Friday, June 13, 2014

[Review: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller]

"A Mad, Wicked Folly"
Author: Sharon Biggs Waller
Series: None
Pages: 406
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Date Published: January 23rd, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Format Read: Hardcover from the library


Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To A Mad, Wicked Folly,

Book you gave me a heavy dose of girl power and that's just what I needed! You weren't afraid to make a statement and you gave us some fun/funny characters to make your point. I loved that it all begins with nude posing and then just keeps getting more awesome. You're a book that has a lot to say and just you do it in a way that isn't pushy or annoying. You've got class, just like our girl Vicky.

-The White Unicorn

I've been waiting to get my hands on this book for awhile and so I'm ecstatic that I've finally gotten around to reading it. The book itself has been generating a lot of good reviews and I was hoping that the hype monster wasn't going to kill it for me, and lucky for us, it didn't. A Mad, Wicked Folly is one of those wonderful historical fiction novels that just works. It's got a clever cast of characters, quirky details and it's set in London. What more could I want? Nothing. I could want nothing more than what this book offers.

Waller gives us a historically accurate novel that shows us what it was like to be a woman during the turn of the century in England (or really anywhere for that matter). It was time where woman were still expected to entertain and let the men handle all the "life business" out in the world. I liked that she gave us a few views of women who enjoyed what the time had to offer, but I loved that Waller focuses on the Woman's Rights movement. She gives us strong female characters that surround our rather headstrong, yet docile Vicky.

Vicky herself was a wonderful character. It was so much fun to see her grow and change and she came into her own. As a reader I knew that she was a fire cracker waiting to explode. I mean she did pose nude right in the beginning of the book. It was interesting to see a girl who didn't care about what other people thought, trying to find out whether or not she could be comfortable with the social norms of the time, or if she needed to expand her horizons. It was interesting to see her go from a bystander at political rallies to someone who truly believed in the cause she didn't understand early on. And it was interesting to see how she dealt with the fall out of her actions. Vicky is flawed and that works for the story. Yes, there were times that I didn't understand her logic, but as the story unfolds and she grows, you can't help but root for her.

It was so much fun to see an artist angle thrown into the mix of everything. It kept things fresh and it gave Vicky something personal to fight for. It also put her in a lot of positions to see what she really wanted in life.

The book has two male leads. One is the man that Vicky's parents want to marry her off to and the other is a guy who sneaks in a steals her heart. The contrast between the two gents is like night and day. Edmund is pretty lame. He seems pretty on the outside, but man does that kid have issue galore. Will on the other hand is amazing and the perfect match for Vicky. He pushes her and supports her and doesn't want to lock her away. Wanna know how things turn out? You'll have to read the book...

If you love Historical Fiction, Woman's Rights and Swoony Love Stories, you need to give this book a shot! You won't be sorry!

 5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this now!


Natalie Natflixandbooks said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I've heard nothing but good things and, ahem, actually have a copy of this, so I guess I should get on it. Vicky sounds awesome. I wish we had more strong feminist role models in our YA stories. Plus a swoony love story. Sold! I'll bump this up my TBR. Great review!

kimberlybuggie said...

I really like your review. I'm glad you liked the book. I have been dying to read it for a while now, even checked it out of the library the other day but didn't get around to it. Better bump it up on my To Read pile! :)
Happy Friday!

Nicole said...

I was already planning on reading this, probably when I get back from my trip but it's good to see your positive review. I can't wait for some girl power!

Jessica R said...

Yes yes yes!!! So happy you loved this one, too. I adored Vicky as well and loved the girl power and WILL! If you couldn't tell, I am very pleased by your reaction to this one ;) I just want everyone to love it!