[ad • review copy]
Received via NetGalley.
TW: rape, drug use
When Georgiana arrives at her aunt and uncle’s for the summer, she is expecting to have a dull time. At a party, she meets Frances and knows that her luck has changed. As she makes her way into France’s good graces, Georgiana is invited to balls, parties and gatherings that will make this a summer to remember. But is the life of the upper classes as easy and fun as it first appears? And is this a taste of the life that Georgiana wants to live?
Set in the Regency period, Reputation feels like a combination of period drama and modern YA. This is a novel filled with parties, drink, drugs and sex that explores themes such as race, sexuality, wealth, female friendships, and sexual assault. Whilst the setting of the novel is regency, I think that these themes are injected through a modern lens, which makes for interesting reading and thought.
The title of this novel is perfect as I think that the idea of reputation runs through the novel in a few ways and so, this being the title, I was ready for these threads and ideas.
When I began reading this novel, I was unsure about the mixture of regency and modern, but I think that this was interesting and makes this an enjoyable read. If you are looking for something more historical, then this may not be the read for you, but if regency fun is your thing, then step this way.
As with any period drama, this novel has a romance plot with a rather nice love interest. I particularly enjoyed the banter between Georgiana and Thomas and really liked reading the letters between these characters. For me, this romance plot was well done and I really enjoyed this element of the novel.
Although I really liked the romance of this novel, friendship takes a more central position in the novel in my opinion. Georgiana makes some interesting decisions regarding her friendship choices, and she will have to reflect upon her choices later in the novel. Questions arise about Georgiana’s decision to make high profile friends, and her friendship with Frances is really tested at the climax of the novel. This deeper plot was unexpected to me, but I found it thought-provoking and liked how Georgiana’s character developed because of it.
Linking to this, I feel that Georgiana has a good character arc throughout the narrative, and I think seeing her go on this journey is what endeared her to me. Croucher creates a complex character who makes mistakes and feels close to modern teenagers as she wishes for popularity, amusement, and love.
The ending of this novel was quite good, although I felt that I was missing a bit somewhere, and I liked that the end of the novel made for quite a cyclical structure.
If you’re looking for some regency fun, then check out Reputation.