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Mad Miss Mimic

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  675 ratings  ·  180 reviews
Jane Austen meets Arthur Conan Doyle in a historical fiction debut for fans of Ruta Sepetys and Elizabeth Wein.

Born into an affluent family, Leo outwardly seems like a typical daughter of English privilege in the 1870s: she lives with her wealthy married sister Christabel, and lacks for neither dresses nor trinkets. But Leo has a crippling speech impediment that makes it
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Penguin Canada
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Average rating 3.51  · 
Rating details
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Liam (Hey Ashers!)
This is the spoiler-free critique originally posted on Hey Ashers! You'll find the original review here!

Well, Ashers,

I didn't expect my very first ARC* review to be a ranty one, but here we are. I was mired in boredom for most of the book, and deeply pissed in the end. My feminist, pro-disability-(etc.)-in-YA heart can't take this book.

Because I'm so ready to put this book behind me, this review will be a (long-ish) spoiler-free, bulleted-list thing instead of a full-length critique. But it's

I had fun reading this Victorian mystery. The main character's selective mutism/mimicking was a very interesting trait. I have never read about a character with that affliction before so it was pretty cool.

The publisher describes this as a cross between a Jane Austen Novel and a Sherlock one. While I would not agree with that description, I can see where the intent to create that vibe came from.

The mystery in the novel captured my attention but it was a very light and simple mystery. No nail b
Cindy ✩☽♔
*I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

To sum this up real quickly, this books wasn't completely terrible, but it wasn't terribly good either.

Predictable from the start and rather cliche, this book promises romance and mystery, yet does a pretty poor job at both.

Took a while to get through and toward the end I was just waiting for it to be over.
MaryannC. Book Freak
An enjoyable read about Leonora Sommerville, a 17-year old girl who suffers from stuttering and the ability to mimic other people's voices unintentionally. Set in London 1872, Leonora comes from a well to do family who are embarrassed by her affliction and would rather she not speak. Meanwhile, while trying to cope with her stuttering her sister Christabel is set on procuring a wealthy husband to take off her hands so long as Leonora doesn't scare them off. In the midst of Leonora's troubles a s ...more
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mad Miss Mimic is a fantastic book for anyone who enjoys a Victorian-era mystery with an intriguing female lead! Is the plot predictable? Entirely. Do I care? Not a whit! Henstra's narrative is so engaging and well-paced that I was never bored, and Leo is a fun, easily relatable character. An excellent debut novel! ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This was my second book by Sarah Henstra. It was something completely different, both in themes and also setting, from The red word, the other book by her that I've read.
I enjoyed the Victorian setting and I found reading about the opium treatments very interesting. The mystery wasn't very surprising but still enjoyable.
Leonora definitely had a character arc and changed for the better throughout the story, something I truly liked.
Overall it was a nice read.
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

It is not often that I read a book and come away feeling enlightened and entertained at the same time. Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra is an historical fiction that packs quite a punch. It encompasses a step back in time, while providing its readers with a thrilling mystery and a slow burning romance. The main character, Leo, is relatable, quirky and full of spunk, making this book one of my favourite reads of 2016!

Historical fiction is not typically a genre that I
Farzana Doctor
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Part historical fiction, thriller and love story, this book is a page-turner! Henstra's plot is tight, her characters intriguing and her setting's and period's details are well-researched and fascinating. What fun this book was to read! ...more
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Leo is the proper young lady of an affluent 1870s family who lives with her married sister, Christabel. She's also Mad Miss Mimic who when stressed randomly mimics another people's voice flawlessly. It's embarrassing and liberating... especially when she draws the eye of popular Mr. Thornfax, the son of a lord who is fabulously wealthy and her brother-in-law's business partner. When the Black Glove start terrorizing the city Leo and Mad Miss Mim
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Giveaways
"Mad Miss Mimic" which I won through Goodreads Giveaways combines murder, mystery and romance and opens in Hastings House, London in 1872. Leonora Somerville is a beautiful and rich seventeen year old with a stuttering disorder that she loses when she imitates other people's voices. An adversity that society frowns on, she's been nicknamed "Mad Miss Mimic" until Francis Thornfax, her brother-in-law's partner begins to court her.

