Review: The Season by Sarah MacLean

seasonThe Season
Author: Sarah MacLean
Publisher: Orchard Books
Age Group: Teen
Source: Library
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary from Amazon:

Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued — in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.

When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex’s heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year’s season begins!



3 out of 5

3 out of 5

My Thoughts

Having discovered the amazingness that is Sarah MacLean late last year (thanks Heidi!), I moved The Season up on my TBR list.  I loved the two books I’ve read by Sarah MacLean so far, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord, both adult historical romances.  So I was pretty sure I was going to love The Season, a YA historical romance, in the same way that I did for Nine Rules, and Ten Ways.  Unfortunately I was a bit underwhelmed with The Season.  It was enjoyable enough, but I wasn’t madly in love.

The main character of The Season is Lady Alexandra, who’s embarking on her first season in London society.  Alex is pretty much dreading her season.  She’s not at all interested in finding a husband, and is convinced that all the gentleman in town are simpering idiots.  Alex has two best friends who are also making their debuts, Vivian (Vivi) and Eleanor (Ella).  All three girls are very intelligent, and have other things to worry about than finding husbands (which, you know, is a good thing because they’re teens!).  They’ll also incredibly good looking.

Despite the fact that I can understand seventeen year old girls having other things to worry about than finding a husband, even in Regency England, relatable, I actually found Alex, Vivi and Ella to almost feel like that typical Mean Girl (don’t even get my started on my feelings on the Mean Girl stereotype).  They’re so busy laughing at any of the guys who are interested in them during the season, and even though those guys don’t seem at all attractive, most never felt very mean or deserving of their laughter.  It was just hard to really like Alex.  It was very surprising to me, because both Callie and Isabel from Nine Rules and Ten Ways were incredibely likable and relatable characters.

I also found the first half of the book incredibly slow, and kind of boring.  I really like historical romance, so it must have been something about this book that really just didn’t interest me.  About half way through, though, things started to pick up and I did get into the story.  When they started looking into the death of Gavin’s father I was a bit more interested.

The romance was all right, but definitely not my all-time favorite.  I could see why Alex and Gavin would make a good couple, although I wished they would realize it a little earlier and stop baiting each other all the time.  But I guess first love can get messy sometimes.

I think this must have been MacLean’s first book.  I wasn’t madly in love with the writing.  I felt like MacLean was trying too hard to invoke that Regency England atmosphere by using words like “capital” all the time.  Oh, and please don’t get my started on the nicknames!  Names like Moppet, Scamp, Kitten.  I was not a fan.

My favorite part of The Season, though, was not the romance, or the mystery; it was the relationship between Vivi, Ella and Alex.  They were so close to each other, and always willing to lend a hand whenever it was needed.  I love seeing such close friendships between women.  Even if they were a little bit obnoxious.

The Season was middling for me.  I definitely didn’t hate it, but it was far from a favorite. I do recommend MacLean’s adult historical romances, but for The Season – well if you’re interested in it, I say give it a try.  But I wouldn’t spend my money on a copy.  Get one from the library.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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7 Responses to Review: The Season by Sarah MacLean

  1. Christina says:

    Thank you for the honest review. I think I may stick with her adult books as I have heard this one is a bit disappointing, Plus, I am over mean girls…ugh!

    • Quinn says:

      I hate that whole Mean Girl thing. But, in all honesty, I don’t think MacLean was going for the mean girl vibe. I think she was going more for showing how different Ella, Vivi and Alex from all the young women who are just hunting for husbands. I just don’t think she went about it the right way. In my opinion anyway.

  2. Oh, that’s disappointing. Her adult books sound fantastic, though.

    • Quinn says:

      Yes, this was disappointing. Not the worst book ever, but definitely not up to par with her adult novels, which I definitely recommend if you like historical romance.

  3. I’ve been curious about this one since I read my first MacLean adult book last year. Yours is the first review I’ve seen from a blogger I read on a regular basis and I don’t know, I didn’t expect it to be like MacLean’s adult books, which is why I hadn’t picked it up yet, but I’m also sorry to hear that it’s so far from what I hoped it will be. I’ll still keep it in mind though.

    • Quinn says:

      I’ve read three of MacLean’s adult novels now, and then The Season. I think there are certain qualities of her adult novels in The Season. I definitely think it’s not amazing, but truly, it’s not bad either. If you’re still interested then you should give it a try. I do recommend borrowing it from the library, just in case you’re underwhelmed. And who knows, maybe you’ll love it!

  4. I have a copy of this, but I have been hesitant to read it even though I too love her adult books. I’ve heard similar opinions regarding the girls and their treatment of the guys that were interested in them. I’ll eventually read this, but I think I’ll wait until I am in the proper mood. Great review!

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