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A School for Unusual Girls

(Stranje House #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,990 ratings  ·  730 reviews
Welcome to Stranje House.

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young la
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Tor Teen
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QNPoohBear It's a fantasy/speculative hybrid set in 1814 during the end of the Napoleonic era. It's about smart girls who don't fit in and decisions that affect …moreIt's a fantasy/speculative hybrid set in 1814 during the end of the Napoleonic era. It's about smart girls who don't fit in and decisions that affect the future. The heroine's name must clearly be derived from Pride and Prejudice but there doesn't seem to be a relation. She also has red hair and there's a teasing/flirting boy like in Anne of Green Gables. (less)

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Aj the Ravenous Reader
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Aditi
Please allow me to re-post just to greet a friend a happy belated birthday.^^

To Aditi,

Color me surprised! This was a rather amazing read. It was quite baffling because the silliness and hilarity of the story reeled me in. The language of the book was really infectious and I relish the days I spent speaking this way but now I must stop and revert to my boring, normal language. Lol.

In my honest opinion, A School for Unusual Girls is a story written to mainly entertain the reader and I completely
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Georgiana Fitzwilliam (YES, just like Fitzwilliam Darcy) is an unusual girl.

She likes science. *shudders delicately* She also has red hair and freckles in a society that abhors both. But it's her love of experiments that is perceived to be the greater of evils . . . *whispers* Well bred young ladies DO NOT science.

And when her father's stable and a quarter of a neighboring orchard burns to ash as a direct result of one of said experiments, her parents have had enough.

“And if we burn, you burn with us.”

----Suzanne Collins

Kathleen Baldwin, an American author, has penned a powerful and riveting historical regency-themed story in her book, A School for Unusual Girls that unfolds the story of a young rebellious and an exceptional girl who is a science-freak and loves to experiment with chemicals, irrespective of the polite girls in her society who are not allowed to meddle with chemicals, and that is when her parents decide to send her off to a boarding school
Feb 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
ARC via NetGalley

What could have been a cool feminist alt-history adventure for YA audiences quickly became a pathetic and overwrought romance of the worst sort. The supposed heroine, Georgie, spends the vast majority of the novel lamenting her tragic existence which is burdened with being bright (despite being frankly pretty clueless), unattractive (she has red hair?!), and unlovable (actually I pretty much agreed with this point by the end). She takes the occasional break to assume the worst a
V. A Court of Wings and Ruin is NEW ADULT/EROTICA but Goodreads editors won't tell you to include it in the choice awards
This amazing author included Australia in her giveaway. See? It's not that difficult. Other best selling authors should follow her example!

Wish me luck!
I received an advance copy of this book for review through Netgalley. Rarely have I ever so deeply regretted requesting a book.

The story itself does have some charm. Georgie is a frightfully intelligent (if also clueless) teenager. She gets into scrapes all the time where she tests a theory without properly considering all of the angles (such as when she made her own glider). After having caused a devastating fire with one her experiments, her family drops her off at the Stranje School for Unusu
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read the full review at Please Feed the Bookworm http://pleasefeedthebookworm.commy review bugs

This book was highly enjoyable. One part historical fiction, one part espionage in training, it covered some of my very favorite topics. Like most tales this was one so relatable since it was laced with truth. The quick tempo allowed for me to hardly put it down! i love books that I breeze thru yet still really enjoy.

curious, red-headed Georgiana Fitzwilliam, a.k.a. Georgie, isn't living up to her parents sky high e

Feb 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: new-authors
This book is a very strange mix and I struggled to be sure about it's target market. It's apparently targeted at a teen and YA readership ... well they may be the correct age but it is both much too young and too old for them. It's also infuriating for the type of adult who, as I do, enjoys YA usually.

