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A Dress for the Wicked
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A Dress for the Wicked

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,049 ratings  ·  274 reviews
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt. And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing.

But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before.

As the f
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by HarperTeen
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Popular Answered Questions
Autumn Krause As of now, this is a standalone but I would love to revisit this world and see just what other fashionable foibles Emmy encounters
Jennifer There is a romance, with a very, very small triangle-drama, but it is quite secondary to the overall plot.

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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,049 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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C.G. Drews
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a beautiful and refreshingly different fantasy read! It's centred on fashion and a society that honours and reveres it above all. Designing ball gowns and doing fittings and the contrast of what the rich vs poor wear...the competitiveness and the classism and the politics of it all. So addictive! And just reading the descriptions of the gowns had me absolutely heart-eyes. I don't think I've worn a dress in 10 years but I'm so wholly in love with pretty things. Mixing ambitious cunn ...more
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nice-try, debut-novel, hmm
This is a debut novel of Autumn Krause and for a first work it is a nice try with a refreshing idea, but with some elements that did not fit properly.

The biggest attraction of the book was its Project Runway's structure with Emmaline Watkins from the country wanting to take part in the single fashion house that exists in a city Victorian setting. The circumstances are dire for her as she is underestimated at every turn and the person she admired the most did not want to acknowledge her talent or
Anatea Oroz
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have to say, I really liked this book. I kinda expected it to be A Project Runway set in an imagined Victorian era, and it was totally exactly what I imagined. The only thing missing was Heidi & Tim, but oh wait, did we kinda have that?

I actually breezed through this book. I love watching Project Runway, so now reading about it set in a Victorian-era was really exciting. The storyline alone was very gripping, and it just kept me captive the whole time.

The only reasons why this book didn't
Ewe Linka
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is outside my comfort reading and I went into this not knowing what to expect because fashion and me don't weave as one that much.
For me, I'd wear jeans every day.
But the read was breezy and kept me turning page after page until I was finished.
The storyline was nicely outlined and although the plot was directed into a half expected ending, I was surprised by bits and pieces on the way, especially with the variety of characters that I thought one thing about but was subsequently proven wron
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

2.5 Stars

A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause is a book that I had been highly anticipating for its blend of fashion and competition. The premise is intriguing, however this one let me down. The main character is plain, and the plot and world-building feel flat. To me, this book felt very tired, and I was expecting more of a wow factor than was presented.

This book tells the story of a lower-class girl who gets chosen to participate in an elite fashion competiti
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 out of 5 stars.

I actually read this book back in January but I somehow forgot to review it, so here it goes.

This was a very decent debut by the author. Of course it wasn’t remarkable but it captures you from the early chapters. I throughly enjoyed it.

The cover: they say we shouldn’t judge a book by their covers, but I totally did in this case. I mean LOOK AT IT. IT’S THE MOST GORGEOUS COVER EVER!!! The cover itself deserves 5 stars.
Not gonna lie, after seeing this cover and being obsessed w
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it

I went into this thinking, “okay, this might not be that good” despite the intriguing premise and gorgeous cover. The thing is, you have to go in not expecting much. This is a really good book but don’t expect an intense thrill ride of emotions, or a philosophical dive into dragons and dinosaurs and Doritos (I like alliteration okay). But it is a love letter to all sorts of fashion. As someone who literally wears nothing but jeans, sweaters, hoodies, and t-shirts, it was really fascinating to re
Emily Ann ♡︎♡︎♡︎
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*Lets our gut wrenching sobs*
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

The storyline/villain was too obvious (in my opinion), and I had trouble connecting/caring about any of the characters (with the exception of Emmy's mother).
☼ ☄︎ Anneli✩ ☽
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
julianna ➹
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was completely different from what I expected but I also really enjoyed the direction that it went in? This got incredibly interesting and engaging after the main character discovered where she wanted, but I also feel like this book also just... has SO MUCH ROOM to be better.

1. This felt extremely incomplete.
HELLO?? HELLO??? This either needed to be like, 100 pages longer or have a sequel. That's it. This does not feel like a standalone and I need the sequel just so I know what happens, ok.
Jeannine Marie
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had a love-hate relationship with this book, but overall: It tied most of it together in the end.

What I loved and liked:
✔️ I loved Emmaline or Emmy's fighting spirit and turn dreams into reality attitude.
✔️ I liked how the flow of the story is easy to follow along to.

What I disliked and found lacking:
✖️ I really disliked how almost all of the characters in the book were bland, unlikable, and were not given any background story to understand them and their motives.
✖️ Most of the events that
Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell
Look at that cover!

Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Clever premise, but this kind of felt like a first draft, not a finished novel.

The character development had potential but seemed to only get halfway to where it needed to go, and the fashion-meets-politics angle really, really didn’t work. The writing also isn’t great, which didn’t help.

The pacing is fine and the idea of the plot, if not the finished plot itself, was good.

I haven’t seen Project Runway, so I can’t comment on whether this is similar, as many other reviewers have. To me, it had
Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
My initial thoughts while reading the synopsis of A Dress for the Wicked were: I need this book in my life. It sounded so interesting and cool, and for one who loves fashion and clothes I knew I had to read it. Sadly for me, this is one of those cases where the idea was very good, but the execution failed.

