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Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
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The Friday Society

The Friday Society - A cover alone can draw a reader into a book. Of course, everyone says to not judge a book by its cover, but how can you resist with THE FRIDAY SOCIETY? It has three very strong-looking girls from different backgrounds, including a person of color. And while the story inside isn’t exactly what I was expecting – and unexpectedly was filled with anachronisms galore – I found myself really enjoying the ride. With a few minor reservations.GIRL POWERThis is the reason you should read this book. The main reason. The biggest reason I am going to harp about this book to everyone who will listen. A main character ditches her controlling, demanding, drunk love interest and finishes the novel without a boyfriend. In YA, it’s super refreshing, especially because in the majority of YA novels, the girl will take him back or, even worse, will think that a boy demanding sex and kissing her without her consent or getting drunk and trying to grab her is ROMANTIC. Ms. Kress, thank you for doing the logical thing and presenting a heroine who is strong without needing a boy to complete her, especially when the boy is quite frankly crazy.On top of this, our heroines do not need boys to help them. They are strong and take matters onto their own shoulders in an era where modesty, subservience, and loyalty to their male caretakers wasn’t only expected but frankly demanded. Cora, Nellie, and Michiko are some of the fiercest, most determined girls in 2012’s YA offerings, and in this YA debut, we are treated to three girls who blew the boys out of the water in their quest to prove their worth, their skills, and their strength of mind. Despite their differences – intelligent, powerful inventor Cora; giddy and hyper magician’s assistant Nellie; strong-willed and quiet former Samurai student Michiko – they make a wonderful team. And their cast of characters around them for the most part is well thought out, even if there are SO many characters that several get lost.VICTORIAN STEAMPUNK WITHOUT THE VICTORIAN STEAMPUNKEven though I quite frankly loved the characters in this, there were some other issues that need to be mentioned – particularly the fact that this was pitched as a Victorian-era steampunk novel when in fact the steampunk aspects got lost. Of course there were mentions of steampunk devices and other anachronisms you expect to see in novels of this sort. The problem was that, for a steampunk novel, the details that I desired were never there, only found in brief mentions. What’s the point of a steampunk novel without the steampunk goodness?Another issue I had was the dialogue. Instead of going for a traditional Victorian-era way of speaking, we end up with three girls that sound like they could be from now – a Cockney girl, a Cockney girl pretending to be a prim and proper Englishwoman, and a Japanese girl that speaks about much English as I speak Japanese (note – have I told you that my minor from college is Japanese?). While this is nice to read, it doesn’t really pull you into the time period, once again losing the time.CUTE, ACTION-PACKED, AND EXPLOSIVELooking past the anachronisms and wonderful kick butt girl power, THE FRIDAY SOCIETY has a lot going for it. It’s action-packed, fast-paced for being almost 450 pages long, and EXPLOSIVE. Like seriously, things blow up, there is a serial killer, evil scientists, grave robbing, and magic. I could easily overlook the timeline flaws when I was served a heaping platter of fun on a bun.So am I recommending that you go and pick up a copy of THE FRIDAY SOCIETY right now? Yes. Now. This book might have flaws, but it is going to go down as one of my favorite reads of early 2013 most likely, even if I wish maybe it had stayed true to the time period.VERDICT: A story with amazing YA heroines kicking butt and kicking bad love interests to the curb automatically is awesome. Pair it with explosions, adorkableness, and intrigue, and you have a winner. THE FRIDAY SOCIETY wins. Period.♥♥♥♥ - FOUR HEARTS