While it initially appears to be following in Gail Carriger's shoes (Finishing School) that series is witty, thought-provoking and challenging with a bright, well-balanced heroine. This one ... isn
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
If you think this sounds interesting, do yourself a favor and read Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger instead, it is far superior.
16-year-old Georgiana Fitzwilliam is a hopeless case, at least as far as her parents are concerned. She’d far rather study chemistry and test the laws of physics than go to debutante balls and try to catch a husband -- an attitude which does not go over well in 1814 England. Just as Napoleon has been exiled from France, Georgiana is exiled to Stranje House, a school which promises to whip such incorrigible girls into a condition suitable for return to polite society. But of course the school is
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin was a YA historical fiction novel I was curious to read as soon as I heard about it. The idea of a book about a group of girls in a school learning everything they would ever need to be a spy for the good of England? Now that had me intrigued from the start! I was quite happy to find everything I expected to be satisfied in reading the novel.

What I was very happy to find out about this novel was that it was historically accurate, as far as my own st
Kirsty-Marie Jones
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh, A School for Unusual Girls, you were made for me, taking out the Regency England, which I've only read around four or five books, tops, of them. But, everything else. The characters. The romance. The humour. The cleverness. Basically, just all of it. It is similar to The Lovegrove Legacy series, although not in plot, but in what makes the book absolutely wonderful, not that it doesn't have its flaws, because it does, but it's that type of book that I don't even care because I adored it.

As yo
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 you
I see a lot of "this is NOT what I expected" reviews from other reviewers, and I just feel compelled to mention that it was exactly what I expected it to be.

Of course I have the small advantage of having read one of Kathleen Baldwin's regular historical romances recently.

It's not the Finishing School series. It's also not meant to be, although they do share some similarities.

Georgiana is dragged off to a reformatory finishing school by her parents after one of her scientific experiments sets
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
At a little over 20%, I still have no idea why I'd want to read this story. The protagonist, Georgie, is supposedly smart, but she has yet to do anything that wasn't either emotional, haphazard, or outright dumb. But the thing that bothered me enough to finally put it down is that it has been nothing but a string of random events that aren't tied together by anything resembling a story. I finally lost interest when she dropped down a trapdoor while fleeing(!) in a hidden passage, in the dark, an ...more
This was a fun read! I probably won’t read the rest of the series, it’s enough to get an idea of the concept. It is very well done.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
3.5 stars

I’ve been eagerly anticipating A School for Unusual Girls ever since I saw that cover and the Meg Cabot blurb. Everything about it screamed Christina-catnip, and the cover did not lie. A School for Unusual Girls was a delight from start to finish. If you like historical fiction about brilliant young ladies and their ships, then this, my friends, is for you.

You can count on me to be one hundred percent pro historical fiction about incredibly smart girls training for work as spies. Like,
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Set in 1814, A School for Unusual Girls is a very elegant book. It contains a fearless main character with a quirky personality and a mysterious boarding school that isn’t what it seems. This book is so exciting and contains so many plot twists that readers will be unable to set the one down!

A School for Unusual Girls is set in 1814 in England and partially in France. All of the historical details in this book seem to be accurate and it is evident that Kathleen Bal
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
A story based in 1814 about girls whose parents think they are unruly and not proper enough to be married. In 1814 this was a disgrace for these parents. The story follows Georgiana as her parents take her to a school they think to be, basically, a torture chamber to straighten out their daughter. Little do they know that this school is only enhancing Georgie's unruly behavior.

Usually I stay away from Historical Fiction. I tend to not be able to get into the story as much because I feel like I'm
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't give out 5 stars very often, but I adored this book. It's Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series meets Jane Austen era Regency Romance. The girls were smart and cunning and used their outsider status to the benefit of King and Country (and themselves!). And what romantic wouldn't adore Sebastian?

I was provided a copy of the ARC for this book from NetGalley. I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out.
☆ ĄňŊǡƂėƮĦ ☆ ŞŧŎŋė

Full review coming soon.
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
3.65 stars! Mini review--dead tired, proper one tomorrow.

Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Hmph for someone who began this book with way too many expectations then disappointment at the beginning then excitment towards the end I surprise myself in realising right at the end of the book that I really want more.

