Book Review – A Study in Charlotte

Book: A Study in Charlotte – Author: Brittany Cavallaro

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, YA

Description 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.

My Review:

Let me start off with a confession: I totally thought both Charlotte AND Jamie were going to be girls when I started this book. I don’t know why; it specifically states in the description “keep HIS distance”. I must have read it wrong. ::shrugs:: Anyway, that notion was disabused in the very first page, so I quickly realized I was incorrect. And that I was disappointed. (Me = ::giant sigh:: “This is going to turn into a romance book, isn’t it?”)

Not that this book wasn’t awesome. It really was. Once I got over my confusion about genders (and my confusion on how Jamie got a rugby scholarship to a USA school), I found myself enthralled in this homage to the Sherlock Holmes novels. The characters were both familiar and new. Charlotte has a lot of the same issues as Sherlock, though for completely different reasons, and Jaime is (temperamentally at least) extremely similar to Doctor Watson. But they were also completely original characters with their own spirits and issues.

It did seem a bit strange to me that Jaime felt like it was destiny that he become Charlotte’s Watson, even given his family history. His dad was completely obsessed with the Holmes’ too, almost to the point of willingly endangering his child in order to push the two together. It made it feel a TAD creepy at times. But, hey, it’s a Sherlock book, so we’ll overlook that for now. 😉

The mystery was really interesting. I was kept guessing until the very end of the book, which was a nice change from some of the other mystery books I’ve been reading recently. I loved the nod to the Sherlock mysteries; it was a great way to tie the timelines together a bit and pull in the Sherlock lovers. They even included the Moriarty family! But everything was brought into the story in a way that made sense. Nothing felt pushed in just to have a callback to the original stories.

And, yes, it is looking like the series WILL be romancy. But I do think it works for these two characters. Fingers crossed it doesn’t turn into either a “I want to be with you, but circumstances are keeping us apart (over and over an over again)” or a gushy “I love you so much, you are the only thing in the world that matters” kind of romance. Let’s keep up the mysteries! That’s kind of the point of a Sherlock book, right? 😉

I don’t want to spoil things too much, so I won’t say much more. But this was a great leading book for the series, finishing off the current mystery but leaving the reader with just enough hints towards other mysteries that might take place in the future. I’ll likely pick up the second book, “The Last of August”, once my library snags a copy.

Similar Book(s):

The Clockwork Scarab (Colleen Gleason)

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T5W – Ravenpuffs Represent!

Hey all! Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Hogwarts House Pride, in which we are supposed to give you a list of five books that represent our Hogwarts House. But since I’ve always considered myself to actually be a mixture of TWO houses, I’m going to also give YOU a mixture. 😉

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What is a Ravenpuff, you might ask? Well, I tend to describe it as “bookish but friendly”. I enjoy losing myself in a fantasy world, but I also really love hanging out with my friends in this one. I consider myself a scientist AND a believer; as Sherwood Eddy said “Faith is not contrary to reason.” And I like to think I have enough sense to know when being right isn’t necessarily the most important thing…though I do love being right. 😉

So here are a few books that represent both of my houses and the lovely mixture that is Ravenpuff. 🙂

Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell) — Ravenpuff

17286849This one is slightly a cheat, since I’m mainly picking it because the main character, Cath, reminds me so much of myself. 😉 Cath is crazy about books & writing and completely obsessed with her fanfiction. She still makes time for her friends and real life, though, and even if she gets a bit defensive about it, isn’t afraid to admit when she’s wrong. This is kind of a “coming of age” story, showing just how much people can be changed by their first year of college.

A Dog’s Purpose (W. Bruce Cameron) — Hufflepuff

7723542I know, I know, picking a dog to represent one of my houses should be insulting, right? Not if you’ve read this book, it isn’t. “Dog” is one of the most loyal characters I’ve come across. Everything he does is for the good of his people. He doesn’t care about the danger to himself or whether or not he is rewarded, he just wants to make sure his people are ok. This was a very heart-warming tale and I highly recommend it, especially to dog owners.

Strange the Dreamer (Laini Taylor) — Ravenpuff

28449207Lazlo Strange, the main character in this book, is such a good representation of the Ravenpuff mentality. He’s extremely bookish and slightly obsessive about his favorite field of study, but he’s also immensely loyal and fair, even to people he doesn’t really like. By the end of the book, he’s willing to risk life and limb to make sure his loved ones are safe. This one is a duology, folks, so be prepared for a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to read the conclusion!!!

The Mermaid in the Basement (Gilbert Morris) — Ravenclaw

1964325The main character in this book, Lady Serafina Trent, is definitely a Ravenclaw. She is one of the most logic-based characters I’ve ever read. Almost a female version of Sherlock Holmes, Lady Trent uses science and method to try to save her brother from the gallows when he is accused of murder. She does get swayed a bit into the more emotional side of life by some of the characters, but she never loses her logic.

And speaking of Sherlock Holmes…

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) — Ravenpuff

The ultimate Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff match-up. Holmes is super methodical and logic-based; virtually his entire life is devoted to improving his mind. Watson, on the other hand, is much more focused on the personal side of their cases, the people and their woes. They balance each other perfectly.
Book Illustration Depicting Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in a Train Cabin


What books do you think best represent your house?