Infatuated by the handsome son of Lord Rosbury, Leo soon discovers t
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Mad Miss Mimic was a fresh and interesting novel! With an addictive setting and unique characters, this story was a fun ride. The overall plot of this book was very intriguing and compelling, even though it was predictable at times.

The book started off on the slower side, so I had a hard time really connecting to the story at first. I also found the pacing of most of the book to be a little off. There were some slow moments throughout the book that were hard to push through. However, the exc
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it

"Mad Miss Mimic" is an enjoyable reading that revolves around a Victorian mystery.
In the premise we read that in this book Jane Austen meets Arthur Conan Doyle. Ant that's can be entirely found in the novel and it captivated me.
Our main character is Leonora, a 17-year old girl who suffers from stuttering and she has the ability to mimic other people's voices unintentionally. This characteristic is pretty unique and I found it to be very interesting. Her sister, Christabel, is desperately try
Michelle Wrona
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

Mad Miss Mimic sounds awfully similar to another historical romance I devoured and adored last year, A Mad Wicked Folly, and I was actually hoping for this one's outcome to be quite similar, too! In the end, I saw it as a definite historical book that dealt with politics in Victorian England, finding your love interest and finding yourself, especially from Leo's perspective, who stuttered when she spoke.

Cheers to Cana
Kris Mauna
This is how I would sum up my reading experience for this book in one GIF:

This book was simply not for me.. I DNF at 50% because I just couldn't continue which is a shame.
I love the Victorian era, and I never tire of books with this setting so I was excited to read this book! The beginning was intriguing as we learn more about Leo, our main character, and her stammer/the way she mimics others around her. That was the only interesting thing about her though? She felt incredibly flat to me which m
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and how immersive into the story it was. However, there was something very abstract about the plot’s explanation in-story. It’s not that it was difficult to understand what was going on, it was that the writing (as lovely as it was) became so verbose at times that it wouldn’t get to the point.

Aside from that, as much as I liked Leo and her “Mimic,” she says at the beginning that she can’t control “Mimic” (s
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest: I have a stutter, and I am a speech pathologist. When I was looking through the books by authors at Adelaide Writers Week this year I read this blurb, saw the main character has a mysterious speech impediment, and was immediately intrigued.

I haven't read many books with protagonists who have a stammer, and I was taken aback at how gratifying it was to have some of my own experiences described on the page. I know the author did extensive research, and spoke to both speech patholo
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 17

The voice isn't clicking for me, and I'm bored. The voice feels off in a way I can't really put my finger on, but I don't think I'm going to love this one, so I'm moving on.
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

loved this book!! I was obsessed with the title/cover before I started it, and I devoured the whole thing.

Shout out to the author (Sarah Henstra) for being Canadian! And teaching at Ryerson (which is where I got my publishing certificate). She teaches courses on Gothic horror stories and fairy tales and I'm like two seconds away from trying to take one of her classes because I'm fascinated by both those things!

Matthew Marcus
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First off, one of the best books I read this year.

Mad Miss Mimic is amazing. It is amazingly researched, the author really painted a vivid story with really great imagery. IWhen I first heard about this story, it struck me as different then the majority of the teen books out there and that’s why I wanted to read it. I really liked Leo’s journey.

I think everyone should read this and they will enjoy it!

Spoilers below:

Leo, by the end of the book she has finally gotten control of her mimicry and
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Firstly, thank you to Goodreads and Penguin Canada for this advance copy. I always love a free book. This novel is set in Victorian times and is both a mystery and a romance. The main character, Leonora, suffers from stuttering and further, when under stress, mimics the words and voices of others. The mystery itself, which unfortunately unfolded in a predictable fashion, made me at times think I was reading an Anne Perry book. I do like this time period.

