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A Dress for the Wicked
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A Dress for the Wicked

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  199 ratings  ·  82 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 Harper Teen
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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

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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  199 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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Anatea Oroz
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'
Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
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
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs

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
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
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
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-Britis
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
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
Eleanor Grace

I really enjoyed this but there we’re definitely some plot and world building flaws. RTC.
Leilani Mueller
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sandra "Jeanz"
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Fa
Jenn Bishop
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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!
SJH (A Dream of Books)
Autumn Krause's debut novel combines both fashion and politics in the fictional city of Avon-upon-Kynt. I have to admit that the first thing that attracted me to this book was the luscious cover. The artwork is simple but striking and oh so pretty. It really made me want to pick it up and start reading.

The setting of the book is based on aspects of Victorian London with its class structure and rules of etiquette. It doesn't however fit within the historical fiction genre. I find it quite hard t
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Of course it’s stressful.” Sophie cut into my thoughts. Impatiently, she tossed her head, making her hair fall over her shoulder. “Secrets always are.”

4 Stars — Thank you to Edelweiss for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

This was so much fun! I’ve worked in fashion for 6+ years so this book was right up my alley.

Emmaline was our main character. She was strong and determined. She is completely relatable, with dreams and passion that she is willing to fight for.

Apr 16, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Not able to get into this one - likely due to my lack of fashion sense ha! Honestly it's not bad or anything, I just wasn't feeling it. May give it another go at another time.
Bec (Two Book Thieves)
I'm just so torn about this book.

On the one hand, I read it in a day and didn't DNF it, so it can't have been that bad - but on the other, I finished it a couple of days ago and I'm already struggling to remember anything about it to write.

I feel as though the main let down for me here was the relationship. (view spoiler)
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 9-black
Thanks to Edelweiss+ for gifting me this ARC to review

If you read my reviews, you might have noticed that in July, I marked this book as DNF. But I always finish books when I start them even when I'm not enjoying them, in hopes of the next part of the story redeeming the introduction. Finishing this book only raised the rating by one star, but that's as much as I could give it.
This book is set in a fictional country called Britannia Secunda during the Victorian era. That's when my first issue w
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wavered between a 3 and a 4 star review for this, but settled on 4. I like the premise, and the world created in a sort-of Victorian-ish time and place. The characters didn't feel all that real to me, and the ending felt very rushed. All the same, it did hold my interest, and wanted to know how it would end (all too quickly, and a bit predictably).

goofy side note: every time Francesco stepped into the picture (and he does, a lot, as the Fashion House's creative director) I imagined Baileywick
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
The new trend in YA lit apparently is combining different eras with Project Runway. Since I had just finished Spin the Dawn and absolutely loved it, I groaned when I started this one. While the beginning is not as strong, I quickly got swept away as it kept gaining momentum. This gem is definitely worth reading-- a depiction of a strong woman in a time when there were few women's rights, and a story about friendship, hard work, creativity and sacrifice-- and above all, never giving up.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There are multiple things that I like about this book—for once, the romance was not the focus of this novel. Not that I don’t like romance, but this was just something different and refreshing. I also liked all the fashion and the numerous descriptions of creating the outfits and how there was the designing competition. And one thing that made this book stand out to me: this book is completely clean. I’d love to see a companion novel someday.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 STARS!
Megan Lyons
Oh boy; where do I even start. I really love binge watching Project Runway. There is something about the mix of fashion, emotion and drama that I find so engaging and addicting. I knew when I read the description of this book that I was taking a risk requesting the ARC. I knew there was a good chance it would be a mess, but I was intrigued by the premise and hoped it would include the best parts of Project Runway. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.

The world building was so weird. It d
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rtc, arcs
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 🤷♀
Robin Kirk
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I shelved this under adult an YA fantasy because I think this story has real crossover appeal. Krause is so perceptive about fashion not only as an art but as a language. Emmaline is a great protagonist and she faces each problem with inventiveness and flair. I loved the luscious description of fashion, with such attention not only to the detail but the meaning. Great read!
Michael Morea
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A refreshing take on the YA genre. Through the eyes of an outsider protagonist, Krause sets up an intriguing world where fashion determines fortune. The key framing device - a competition that affords the main character Emmy a rare opportunity to enter a domain occupied by the elites - provides the perfect backdrop to explore differences in class, character, and ambition among its participants. More than that, though, the book manages to tackle questions of what it means to be an artist, which w ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-2019, young-adult
Thank you to Edelweiss and the Publisher for an ARC of this book!

Things I loved about it:

-The Cover

Welp, that was a short list. Unfortunately A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause fell very short. I was expecting more intrigue, more darkness, more suspense, just...more. What I DID get, was lots of talk about dress designs. Admittedly, the title of the book and synopsis of it should have prepared me for this, but I was not up to trudging through all the descriptions. Maybe someone who loves fas
Erin A. Craig
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was such a delight to read! I loved Emmy’s ambition and dreams and the dresses. Oh the dresses! This story was so sumptuous and delicious! 😍😍😍
Christine Stamper
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

The Selection meets Project Runway. This book was fun, ridiculous, and full of totally indulgent descriptions of dresses. A fun, quick read.
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I can see the appeal of this book: it reads like a Project Runway season, has the typical YA overidealized heroine and hero, a strong Christian underpinning, undemanding writing, girls being catty with each other for 'drama', and current "Lifetime Channel" reality series influences. From a "Miss J" (America's Next Top Model judge) type of flamboyant assistant to our Edna Mode Fashion House doyenne, there's so much famili
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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.