Saturday, April 23, 2011

READING: Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

Publication date: May 24th, 2011
Published by: Atheneum
Source: Simon&Schuster Galley Grab
Genre: YA Historical, Mystery
Rating: 3,5/5
This is Agnes Wilkins’ debut season and already she’s attracting the attention of one of England’s most eligible and desirable men: Lord Showalter. He’s been quite forward about his intentions and Agnes finds this at once thrilling and terrifying. He is handsome and wealthy and has this quirky interest in helping England amass the world’s finest collection of Egyptian artifacts. It could be a good match—but everything Agnes knows about courtship and high society romance comes from A. Lady novels, and it seems to be a rule that men who are too good to be true are usually hiding something. But, what Showalter is hiding is not crumbling finances or boarish behavior. He is deceiving the whole British Empire. He is spy working for Napoleon, his orders smuggled into London in Egyptian artifacts—like the one Agnes pockets while at a mummy unwrapping party at Showalter’s home. Her innocent interest in this trinket (and childish need to keep it) jump starts a chain of events that bring out dangerous characters, dangerous circumstances, and the biggest danger of all—true love.
Wrapped was nothing I expected it would be and I have to admit, I had fun reading it. It was a pleasant surprise and a much needed break after so many paranormal books.

Bradbury's writing is easy going, light and mellow. The way she draws her characters is pretty much the same as in any regency romance. There is a young, rich girl who wants to do something more with her life and refuses to be contained and follow the path that is predestined for her by her parents. She wants to see the world and explore it, something that was unheard of for a woman at that time. She falls in love not with the wealthy suitor every unmarried girl covets and whom her parents push her towards to, but with a commoner, a curator at a museum, who sparks in her the flame of adventure.

I am glad I got to read Wrapped because I ended up learning so many things from it: the mummy ritual at the beginning, which was a bit disturbing (who knew the unwrapping of an Egyptian mummy passed as entertainment back then?)and which I had never heard of before, a lot of stuff about ancient Egypt which even though I find fascinating, I unfortunately haven't read a lot about . Also, because of the British Empire's "looting" of ancient treasures from other countries, Wrapped poses the question whether it's morally right for these treasures to remain in Britain and not be returned to their rightful owners. Being a greek, I am quite familiar with the situation, as large parts of the Parthenon are still exhibited in the British Museum. So seeing a subject like that discussed in a YA book, really impressed me.

As far as the mystery part of the book is concerned it was OK but a tad predictable, in my opinion. I really hope Bradbury decides to turn Wrapped into a mystery series with a different case in each book so maybe the mysteries to come will be more thought out and better planned.
Also, the romance was believable enough, but we didn't get to see a lot of it. Agnes and Caedmon didn't spent as much time together as I would have liked, since it was difficult for a girl to go out whenever she pleased and without a chaperon back then. 

All in all, Wrapped is a light, breezy read which I highly recommend to regency period and history enthusiasts!

PS. One of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen! Kudos to the art department, awesome job!
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  1. I had to click on this post, because I saw that cover in my "Blogs I'm Reading" thing on my dashboard. OMG. That is absolutely beautiful. One of my most favorite covers ever. I am getting this book.

  2. adding this to my list! Like Maddz (above) I am in love with the cover art on this book! Amazing

  3. Ooh - I just got this from NetGalley and was looking for any web presence of the author (Twitter/a blog?) - did you manage to dig anything up?

    I, too, adore the cover! (And your blog header, actually - in love!)


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