I wish though that I could have enjoyed th
Alyssa Marie
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
*Thank you very much to NetGalley for the chance to read Mad Miss Mimic.*

Mad Miss Mimic is the story of Leonora Somerville, an upper-class girl with a speech impediment that has made it hard for her to find a suitor. Lenora has a stutter, but she also mimics other people's voices. I loved Leonora as character and she was really interesting to read about. I did feel that this story took a little while for me to be pulled in, but when I was, it was an enjoyable Victorian mystery full of romance an
Rachel Fuller
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Leonora Somerville is an upperclass lady on the outside but a stutter yet talent for mimicry renders her incapable of attaining a proper suitor. That is, until Mr. Thornfax comes along.
A wealthy businessman and heir of a lord, Mr. Thornfax is all Leonora's uptight sister could have hoped for.

Meanwhile a gang of opium supporters called the black glove are setting off explosions all over London. What Leonora learns doesn't add up. With the help of a street boy she sets off to get the facts straig
Amanda D.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was initially excited about the heroine, who has a speech impediment and can perfectly mimic others' voices. However, the bulk of the book was rather...dull and a majority of the information seems to just be dumped into the reader's lap. Even the tension of the mystery didn't reach more than simmer for me. An interesting character idea that seemed to flounder with excess of exposition and slow pacing. ...more
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was expecting more from this book. The idea of it was great. I was intrigued by the main character's speech problem, but found that it ended up not being a huge part of the story like I expected it to be. The last half of the book was a bit slow and I found nyself skipping paragraphs. ...more
Michelle (FabBookReviews)
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it

Really enjoyed this debut novel- overall, a well-done historical YA. Perfect for readers who enjoyed Y.S. Lee's The Agency series.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Adorable! Definitely worth reading if you like historical fiction and/or interesting heroines.
Cherry (_forevermint)
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Just finished this today & I thought it was a fun, quick read. I really enjoy reading books set in the 1800's & Leo's speech impediment aspect of the story was interesting and unique. ...more
Jen (Pop! Goes The Reader)
Did you find this review helpful? Find more of my reviews at Pop! Goes The Reader!

There are things I cannot say in any voice.
I was born Leonora Emmaline Somerville, but I am not at all sure that is still who I am.

Seventeen-year-old Leonora Emmaline Somerville is known by many names, though few are her own. Stumbletongue. Gargle. Crippletongue. Mutemouth. And, of course, the eponymous Mad Miss Mimic. Born with a speech impediment that makes speaking without a stammer a virtual impossibility, Leon
Rachel (borntoberustic)
Actual rating: 3.75 stars

I was under the assumption this book was categorized as YA Historical Fiction, but I personally think it's better suited for Middle Grade readers. The plot, while undoubtedly interesting, somewhat lacks depth and the character growth (particularly in supporting characters) is fairly minimal for Young Adult fiction. However, this book was certainly a fun, clean, engaging read and I would definitely recommend it to Middle Grade readers.


Leonora's struggle with a severe
Sarah Mac
Just...blah. The narration was un-dynamic (which isn't an official adjective, I know, but accurate nonetheless), the plot was unexciting (also highly predictable), & the characters were flatter than cardboard.

Two specific gripes:

1) Leo's mimicry was too pat & convenient. She says repeatedly that she can't control it, yet sometimes she does; she moans ad nauseam about how inconvenient & mismatched it is for every social interaction when it occurs, yet somehow it's always bringing to light some m
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My novel The Red Word is available March 2018 from Grove Atlantic (US) and ECW (Canada), and in 2019 from Tramp Press (UK). Mad Miss Mimic was published by Penguin Canada in 2015. We Contain Multitudes is coming in 2019 from Penguin (Canada) and Little, Brown (US). I'm also an English professor and I teach courses in Fairy Tales & Fantasy and Gothic Horror. ...more

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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