The plot of the novel wasn’t bad at all. In fact, that was my favorite part of it. Though the writing wasn’t amazing, I found that the descriptions of the different clothes and fabrics were so
Tiffany Miss.Fiction
Thanks Edelweiss+ for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I started A dress for the wicked as a lighter read with not much expectation about it. But I ended up liking it very much. Shocking!
It’s a story that combines Victorian era, Parisian fashion couture and dystopian setting. Quiet unique and interesting. It reminded me a bit of The Selection but with an engaging story about self fulfilment and making dreams come true through hard work.
Emmeline (but you should call her Emmy) com
Stacy Fetters
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Growing up, the rector of our parish told me, don’t judge people by the way they dress. There can be angels in rags and demons in silk.”

laurel [suspected bibliophile]
Emmy Watson is determined to be a fashion designer. She's not cut out for a small town life—either as a pub owner like her mother or a wife to a local townsman. She has fashion in her veins. And being accepted as a candidate for the prestigious Fashion House is just the way to go. After arguing her way into a spot, however, Emmy is disappointed to find that the Fashion House is not what she expected—as the sole country-side candidate, she's nothing more than a political appointment, expected to ...more
This book is sort of a combination between The Selection by Kiera Cass and Project Runway.

This book is divided into three parts. It is YA and sort of a dystopia genre.

The narrator is Emmaline/Emmy (1st person POV).

It is a YA book that to me felt way more like dystopia than historical fiction. The book blurb says the story takes place in "a reimagined nineteenth century Europe." But honestly this book did not feel historical to me at all. A bunch of 17-18 year old girls are in a competition at th
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
ARC provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is a perfect book for everyone who enjoyed The Selection series and the world of glittering gowns and jewels. Although, I am not among them and I am not a fashion enthusiast, this was really enjoyable. Autumn Krause's debut work has a lot of potential, it's been a long time since I read such compelling descriptions that painted the picture so well.

The story is set in fictional 19th century Europe where the most famous fashion hous
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: october-2019-tbr
I really loved this book best regular but different historical book that I have read in awhile. I really loved the characters they were all so well written the ones I liked best were Emmy,Sophie and Tristan. I really liked how bound and determined Emmy to get her dream realized even with all of the things standing in her way. I really liked the romance between Emmy and Tristan it was so well written it was not too fast or slow I felt that they really fit well together. I Tristan for how down to ...more
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

This one was hard to rate because it consisted of three main threads, and those got very different reactions from me. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Romance: 2/5. It was weak, not very well explained, and bordered on insta-love.
Drama/pace: 4/5. This bit was awesome, and the plot was exciting.
Characterisation: 4/5. Strong.

So, all things considered, I’ve given this an aggregate rating of 3.5 stars.

In the world of Britannia Secunda, an ex-Brit
Leilani Mueller
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All
I read an ARC of A Dress for the Wicked.

Here is the take of a literature and drama teacher who has a secret, not so-secret penchant for YA novels.

This book is about hope, beauty, and the complicated longings that come from participating in the creative process: making something popular so it will be seen versus making something niche that might never be seen. As the antagonist Madame Jolene challenges, “Beauty is not for everyone.” Each creative from Madame Jolene, the mother, Kitty, Sophie, Tr
Sandra "Jeanz"
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
The cover is what initially drew my eye to this book. I think the cover really suggests luxury, wealth and being part of the elite. The blurb sets the scene well for the book and the quote that compares it to The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton is accurate.

The genres I have seen listed are Historical Fiction & YA, and though they fit the book well, I would also add that the book has Dystopian elements to it as well.

The book is set in Britannia Secunda, which is separated into districts. The Fashio
This book will forever hold a special place in my heart now. It took me nearly two months to finish it because I have unfortunately been dealing with a lot of health issues recently and spent some time in the hospital. When I finally finished this book, I saw it as a major accomplishment. I know it will be very memorable to me because of that. <3

I was hoping for some Project Runway-level drama, and that's exactly what I got! I must say that the plot went in a very different direction from what I
Eleanor Grace
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own

I really enjoyed this but there we’re definitely some plot and world building flaws. RTC.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, rtc
This book really is The Selection's older, more mature sister. Also, there is no love triangle so it's automatically THAT much better. RTC.
4.5 ✨
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I haven't read this yet but it SOUNDS like the Selection's older sister and I kind of trash read that series soooo 🤷‍♀️
Jenn Bishop
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are so many books that you just want to escape into: the setting is richly evoked that you can picture it perfectly in your head, and there are characters that you'd want to chat with over a cup of tea (or perhaps have design you a gorgeous gown). A DRESS FOR THE WICKED is that kind of debut, one to savor and escape into on a cold wintry day, or to pack along for a vacation and read on the beach. It feels classic in a way, its protagonist Emmy a mere country mouse, almost Dickensian, and y ...more
Nikki Barthelmess
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read A DRESS FOR THE WICKED prior to publication and it was fantastic! I fell in love with Emmy and Tristan, and will follow them wherever they go!
Oct 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This book would have been better if it was gayer, sorry but those are the rules. The romance in this was so...I can't even say underbaked because that would imply that some effort was put in? So little effort was put into the romance, I'm not even sure the author was buying into it.

This book follows the path of your typical "competition" book: a bunch of people are gathered together to compete in some way (in this book, they compete by designing clothes) and our hero (Emmy, a country girl in th
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Autumn Krause is a writer in Orange County, California, where she can most often be found wearing a black lace dress and boots.

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