I had a lot of issues with this book which I'm going to bring down to pacing for the moment and also maintaining a regency-formal hist
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it
I received an ARC copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review, which you see here.


It's no surprise that this series is being positioned as the successor to Robin LaFevers' His Fair Assassins Trilogy. A number of the essential characteristics are the same -- young women from another time (in this case Napoleonic Era Europe as opposed to medieval Brittania) get involved in politics and international intrigue, with at least a little hint of mysticism. It's got the same sort of modern girl
Georgiana Fitzwilliam's parents are banishing her to Miss Stranje's school for unusual girls all for the little matter of burning her father's stables and half the neighbor's orchard. Georgie resists the banishment, arguing she was only trying to find a formula for invisible ink in hopes of saving the lives of soldiers. It's too late to save her older brother Robbie but if she can prevent more families from experiencing that pain, she will. Unfortunately for Georgie, the fire was the latest in a ...more
Angie Elle
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thank you to MACMILLAN-TOR/FORGE and Netgalley for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

A School for Unusual Girls was such a fun story. As Britain is at war, a band of young women are recruited to utilize their special talents to help save king and country. I have to admit that this book wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I was expecting something a lot darker and serious. While it was those things, the humor and romance laced throughout the story gave it a lighter fe
Sarah (thegirltheycalljones)
I'm not gonna rate this one because even though I'm DNFing it (around 30%), I'm sure it's not a bad book.
I only had the feeling it was very teenish and intended for a much younger audience than the usual YA, and therefore not what I wanted to read at the moment.

All the mysteries surrounding our MC Georgiana, her presence in this weird school along with the questions, anxieties and dread she has about the situation are handled in a very unsubtle way. And by this, I mean there's very little myster
Clare O'Beara
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This amusing tale posits that inventive or resourceful English girls are packed off to a school to learn to be spies. The period is the Napoleonic Wars and society does not approve of girls making wise remarks, experimenting with chemicals or having outrageous adventures. So the school is seen as a corrective school by their parents but the girls actually further their experiments and train in lock picking and so on.

The start is rather vague in that the new girl Georgiana is our heroine and she
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was made for me! I love everything about England and the Regency era. It had it all. Humor, intrigue, love, romance...everything!!

Georgie is the main character and she is a really smart girl, except when it comes to anything social ( which is so important for women in Regency England). So her parents send her to Ms. Stranje's School for Unusal Girls. Her parents hope that this school will whip her into the proper society women she is supposed to be so she can get married. But this scho
Kristen Cansler
Feb 09, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF @ 18%

I just couldn't do it. This book was just so slow and boring. Not what I expected AT ALL.
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
it felt like Ally Carter's spy girl books but set on the Napoleonic​ time. I enjoyed it even when it was obvious our heroine was a teenage girl, so she was a little too much sometimes. I guess I have gotten used to only reading adult HR. I did love the friendship betweens the girls and how the are trained to become spies. ...more
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More than 600,000 copies of Kathleen Baldwin’s books are in the hands of readers around the globe. Her books have been translated into several languages, and a Japanese publisher even made Lady Fiasco into a manga. Her alternate history series for teens was optioned for film and licensed by Scholastic for school book fairs.

In addition to writing books, Kathleen loves adventure in real life. She ta

Other books in the series

Stranje House (4 books)
  • Exile for Dreamers (Stranje House, #2)
  • Refuge for Masterminds (Stranje House, #3)
  • Harbor for the Nightingale (Stranje House, #4)

News & Interviews

These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on...
124 likes · 46 comments
“And I learned all those many years ago to stop listening to what people said, and listen instead to what they mean. Some people speak with honey and intend to serve us poison. You, my lord, speak with thorns but yearn for cake.” 8 likes
"You're here because you're odd. Exceptional Unrelenting, Jane followed me to the edge of the circle. "You're unusual, Georgiana. And that is far more dangerous than any fire." 2 likes
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