The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)
"In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch...
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help-and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her."
The Girl in the Steel Corset is my new--no ONLY--favorite steampunk novel.
Really, what is steampunk? My dad and I were trying to figure out why it's called steampunk (we weren't near a computer at the time), and pretty much devised that it's "steam" for the past. You know, steam powered a bunch of junk in "the old days" and now we have "punk" (kids, people, teens? which one?) in our current day-and-age.
Pretty much, if you like historic technology/junk to be mixed with future technology/junk, you're going to love this book. (I sound like I'm dissing this book. I'm not, I just suck at summarizing/defining anything.)
The year is 1897 and we're in England (I mean, where the hell else do great steampunks take place? Hmm?) meeting a really interesting "band of horses" as I refer to them as. First you have our heroine, Finley Jayne who seems to have a tad bit of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on. We have Sam, who is part robot (or you know, cyborg for us geeky people who know that kind of stuff), Emily who is a freakin' genius who can--wait for it--communicate with robots (!!) and Jasper, who...well, I really don't know what his purpose is, aside from he's like, Edward Cullen fast and a cowboy from America. Oh, and we have Griffin King, the dude who ties them all together. (18 and runnin' his own household. Dude has the life.)
Now that we've got those character profiles established, let me shut up and move the heck on.
The point of the book is that they're trying to track down this criminal called (smartly, really) "The Machinist". Griffin is hellbent on finding this dude and stopping him, so of course, everyone else must be too.
I'm trying not to be cynical, because I freakin' loved this damn book. The title alone makes me think "ohh, awesome!" and that cover is perfection of like, epic proportions. But really, this book was predictable. I knew what was going on (small spoiler) with Sam the entire book and I wanted to slap that idjit. Not only because he's a bit of an asshole, but because he's such a damn idiot to Emily, who is like, so freakin' adorable it's disgusting. (Maybe because she's a nerd who knows technology really well. It resonates, okay? Don't ask me the heck why.)
I am seriously making myself sick with all this rambling. Damn.
Anyways, Finley is a really interesting character. I LOVED that she could stand the heck up for herself, unlike a lot of YA's heroines who are either (a) in need of rescuing, or (b) passing out more than is probably good for your brain. There's this part in the book when Finley picks up Griffin and I was just so humored that I literally couldn't stop laughing. (Though I laugh at stupid things, so maybe I'm biased.)
As a character, also, Griffin was cool. He wasn't annoying, at least. (Like Sam and whatever that other dude's name was that Finley was like, spending time with. I legit can't remember his name, and I'm too lazy to look it up.)
All in all, I did enjoy the book. I'm surprised a little bit, though, because I normally loathe history-related crap in YA (it's much better in adult), but this book kept me entertained throughout.
Wait! There's more! (I know, you're seriously considering reaching into your computer and smacking me upside the head.) Can I just take a moment to repeat myself and reiterate how awesome that cover is? (I'm done. Promise.) 4/5 stars.