Christa Seeley's Reviews > The Friday Society

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
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's review
May 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, canlit, genre-steampunk

Originally reviewed at More Than Just Magic

And then there was an explosion.

So begins the steampunk adventure, entitled The Friday Society. There’s something to be said for starting a story off with a bang. It grabs demands your attention and you will be only too happy to hand over the next few hours of your life to see what comes next.

It needs to be said. Canadian authors are freakin’ rockstars. This week I compiled a list of the best books I read in 2012 and it was no surprise how many Canadian titles made the cut. The Friday Society is no exception (it took home the award for best steampunk!). Adrienne Kress is a fabulous new voice in YA literature, and her flirty and unique style was a lot of fun to read and explore.

The story centres around three young girls – Cora, Nellie and Michiko. All three were apprentices to powerful men, but they were secondary in job title only. They were independent, free spirited, intelligent. I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite. I really enjoyed that they were given equal weight and importance throughout the story. (Although if I’m really forced to choose I’d have to go with Cora. I love all her inventions!). Their’s was a relationship built on mutual respect and friendship, and it was refreshing to see three female characters interacting in this way. They’re a great role model for what everyone’s friendships should be like (no matter what your age!)

Beyond the emphasis on female camaraderie, the other thing that makes The Friday Society really stand out is that there is no real love story. Sure, there are some potential love interests, but they’re nothing more than subplots – at best – and the true story belongs to Nellie, Cora and Michiko throughout. Not every book needs a love story, and I am glad to see Adrienne Kress agrees with that sentiment.

A lot of books recently seem to be marketed under the “steampunk” title lately, but quite often they’re simply Victorian or Gothic, with a few steampunk elements thrown in. The Friday Society is a true steampunk adventure with all the gadgets, and themes of makerism, idealisum and challenging societal norms, to prove it. It was nice to really get into the genre, and experience all the things that make it truly fascinating. I hope that this is a novel that will encourage to seek out more steampunk as well.

All these fantastic elements were built around a pretty surprising mystery. I wasn’t totally surprised by the outcome, but I enjoyed the ride just the same. If I had once criticism of The Friday Society it’s that at times it felt a bit modern. I would have preferred a more Victorian feel to the language and dialogue, but I have read other reviews that enjoyed this modern take. So it’s really a matter of personal preference.

Recommendation: A fun and feisty adventure story that I recommend to those who are curious about steampunk or who like stories about strong women and strong friendships, rather than relationships.

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Reading Progress

May 23, 2012 – Shelved
July 26, 2012 –
page 185
July 27, 2012 –
page 237
Started Reading
July 28, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012
July 28, 2012 – Shelved as: canlit
July 28, 2012 – Shelved as: genre-steampunk
July 28, 2012 – Finished Reading

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