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All Is Fair

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Lady Mina Tretheway knows she's destined for greater things than her fancy boarding school, where she's being taught to be a proper English lady. It's 1918, and war is raging across Europe. Unlike her father and brother, who are able to assist in the war effort, Mina is stuck sorting out which fork should be used with which dinner course.

When Mina receives a telegram that'
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Swoon Reads
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Average rating 3.37  · 
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 ·  254 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight


World War I books are basically unicorns. There are quite a few WWII books floating around, but WWI? So rare, and I was so excited to finally dive into one! Which is probably why my disappointment stings extra in this particular case. I keep trying to come up with more positives, because the Goodreads reviews I have skimmed seem to quite like this, so perhaps I am being a real black
This book was one of the first ones I had read on SwoonReads, and when I found out it was being published traditionally, I knew I needed to get a copy, and re-read it. Set in 1918, as the war in Europe is still being fought, Lady Mina Tretheway goes home from her boarding school at the request of her father, and finds that childhood friend, Lord Andrew, and a young American, Lucas Mueller, will be visiting, and she needs to help them. This could be her only chance to help in the war effort, and ...more
Dan Curnutt
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent young adult reader novel. It gives a very balanced look at life in England during World War 1 through the eyes of a young teenage girl. Lady Mina Thretheway is at boarding school which should keep her safe from war.

But her father and brother are heavily involved. The brother is declared missing and presumed dead. Mina has grieved over him for months.

One day she receives a telegram from her father. It is written in code, but only she knows that. Her father wants her to come h
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
For some reason, I thought that Mina would do a lot more code breaking than she did, and that her father would have a bigger role in the story. The first half seemed completely unnecessary (what was the point of having that play at their house? Or having the sister Margaret have a secret affair with Prince Albert?). The identity of the spy was completely anticlimactic. The love interest was alllll over the place. One minute he’s being all flirty with Mina, then he’s judgmental of her, then he’s ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
ALL IS FAIR is an action-packed, face-paced WWI adventure. I had to read it in one setting because there's basically a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter. It was the book equivalent of a roller coaster. Like a roller coaster, you can see some of the twists coming, but there are plenty of surprises. As a bonus, I learned some historical facts I didn't know before.

The appeal of this book is definitely plot over character. The characters were underdeveloped and unremarkable. The romance jumps
Samantha Hastings
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, loved it. But I suppose you'd like to know why? I'll tell you:

1. Lady Mina Tretheway is the heroine I've always hoped for. She's smart, funny, and a code breaker. This book is her coming of age, from a privileged boarding school student to a young adult who can make a real difference in World War I.
2. The romance! Mina has always fancied her older brother's friend Lord Andrew Graham, but when a young American, Lucas Mueller, comes to visit, she is drawn to him as well.
3. The twists
Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
All is Fair by Dee Garretson promises an adventure.
The beginning of All is Fair promises a fun, action-packed adventure, set in World War I with badass females being involved in espionage. After Mina receives a telegram from her father at her boarding school and decrypts the message, she heads home to find her friend Andrew wi
Apr 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Pretty good overall but the ending felt a bit too rushed.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
I will start with the bad before getting to the good. The first half made me wonder if I had impulsively decided to read this because of a misleading summary before looking at reviews and doing further research. It starts with Mina leaving boarding school upon receiving an urgent and ciphered letter from her father demanding her to return home. She meets a cute American named Lucas on the train that claims they will meet again soon. Mina arrives home to the news that Lucas and her brother's best ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**

So I was intrigued by this novel because to me, its premise made it sound like it was going to be about espionage and decoding ciphers to help the Allies against Germany during the Great War. I’m not sure why that’s what I thought it was going to be now that I look back at the summary, but what this turned book turned out to be was definitely a far cry from what I expected. And not all of it was
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
All is Fair is a fictional story of love and war set in England during the first world war. What makes this story fascinating and that sets it apart from other historical ya fiction is indeed it setting. World War I books are rare stories even rarer in the YA genre, so you can just imagine my immense fascination and love for the topic to be brought up in this story.
The plot follows Thomasina in her detective journey to finding out certain secrets about the war which aids her in helping her broth
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All is Fair is a well written, intriguing WWI rescue story with a hint of romance. I read the ARC tonight and in just one sitting. I love a good female empowerment book and our heroine in this novel has moxie, brains, and a good sense of humor. While it is possible that some people will sigh about ‘another rescue’ novel (we have had some incredible ones recently), I especially like this novel for upper middle school and lower high school. It has some complexity that will appeal to a slightly old ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I immediately liked Mina. There's a fire, a spunk, a personality to her that instantly attracted me. Whether it be the fact that she is wildly creative, empathetic, or incredibly clever, I wish I was friends with Mina. But in this time period. She is cunning and her wit allows her to be an excellent code cracker as well as quick on her feet. So from the summary alone, it was a pre
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mina is summoned home from school to help her father, a spy for the British Home Office during WWI. Mina finds that lots of strange things are happening as she does her best to help her brother's friends. Things move slowly at first, until Mina must head into Germany on a secret mission.

