Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Summary from Goodreads:
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy.
I knew I was going to love this one. I knew from the moment I read the first description (many, many months ago). How did I know? I’ve wanted a female Sherlock Holmes for years! I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan. I love the originals. I love the remakes. I love the tv shows (particularly Elementary). I love the movies. When I found that there was going to be a YA retelling with a female Sherlock, I literally jumped from joy.
I love the character of Sherlock. I wish I could be as intelligent, as observant, as skilled as he is. There’s always been a few flaws about his character that both make him more redeemable and more possible in my head. Though, sometimes, he really comes off as a misogynistic jerk. And I’ve been dying to see this character written in a woman’s point of view because I always wanted a Sherlock that was all these things, but also not misogynistic. I finally have this Sherlock!
That being said, this Sherlock is still flawed. Drugs are a problem. There’s also an eating disorder. One of the few things that I really did not like in this book was that her eating disorder was never really addressed. Watson saw it, but he never truly addressed it, beside the few times he kind of forced her to eat. I wish it was addressed as strongly as the drug thing was…I guess this could still happen later in the series. Also, (BIG SPOILER SENTENCE AHEAD –skip the rest of this paragraph if you have not read this yet): she was raped. Between the drugs, rape, abandonment issues, and things with her family, this is not just a flawed Holmes, but a sad one –and one that thankfully does have some emotions.
I also must say that I truly love this version of Watson. He is so sarcastic, funny, and loveable. He knows he can’t do what Sherlock does, but he doesn’t exactly want to. He both admires her and fears her. But, also loves her. There’s this tender need to take care of her (and I feel like the original Watson had this at times too). But, there’s something about this one that has me swooning. I had a major book crush on Watson. He was definitely a lot smarter than the original Watson.
I found the murder mystery to be my least favorite part of the book. There were so many clich├ęs there. Though, I guess that was kind of the point. The murderer was repeating famous Sherlock Holmes transgressions. And I guess there were some moments there at the end that did have me a bit worried and stressed for my favorite characters. But, really, all the power of this wonderful book lies in the characters.
I loved them. What fun, remarkable version of these literary classics. I also loved the side characters like the motherly R.A. and the estranged, yet returned father. I probably would have enjoyed the dullest story in the world if it had these characters in it. Thankfully, the story wasn’t dull. The plot just was nowhere near as fresh and wonderful as the characters. I know this is part one of a trilogy, so I’m curious to see if the plot/mystery will be better in book 2.
All in all, this book had a lot of things going for it. It’s cast is remarkably good. The mystery/plot was okay. It could have been better. However, the amazing characters more than make up for it. I seriously had a big book crush on Watson. And all the characters in this one were spot-on. I give this book a 9/10.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say that I felt much of the same excitement as you did when I first heard about this book. I LOVE Sherlock in every way, shape or form and well, I've read and loved a version with a teenaged Sherlock and a female Watson so this is like the flip side to that and I WANT IT. I'm really happy you enjoyed this one Nori despite a few minor issues here and there. Awesome review ♥