Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review: A Study In Charlotte

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 2/28/16 to 3/4/16
336 pages

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.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I read A Study In Charlotte because I was a tiny bit obsessed with BBC Sherlock. Or at least I was, back a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, this just was a tad bit too similar for me to enjoy it to the actual TV show. However, the problem with me saying this is that I have no idea whether it is because the book is based off of the original Sherlock Holmes, which is what the TV show is based off as well. I think I will just have to go with my gut.

Basically, I felt as this book was just a teenage version of BBC Sherlock, but with Sherlock as a girl. So we have Charlotte, who is from a long line of Holmes, and then we have James, who is from a long line of Watsons. The two coincidentally meet at the same boarding school. From there they are dragged into a murder mystery that incorporates the original Sherlock Holmes, using hints from each of John Watson's books about Sherlock Holmes.

I will be honest and say that I did enjoy reading about James Watson and Charlotte Holmes. I liked their interactions, and Charlotte felt a little more human to me than the BBC Sherlock version. Although there were times where she seemed a little distant, she didn't hide her friendship with James. Plus, things actually seemed to affect her. And she held guilt about her past actions.

On the other hand, there were a couple of things that were keeping me from loving this.

The first is that like I said before, this seemed a little too similar to BBC Sherlock. Charlotte did drugs as a coping mechanism. Her brother was overly protective of her. Also, I could have sworn that someone told me that in the original Sherlock Holmes, he died in the short story "The Final Problem"? Oh I just looked it up, and Conan Doyle was eventually persuaded to revive Sherlock Holmes. Nevermind!

The second, is that having actually GONE to boarding school, this is NOT an accurate representation of it. I should be used to this by now, because a lot of authors (*cough* John Green) have used the boarding school plot device. Newsflash. You CANNOT do anything you want in boarding school. You can't even have a car unless you are a day student. And even then you cannot drive a boarder without suffering heavy repercussions. And there is NO WAY you would be able to sneak OFF CAMPUS during the night. Nope. Anyways, I felt that I should mention this at least, seeing as I found it all highly improbable.

I think overall, I just felt meh about this. Maybe it is because I don't like Sherlock Holmes as much as I used to, or that I am just not familiar with the original story, especially since I didn't appreciate how the author incorporated the original Sherlock into her story (which was great by the way, I just didn't care? I'm sorry). I thought that the mystery was really well done, but I think I was just in the wrong mood for this book.
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