In the beginning, this story seems like a less complex version of Downton Abbey. But Mina is not just another Lady Mary. She heads straight into the middle of danger with Lucas, an American, and tries to save ev
Erin Arkin
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review to come.
Rachel Baynard
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the story, but I wish there had been more having to do with ciphers and puzzles! I would have loved to see them being worked out.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
The pacing of this book was off, which threw everything else off, and made it all seem very rushed. I feel like it would've been better had this been stretched into more than 273 pages. The story needed time to actually develop, instead of just being crammed into as few pages as possible.

2 stars.
Emily White
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Slow going. A wartime spy romance? It should be thrilling, start to finish, but nothing happened during the first half and the second half was so rushed that it made my head spin.
Not my favorite, but the prose itself was good and the main character was completely lovable and surprising.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
I don't really know what to make of this book. I wanted to love it but I think I only liked it. The first half was pretty slow and took me a couple of weeks to read. It wasn't necessarily boring just slow. I finished the second half in a couple of days after it picked up.

The chemistry or flirtation between Mina and Lucas was confusing. He would do a complete 180 in how he treated Mina. It was back and forth but in a confusing way not I can't decide if I like you or not way.

I hope for a sequel th
Kell Andrews
Fast-paced World War I adventure follows a teen linguist/codebreaker who goes from boarding school to an English countryside to wartorn Belgium and Germany. Lady Mina and bold American Luke are both clever, resourceful, and flawed, and I hope author Dee Garretson follows up with a sequel.

I think I thought that this was going to be like a good Cindy Anstey novel, but it wasn't. A shame considering I was looking forward to this one. :(
Liz Friend
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The story: Lady Mina Tretheway is tired of being stuck at home while the men are all at war fighting to save the country--so when she gets a strange telegram from her father asking her to do something for the war effort, she leaves school immediately and goes home to get it done. seems she was simply needed to solve a cipher before other men carry out a secret mission in World War I France. When their plans go badly awry, Mina finds herself on a troop ship heading for danger in a faraw ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
What first intrigued me about All Is Fair was the setting. I love reading about different time periods and when I was reading the synopsis I added this book to my ever growing tbr list. The pace was a little slow at first but it did get faster. I loved the writing! Mina was a delight to read!  She is a whimsical and witty character. All is fair has plenty of action, romance and an air of mystery to it that will keep you hooked to the last page!
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mina Tretheway receives an urgent telegram at her boarding school. She fears the worst as the War rages on. Mina discovers that the telegram from her father is in code and tells her to come home. Upon her return home to Hallington Manor, Mina finds an old friend- Lord Andrew Graham and an American- Lucas Mueller. They need Mina's help in order to complete a dangerous mission in Germany. Before Andrew and Lucas set off on their mission, an accident happens and Andrew is incapacitated. Mina is det ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this book because WW1 (not many of those), spies, cryptography, smart female leads to save the day.

-I feel like I read a different book from the description. By the description, you would think that she was being recalled from boarding school to help with the war effort by encoding and decoding intercepted messages for the War Office. Nothing of the sort here. There were only two coded messages in the entire book. TWO. (The second one I decoded on my own before Mina decoded
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
ARC received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

At the end of last year I discovered my love for historical fiction set in the 1920’s, 1930’s and earlier still. I’ve been searching for more ever since.

I particularly enjoy historical fiction with pilots and daring girls who have an opinion. The plane on this cover caught my eye and I knew I had to read it.

I really enjoyed this book and while not as plane focused as previous HF books I’ve read the scenes that did involve planes were
Loved loved loved this!

Perfect for fans of Cindy Anstey and Susan Elia MacNeal's "Maggie Hope" series, All Is Fair is an amazing story of full of mystery, intrigue, secrets, and romance set in World War I, otherwise known as The Great War.

Mina is a wonderful protagonist, who is smart, witty, and brave--even though she has moments of doubting her own bravery and desire for adventures. She has her faults, but is determined to anything and everything for her family and her country.

All Is Fair will
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
like a 2.5? uh so i think i probably would've enjoyed this more when i was 12 ^^;; imo there was no real feeling of suspense throughout the novel because even though it's a wwi setting and you know... times of war are generally unpredictable... after the first few complications it was like fairly obvious that everything would be resolved very quickly & with minimal difficulty so i ended up skimming the last 30% or so.
this sounds like i didn't like the book but it's more like it was just so non-o
Maureen Lubitz
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Originally posted on You Have Your Hands Full

All is Fair is a historical fiction YA novel written by Dee Garretson. This book is set during World War I, and while there have been a few titles in recent years, it’s not a very common setting. So right away, my interest was piqued.

When Mina receives a telegram at boarding school, she is initially confused by the odd message contained within. She quickly realizes that the message is actually a code, and returns home. The war has already taken a tol
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Thomasina may be cursed with an awful name, but I like her as a character. Despite being a teenager, Mina is well equipped by her father to adapt to strange circumstances. Receiving a strange note and deciphering the code is just a regular day for this girl. Set during war time (WWI), All is Fair gives a unique aspect for readers to explore.

Whenever Mina was suspicious, I instantly became so as well. Throughout the story I was trying to figure out the truth behind everyone’s deception, whether w
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