing. Unfortunately the book doesn't live up to it. It's blindingly obvious from the start that Daisy and Poppy aren't twins, and that Elaine is her mother. Moving past that, most of the book is just clothes discription, attending parties and Violet being bitchy.
And I mean, they're so poor, they can't afford a fire in the winter, yet they get pocket money? Can afford glossy fashion magaz
Aug 04, 2012 『Hailey』 marked it as to-read
oh WOW the cover is so lovely!
_Zoe1_ Hilliard
Apr 20, 2016 _Zoe1_ Hilliard rated it did not like it
I did not enjoy this book at all. I could barely read it from boredom, every page seemed like an eternity and I found the characters all together despicable.
This book was abou four sisters all who had seperate dreams and goals, Rose's being to become a journalist, Poppy's was to become a proffesional jazz artist, Dasie's was to become a film producer and Violet the oldest wanted nothing more than to be a debutante and get married to a wealthy young man favoured by the queen or any other being h
Outwardly, Debutantes seems promising. It has an intriguing jacket blurb, a professional cover, and is written by an author who has experience in the genre. Unfortunately, this book didn’t wow me at all. I came in expecting a novel similar to something by Anna Godbersen, but instead I was constantly reminded of Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn, another historical novel I didn’t particularly care for.

Right away, Cora Harrison introduces the four Derrington sisters: Violet, Poppy, Daisy, and Rose. Th
Nov 09, 2014 Ronnie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
This was such a heart-warming read! I’ve been meaning to read Debutantes since I first saw it on my friend’s bookshelf about three years ago. The summary on the back of the book seemed very intriguing at that time, because I was obsessed with Downton Abbey and Debutantes definitely has a DA vibe to it.

We are in 1923, specifically in the beginning of the ball season. This is the time when young female members of the aristocracy are introduced to the public, and thus many young girls are about to
Ana Garcês
Jul 04, 2014 Ana Garcês rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doce e açucarado, Debutantes é um livro que está cheio de divertimento feminino. Narrado – na maior parte – do ponto de vista de Daisy, a aspirante a realizadora de cinema, somos guiadas numa jornada pela Inglaterra dos anos 20 e pelas vidas das quatro irmãs Derrington.

Quando chega a temporada de debutante da Violet, as quatro irmãs juntam-se e tentam fazer acontecer e, para isso, metem cada um dos seus talentos para ajudar Violet e isso inclui a Daisy a tirar uma fotografia à Violet para a env
Paula  Phillips
Nov 18, 2012 Paula Phillips rated it really liked it
As we all know how much I love covers , this book shows how much a cover can influence someone to buy a book as the fact that I love the 1920's era books as well helped. But, I just can't stop gushing over how amazing this cover art is from the flowers to the main picture of the girl who seems porcelain which in this era was all the rage. Debutantes by Cora Harrison in a slight way reminded me of the book Ballet Shoes by Noel Stretfeild in which the girls all wanted to become somebody but their ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Cay rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
4.5 stars

*shiver* *shiver* Why is it so cold in here all of a sudden? Debutantes takes place in England - Kent and London - in the 20s. And Kent is a cold, cold place - the weather is chilly and there's little to do for young ladies. The impoverished Derrington family live in the huge The Beech Grove Manor that has seem better days. The once glorious manor (I imagined it was like Downton Abbey) is still somehow charming, but also badly heated, full of spider webs and only a few servants to look
Sammee (I Want to Read That)
3.5 Stars

I really enjoyed the 1920's setting - Cora Harrison does a great job of bringing it all alive. And I loved the sisters too - their dynamic kind of reminded me of Little Women.

The mystery element to this was really good and I really enjoyed it! While some may work it out before I did, I was surprised at the revelations - I'm very interested to see what happens next and what it means for the sisters. I'm assuming the series will concentrate on a different sister, so I'm looking forward to
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Cora Harrison worked as a headteacher before she decided to write her first novel. She has since published twenty-six children's novels. My Lady Judge was her first book in a Celtic historical crime series for adults that introduces Mara, Brehon of the Burren. Cora lives on a farm near the Burren in the west of Ireland.

More about Cora Harrison...

Other Books in the Series

Debutantes (2 books)
  • Debutantes in Love (Debutantes, #2)

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